“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18Jesus said when you fast. Not if you fast. “If” implies that you might have a choice in the matter. “When” suggests that this should be part of our lives as Christ Followers. After reading about fasting and hearing from God on the matter, I am wondering just how much I’ve been missing out on because I have not made fasting a regular part of my spiritual discipline. Jentezen Franklin’s book Fasting is a tremendous resource on this subject. I recommend it. Do I regret not incorporating fasting into my life? Yes. Do I wish that I had learned more about this over my lifetime? Yes. Do I feel like God loves me any less because I haven’t fasted much? No way. So even though I regret those things, I have chosen to begin incorporating the spiritual discipline of fasting into my life now. I am anxious to hear from God as I starve my flesh by feeding my spirit. Tell me, do you have any regrets? How are you dealing with them?
I’m a fairly positive person. Not saying that I don’t have days where everything seems to go awry because I certainly do have those kinds of days. Instead of focusing on the things I don’t have or can’t get or can’t do, I focus on the blessings in my life. But there is one thing in my life that I wish I had learned about before now. Fasting. I’m not talking about the kind of fasting you do before a medical appointment. Nor am I referring to the types of cleanses that people are doing today to help rid their bodies of unnecessary toxins. I am talking about fasting from food for the sheer purpose of hearing from God. I’ve never wanted to fast. I’ve always said that fasting just wasn’t for me. I do other things that can help me hear God. And I do. But I can no longer get around this verse: