01/20/19 Practical Discipleship: Fasting

READING: Matthew 6

We’ve seen in an earlier devotion that Jesus challenges us to check our hearts in Matthew 6 – to make sure that we serve Him to glorify Him rather than to bring honor and recognition to ourselves. In verses 1-4, He addresses giving. In verses 5-8, He speaks about prayer. Then, He deals with fasting in verses 16-17. We often talk about giving and praying, but we tend to overlook the fact that Jesus assumed His followers would be fasting as well.

I encourage you to prayerfully fast for one meal this coming week and seek the Lord during that time. Here are a few suggestions for fasting, especially if you have never fasted:

  1. Plan the fast. Choose a time when you would be least tempted to eat (e.g., fasting when your co-workers have a lunch event may not be smart).
  2. Fasting is about, as I once heard a professor say, “choosing to eat at God’s table rather than eating at my table.” It’s so longing for God that food and hunger no longer hold dominion over us. Ask God to create in you a deep longing for Him this week.
  3. Don’t just not eat during your one-meal fast – give your attention to God, His Word, and prayer.
  4. Let someone know that you’re fasting, but don’t make a spectacle of yourself. That person can pray with you and support you.
  5. Enjoy your time with God! 

 Prayer: “God, grant in me a longing for You more than anything else.”

Tomorrow’s reading: Genesis 42:27-44:34, Matthew 13:44-14:12