The Spiritual Discipline of fasting is all about increasing in us our sensitivity, our level of expectation of that day when we will enter into His glory, when our redemption will be completely consummated.
There are two constants, for me, as I confront this life. These two constants reflect how I often feel, here and now. First, I feel this is an uphill battle. If I am not constantly in upward movement, if I get distracted even for a moment, gravity wins and I start going backwards. As I attempt to mover upward and forward, others I am trying to help become a ballast that slows down my progress. And, if I am honest, I do become a ballast for those who are trying to help me.
Second, often I feel the success of my enemies (my own sin, satan, the world) in their attempt to take the wind out of my sails. More often than not, it’s painful and discouraging: you were moving along fine, sailing through this life and, all of the sudden, the wind is gone! It us a shock.
Against these two constants is that the Spiritual Discipline of fasting has been very helpful, for me, in the last three months. This is the beginning of my fourth month of daily fasting and it has been a real blessing, a productive instrument for Him to cultivate my heart as a humble follower of His.
When you fast you have time to pray. When you fast, you become more aware of what is worth desiring and wait for. In fasting, your sense for His future glory becomes more attuned with His promises in Scripture. There are also some physical health benefits, but those are secondary to the main purpose of fasting.
Lately, because of this Spiritual Discipline, three passages in His Word have become more precious, to me. They are:
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’Matthew 25:23
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 1for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.Hebrews 4:9-10
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”Revelation 21:3-4
I want to see it.
I want to see Him changing me, more and more, into His image here and now. But I also long for the day all this is going to be over. The way I will cross over the finish line. The day I will see Him – the Lover of my soul – face to face.
It may happen tonight. It may happen in 40 years. I do not know. But what I know is that the Spiritual Discipline of fasting allows me to have a real and tangible connection to these promises, by increasing my longing for them, by teasing my appetite He alone can satisfy.
What is your favorite Spiritual Discipline? How does it help you to be more in touch with the reality of the approaching glory?
Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.