I grew up in the church and was familiar with prayer, but for most of my life I knew little about fasting as a part of the Christian walk. My good friend and brother-in-Christ, Pastor Paul Stennett (Twitter: PastorStennett), offered up a nice short phrase to describe both:
We pray to draw closer to God; we fast to separate ourselves from the world.
During my first 50-day Pentecost (see Acts 2) corporate fast, I thought I was going to literally pass out. We went to a family friend's house that Easter, and she had a spread on the table that would make Paula Dean blush. The daily fast was from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Guess what time we sat down to dinner... 6:05. I slipped away to call my pastor and ask if special occasion dinners were exempt.
Yes, I really did. Thank God for growth.
As in previous years, our church family does a corporate fast with specific prayer focus for each of the seven weeks. In previous years, we've done the Daniel Fast, no wheat, etc. -- but this year is very different and perhaps could be my most challenging fast yet:
For 50 days, SACRIFICE for God some item, thing or habit you regularly partake of or participate in that hinders you from being more Spiritually Minded, and OFFER to God something new and fresh to help you become more Spiritually Minded that would be a sweet smelling savor to God.
I'm sacrificing three things which for me are quite challenging to give up:
- Sweets like these and these, because I turn to them instead of God when I'm anxious, stressed or frustrated,
- Mobile games because they're a time waster. Angry Birds and Words with Friends aren't fruitful for me right now, and
- YouTube channels. Though I will still post on my own channel periodically, I won't be watching other people's channels for a while.
My offering is to write, draw, paint and create to glorify God and to journal what He shows me every day for the next 50 days. To friends and family who might be following along or those who are also fasting, I'd love to hear about your personal sacrifice and offering. It's not too late to make the commitment.
Thanks for reading and much love,