Scripture: Galatians 6.8
Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Reflection: Fasting for All
By John Tillman
We sometimes treat fasting like a spiritual version of Mixed Martial Arts—only the strongest should attempt it. But fasting can and should be experienced in some way by believers of all maturity levels.
How do we expect young believers (or new believers) to mature at all if we deter them from learning and practicing one of the major disciplines of our faith?
No matter our age or maturity level, we may begin in fasting as we would begin any new practice. With small, achievable steps.
As with all the Disciplines, a progression should be observed; it is wise to learn to walk well before we try to run. — Richard Foster
Fasting may be the most important spiritual discipline for the church to focus on in the next decade. In an instant gratification culture, where we often find ourselves angry when a web page doesn’t load instantly or when a streaming video lags for even a few seconds, we need both a reality check and a spirituality check.
We desperately need to pursue spiritual focus amidst notifications and distractions. We desperately need to cultivate longings for God that won’t surface until we strip away the spirit-numbing stimulants of modern life.
Fasting helps us keep our balance in life. How easily we begin to allow nonessentials to take precedence in our lives. How quickly we crave things we do not need until we are enslaved by them. — Richard Foster
Fasting from food is only the beginning of what, for many of us, may be a spiritual quest for stillness, mindfulness, and disconnection from the noise and haste of digital faux-life so that we can connect to true life in Christ.
May we explore fasting beyond fasting from food. May we explore the call of God to withdraw and abstain for a time from anything in our lives that creates false dependency, false assurances of competency, and false feelings of necessity.
Prayer: The Morning Psalm
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. — Psalm 34.15
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Full prayer available online and in print.
Proverbs 7 (Listen – 2:21)
Galatians 6 (Listen – 2:18)