Have you ever gone without something you dearly wanted? How do you view having to do without it? Have you ever gone without something you needed? How well did you survive that experience? Do you practice doing without wants and needs?
Doing without is something most of us know very little about. We don’t often go without something we want and certainly not something we need. In our minds, it would be absurd to do without. We can’t fathom the thought of not having something we want.
It has become a lost practice to do without. Our culture is ill prepared for any type of disaster that would deprive us of our wants and needs. We are not trained to do without due to a lack of resources or necessity, and we don’t purposely train ourselves. We have become a society of little discipline, and no willingness to prepare for bleak possibilities.
There is a relatively simple training option for us, yet it is also one of the more difficult exercises for us. It is the discipline of fasting. There is research that shows fasting is healthy for us. It is a means of cleansing our bodies of impurities. Did you know it cleanses us in more ways than one?
It is true fasting is good for us physically. It is also good for us spiritually. When we fast and spend the time with God in prayer instead, we are cleansed of spiritual impurities. We learn to lean on God to provide for us.
We typically think of fasting as doing without food and that is the most common fast. But there are many other types of fasts. One that has grown in popularity in recent years is fasting from social media. Many who have done this have discovered the stranglehold social media has on them and the freedom they have when they do without it. They find their anxiety levels decrease and their ability to focus on God increases dramatically.
Regardless of what our fast is, we are called to fast and trust God to carry us through it. We are to replace whatever we are fasting from with focusing on God and spending time in prayer. This is a spiritual cleansing exercise, a discipline, and a training exercise that will prepare us for those times when we must do without.
I pray we all decide to fast. I pray we spend time in prayer with God when we fast. I pray each of us will cleanse ourselves spiritually by leaning on God through a fast. Do without. Cleanse yourself. Spend time with God. Train yourself. Build discipline. Trust God.
Matthew 6:16-18 “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.”