Simplicity through Fasting

Jesus Christ, our singular focus. For the believer in Christ, this is SIMPLICITY. It is, of course, one thing to say this (or to even say we believe this). It’s quite another to live it. In last week’s post, we talked a bit about this life of SIMPLICITY and listed a few ways that we…

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Deborah Haddix

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Jesus Christ, our singular focus.

For the believer in Christ, this is SIMPLICITY.

It is, of course, one thing to say this (or to even say we believe this). It’s quite another to live it.
In last week’s post, we talked a bit about this life of SIMPLICITY and listed a few ways that we can pursue living a life where Jesus is the Main thing, our One thing. I hope you will join me over the next few weeks as we take a closer look at a few of these disciplines. It could be quite an adventure learning to pursue a life of SIMPLICITY together.

FASTING

There are many types of fasting – medical, dieting, cleansing, etc. However, unlike these other types of fasts, Biblical fasting is not for the benefit of your physical health. It is done for the purpose of seeking to know God more intimately.

Christian fasting is the voluntary denial of food (or some other regularly enjoyed pleasure) for a specific period of time, and it is always entered into for spiritual purposes. Observing a fast creates space for God.

Examples of Biblical fasting appear all throughout Scripture. A quick survey shows this discipline being observed by Daniel (Daniel 1:8-16; 10:2-3), Jesus (Luke 4:2), Saul (Acts 9:9), and the early church (Acts 13:2).
While we can read about fasting and its benefits in the Bible or in Christian-authored books and blog posts on the topic, the only way to truly understand the value of fasting is to practice it. As you gain experience with fasting you will discover how dramatically it helps you in pursuing a life of SIMPLICITY – turning your focus toward God, deepening your relationship with Him, and nourishing your soul.

3 Types of Fasts

A partial fast – restricting the diet by either cutting out certain foods or cutting out certain meals. (Daniel 10:3)
A normal fast – eating no food but drinking liquids, either water or juice. After two to three days of normal fasting, a person enters a physiological state called ketosis, which often coincides with heightened spiritual awareness. (Luke 4:2)
An absolute fast – consuming nothing at all. This type of fast would, of course, be limited to no more than a day or two. (Ezra 10:6; Esther 4:16; Acts 9:9)
Strictly speaking, fasting in the Bible means to go without eating or drinking. However, we can appropriately extend the concept to other activities and substances especially if there are medical reasons that we should not engage in a fast from food. In our culture of consumerism, the practice of abstaining from certain things for specified periods can help us to loosen our hold and turn our focus from what we see with our physical eyes to our Lord and Savior and what truly matters.
In a more tangible, visceral way than any other spiritual discipline, fasting reveals our excessive attachments and the assumptions that lie behind them…. Fasting brings us face to face with how we put the material world ahead of its spiritual Source.
–Marjorie J. Thompson

Soul Nourishment: Satisfying Our Deep Longing for God is a gentle reminder of the importance of soul care. It is also a handbook for today’s busy woman filled with a multitude of easy, ready-to-use resources to bring refreshment on the journey. This 2-color book offers a multitude of ways to intentionally nourish and care for our soul including: prayer practices, using scripture, building relationships, listening, & solitude.

Available at Warner Press.

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About the Author

Deborah Haddix

I am a child of God, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, niece, and friend who loves nothing better than spending time with those I love.

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