Fasting For God

Monday, June 10, 2024
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Listen while you read: "Breathe On Me Breath Of God"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 6:16 – And when you fast, don't make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. (NLT)

I once fasted, but not from food.

I suddenly found myself saddled with two car payments. Knowing that I couldn't afford both, I had a decision to make. One of the vehicles would have to go. One was a new Chevrolet Tracker that I had just purchased. The other was a used Chevrolet S-10 pickup. The solution came not in selling one but in withdrawing my retirement savings so that I could pay off one of them. I chose the Tracker, and then I gave it to my daughter, who was about to leave for college.

The decision to give up the Tracker was difficult. I had planned to use it on my monthly hiking escapades in the mountains. Love, however, led me to give it up for a higher purpose.

Fasting requires letting go. Often, food is in question — as it was when Jesus addressed the religious hypocrites who thought that they did such an excellent job at it. Like most of what they did, they did this with ulterior motives. They wanted others to notice them.

Abstaining from food or certain foods for a time has never been my forte, but God has shown me a few other things that I need to take a break from. Sin is one. Instead of seeing how close that I can come to sin without sinning, I need to stay as far away from it as possible. God has given us a new nature, and we must avoid the "old person" with a passion. When we give our lives to Christ, our old self is crucified with Him, and we die to the old way of living, walking instead in obedience to Christ's commands.

When I choose to go on a fast for God, it should also be because I want to draw closer to Him. Good and not-so-good attractions that attempt to distract us from God pepper this world. Giving up whatever prevents us from clinging close to His side is always a good fast.

Fasting for God is an individual choice. God won't force us to fast for Him. We must voluntarily let go of those things that keep us from a closer walk with Him. What can you let go of that will move you closer to God?

Prayer: Father, take away those things that prevent me from being all that You want me to be. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank-you Martin.


    Very good, Martin. Thank you for sharing.


    Thanks Martin, blessings to you and your family.


    Just found this devotional in my junk mail! It really blessed my day!
    Blessings.


    Thanks, Martin, for your encouraging words today. Yes, we must be ever mindful of keeping God first in our daily lives and not focus entirely on ourselves. Blessings as you continue contributing these special writings.


    Good morning, Martin!
    Thank you for today’s message. Going forward I will be looking at “fasting for God” in a different way. I do like your suggestion of “Giving up whatever prevents us from clinging close to His side is always a good fast.”
    Blessings!


    Ah, letting go, yes. As the years advance, so much letting go! God said to me, what do you have now that you will not one day lose? Only my relationship with Him, the treasures stored in heaven and our fellowship in Christ. It was a reality check. Letting go. Embracing the eternal. I had a Tracker soft-top. I loved that tough little car! So sad they stopped making them.


    Good morning, Martin,
    I have only thought of fasting in connection with food. I appreciate this different perspective and it gives me something to ponder. I worked with some Orthodox Jews who fasted regularly according to their tradition, and they exampled how important it was to remind them that everything comes from God. Thanks for sharing.


    Thank you, Martin. This is a good way to look at fasting — voluntarily letting go of things that keep us from a closer walk with him.

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