Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fasting

"The purpose of fasting is not to get through to God, but to allow Him to get through to you. . . . During a fast, you should spend the time you would otherwise spend eating in prayer and seeking God . . . . You may want to start with a short fast. Forgo one meal and use that time in prayer and Bible study . . . Fasting is not a requirement. Don't let it become an obligation. God should initiate and maintain a fast. It will be a privilege and a joy. A time of fasting is a time of real intimacy."

These words are by Jennifer Kennedy Dean and quoted in Cynthia Heald's book. I read them this morning and they struck me because they are so practical and reasonable. I am usually uncomfortable with anyone who talks about fasting because I am not sure what it means to them, yet at the same time I respect it.

I am uncomfortable with talk about fasting because some people don't get the first line of this quote. They believe fasting is a bargain with God, something they are doing that obligates God to do something. Good luck with that. I will refer any reader to an excellent piece on the quid pro quo god whom we all struggle with, with great frustration. This writer, Mark Galli, has described legalism perfectly without using the word. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/marchweb-only/19-41.0.html

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