Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hungry for Him

So, here we are at the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday was yesterday and I am sure many of you are fasting or have given up something for the next fortyish days or so. I have read a few things here and there about what people are giving up for Lent or if they see any merit at all in this practice and I have totally enjoyed hearing so many points of view on the subject. And because I am me, I, too, have an opinion and I thought I would share it.

I fast at different times throughout the year as a discipline because Jesus didn't say in his teachings, "IF you fast", but rather, "WHEN you fast". (Matt 6:16) I am not trying to sound all holy here...I hate fasting food and I have to make myself do it. But when I do, it brings a lot of junk to the surface of my life and then He can deal with me about those things. I think of it more like choosing to sit on the front row in a classroom. I am positioning myself to better hear His voice. So then when I crave food (pretty much all the time), I can immediately shift my focus to Him rather than fulfilling a fleshly urge. It is my understanding that the original intent for fasting food for Lent was because food preparation back then was very time-consuming so the idea was to devote that time to feeding your soul rather than your flesh. Again, positioning yourself to hear His voice. I don't believe it can ever be viewed as sacrifice, for what "sacrifice" could we ever give that compares with His great sacrifice. And He tells us in scripture that He does not want our sacrifices...He wants US. (Hos 6:6) No, it is about nearness to Him. It should always come back to nearness to Him.

My friends, if you are fasting for Lent or not, I hope and pray that you will consider making the discipline of fasting a part of your love life with God that happens more than once a year. Put yourself on the front row as often as possible and drink it in.