not about food… but focus
not about saying no to the body… but yes to the Spirit
not about doing without… but looking within
not an outward response to an inward attitude and cry of the soul… but about feasting on Jesus
not about stripping ourselves… but emptying ourselves so that we may be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Wow. Bijoy helped us to see that fasting, like stewardship (our discipline the previous week), is a heart issue that involves giving up something of ourselves and willingly entrusting ourselves (our physical and material health) to our heavenly Father. It’s about focus… where we see our sustenance, our security coming from. It’s a tool God uses to expose our inner motivations for doing/not doing what we do/don’t do. Both fasting and stewardship include the admonition to do so cheerfully, not in a way that draws attention to ourselves but rather points outward and upward to God.
Whenever fasting is discussed, my mind immediately goes to food. But I’m wondering… are there other things that God may want me to fast from? For example, is my dependence upon my cell phone and computer something that diminishes my focus on God? Would “fasting” from internet usage for a day (or a few hours each day) help me to see God more clearly, hear His voice without distraction? Would it free me up to feast more on Jesus? Would it empty my overcrowded brain so that I could look within my own soul and deal with those things the Holy Spirit is surfacing?
Or could it be fasting from television? Computer games? Social media? Exercise? Anything that begins to get a grip on my heart and my soul?
Bijoy ended with a prayer focused on stripping ourselves of anything that may interfere with our ability to be filled with God’s mind, His will, His desires. May we boldly – individually and corporately – eliminate anything that may detract from our whole-hearted devotion to Him.
“Strip us of our intellect… on which we put our dependence
Strip our will bare…the will that loves control
Strip our heart bare… a heart that preserves self
Strip our soul bare… a soul that longs for appreciation…
To expose a naked spirit… a spirit that finds oneness with your Holy Spirit
So that we may be full, filled with Your mind, Your will, and Your desires.”
Stay safe! Stay healthy! STAY CONNECTED
on behalf of the Pastoral Care Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)