Monday, November 4, 2013

Jesus-Followers Fast...Oh, Really?

And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men.  Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Matthew 6:16

I've been putting this blog off until the last minute.  This seems to be a pattern lately.  Sincerely, I just didn't want to personally reflect on the topic of fasting when it comes to righteousness-practice. Jesus wants followers who will walk in his footsteps; followers who want to be taught/discipled; who are willing to listen to rebuke and are open to correction.  Jesus wants followers who will practice and train for righteousness.  So, he teaches those of us who have gotten up, put on our hiking shoes, and said, "I'm in!", all about giving, prayer, and forgiveness.  While I know I've got some training to do, these things are still "doable" to me.  Now, Jesus discusses fasting.  Fasting - as in not eating!   SERIOUSLY, what I'd really like to do is grab my x acto knife and cut this section out of my Bible.  Gasp! There it is, I said it...this is the real me.

Instead, Jesus takes my x acto knife from my hand and stabs it gently in my heart (he doesn't intend for it to kill me, he's just doing a little surgery).  He's showing me the ugly that needs to come out of there.  He's opening up my soul to reveal that more than money, more than prayer, more than forgiving those who have hurt me, there is something even bigger keeping me from more of Him!

It's the word whenever up there in verse 16 that is the x acto knife in his hand. Whenever is a word of assumption.  Whenever assumes I am fasting.....regularly.  Whenever means there is a "when" when I stop eating and seek more of Him.  Whenever means that I enjoy His sweet presence so much that I desire it more than I desire food.

The truth is I've fasted.............................................But only a few times.  The truth is I'm healthy enough to fast.  The truth is there is nothing physical to prevent me from doing so.  The truth is that I know all the ins and outs of healthy, biblical fasting.  The truth's not a regular part of my spiritual practice.  The truth is.......................I don't like going without food.  So, the real truth is........................................I guess I don't want to experience more of His presence that much.  

I know I could fast from other things (facebook & pinterest come to mind), but good old-biblical fasting meant food.  I like food...................A LOT.  I reckon a lot more than I realized.  Maybe, it's even an idol?  Like I said, I wish I could cut this part out of my Bible.  The surgery Jesus is doing on my heart is quite painful.  At this point, I think I need to rest from this heart-operation.  I'll just go back to bed and recover for a while...and, as I do, I'll reflect on what the Lord's pulled out of me.

Until later...

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