January 8th, 2008

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Fasting. Mt. 6:16-19

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Another of the classic “spiritual disciplines” is fasting. It involves a person focusing on getting in touch with God by neglecting to eat and drink for a period of time. I know some Christians who find this to be an important practice in their lives. Jesus engaged in this practice.

Jesus notes in our text, however, that one should not allow himself/herself to be deflected from the purpose of fasting. We are tempted to turn aside from getting in touch with God and seeking his will for our lives toward being a show-off in our pious activities in order to get the attention of men. There is irony here. An act that should be directed toward God becomes directed toward man.

Knowing and enjoying God should be the driving force behind our disciplines. Being noticed of others can take over, and we can fail to connect with God.

This is to say that fasting is to be a means to an end, not an end in itself. The primary goal is to have a focused relationship with God. Blogging or journaling has this function for me and for many others. I think that that I will elect to use these, not fasting, as my means to that end.