I am happy to announce that I have developed something just for you! Have you ever felt like you wanted to develop spiritual discipline but just didn’t have the time? I have just the thing to feed your hungry soul!
No, I’m not talking about McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, or any other “I’ll have a number 2” kind of establishment. Nope, I’m telling you to fast food.
Fast (intransitive verb) – to eat sparingly or abstain from some foods.
Thanks Merriam-Webster! Sounds great doesn’t it? It takes no time, no money, and you might even lose weight. (Goodness! Why am I saying “you”? I need to get in on this.)
In truth, though, fasting isn’t about food. In fact, the point of fasting is to make life not about food. We (you and I) eat so unthinkingly that we barely stop to breathe. If I got good at praying before every meal, my prayers would often last longer than my meal.
Fasting strengthens the soul and focuses the mind. It is an opportunity to focus our hearts on Christ as the only one who truly keeps us alive. No food can do for us what Christ has done.
So how do you get started? Start by stopping. A common Christian practice throughout the past has been to fast meat and meat products on Fridays in commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Many include Wednesday as the day Judas sold out his spirit to betray his Lord for some physical money. Fasting in this way in preparation for a major holiday (like 40 days before Christmas or Easter) is also common.
This is by no means a cause for guilt, legalism, or judgementalism. It is a personal, individual way to commit a small portion of food and time to what really matters. Even if we commit to fast together, keep you eyes on your own plate!
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. Matthew 9:15b ESV
So hurry up… FAST!