We are continuing to explore spiritual practices that open up space in our lives for God to transform us more into the likeness of Jesus. Our focus this week is on fasting.
Richard Foster’s words about fasting from more than 30 years ago are still fitting today: “In a culture where the landscape is dotted with shrines to the Golden Arches and an assortment of Pizza Temples, fasting seems out of place, out of step with the times.” And yet in a paradoxical way, it is precisely the ubiquity of these “shrines” and “temples,” along with the many other things that clamor for our attention and compete for our loyalty, that makes fasting such a timely spiritual practice. The reality for Western Christians is that we have been raised to be consumers. More than that, our consumerism is consuming us, gobbling up every spare inch of our hearts and minds and lives. What we need desperately is the recovery of space within ourselves for God. What we need is to recover fasting as a regular part of our lives.
setting limits on what we have, so we can have more space for good.
The following two videos serve to remind us just how important the practice of fasting is for God’s people.
You Are My All In All
Here are a few simple ways to open your life to God this week through the practice of fasting:
1: Take a 24-hour break from being critical of anyone in any way. If you can’t say something nice…
2: Take a 72-hour break from media sources that tend to make you feel afraid.
3: Take a 5-day break from your favorite phone app by deleting it.
4: Take a 1-week break from eating out.
After trying one or more of these FASTING experiences, take a few minutes to reflect on how they impacted you. Do you feel a freedom from having left some things behind, even for a little while? If you find one of these especially meaningful, try making it a regular part of your daily life and using the words, time, or money you save to directly bless others.
As you try out these experiments, drop a note in the comments section about what your experience is like, whether it’s eye-opening, frustrating, bewildering, or transforming.
This week’s playlist follows the pattern of the definition of fasting above. The first few songs focus on setting limits. The remaining songs speak of a desire for God to fill up the emptiness that emerges because of those limits.