At The Grove yesterday we spent some time hearing Jesus’ words int he sermon on the mount regarding fasting, and how Christians are to fast. It was striking to see throughout the Scriptures that fasting has always been a normal part of a person (and a community’s) relationship with God. I was really amped for about a month for this Sunday morning because fasting is an area which God has been leading me into in a whole new way this year; I naturally get excited when I can share with my awesome church the deeper and more powerful life of God that we can know!
- Jesus fasted. That’s really enough right there. If we are going to live and follow Jesus, we’ll do the things Jesus did.
- Fasting impresses on us our need for and dependence on God. It defines for us who we serve above all.
- Fasting gives us focus and time for prayer.
- Fasting is a sacrificial symbol or a reminder of our commitment of our whole lives to God.
- Fasting promotes discipline, which builds endurance in our battle in temptation and against sin.
- Fasting develops our spiritual awareness. God may be working around us but we are too busy ordering at the drive through. God may be speaking to us, but we cannot hear over our own chewing.
- Fasting expresses the urgency of our prayers.
A great number of people then committed to be fasting. Some who are experienced committed to three week Daniel fasts, some who have never fasted committed to single meals or partial refraining from foods; every single person took a step of obedience in the direction of God’s great joy for them and for our church! We believe that fasting is obedience, which puts us in position to receive from God what He has for us – and He has infinite resources to give to us. This isn’t a health. wealth and prosperity issue either; we want to be in position for God to give us in accordance with the missional mandate He has for the Grove – to live for Jesus, love our cities and see lives transformed! I am typing this with great anticipation of what God will be able to do – things that He already wants to do – in The Grove and through The Grove because of the position that people’s repentance and obedience creates in God’s ways.