I Don’t Want To
I knew this sermon series would get me into trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the spiritual disciplines are absolutely crucial to the way we prepare ourselves for God to work in our lives. I also know that I am in a better place spiritually as well as mentally and emotionally when I am regularly attending to the role of these spiritual exercises in my life. But I also knew that as I studied and prepared for these sermons, that I was going to think about where I had become lax in my own spiritual life.
Did I mention that this week’s sermon is on fasting? What was I thinking! I’ll be honest, this is an area where I’ve been struggling for a while and it shows. When we thinking about fasting as a spiritual discipline, it isn’t primarily about the health of our bodies—though it may have an effect there. Fasting is really about teaching us about the spiritually unhealthy role that food can have in our lives. Food is more than simply nutrition. It can become for us a way that we try to cover up a need or a hurt in our life. You’ve probably heard of stress eating, or eating because we’re bored or lonely. When we fast, it can cause us to bring attention to unhealthy habits.
That’s not the only reasons we fast though. The Scriptures show God’s people fasting in times of repentance. It shows them fasting in times of discernment, when a decision needed to be made. It shows them fasting in order to prepare themselves for an ordeal they had to face. Scripture gives us many reasons we might fast, but we don’t talk about it much.
I’ll remind you that at the beginning of this series I said that none of these disciplines should become legalistic. There are important exercises we can use to help discipline ourselves, but they shouldn’t be forced on someone else. So I’m not going to tell you how you should fast. But I will confess that this is a discipline that I need to reincorporate more fully into my own life. You know how it is with kids, there are things they don’t want to do, but we know it’s for their good that they do it. Well, I’m like that too sometimes. I really don’t want to do it, but I know I should.
I hope you are doing well. I spent some time yesterday with a friend of mine who is a videographer looking at our sanctuary and thinking about how we might be able to continue live streaming when we are also having members meet in the sanctuary. One or the other is easy—doing them both is the challenge. My friend gave me some good ideas, though, so I think it’s something we will be able to do.
And I want to say thank you for all of those who sent encouraging notes this past week. God knew that I needed them, so thank you for allowing him to speak through you.
God bless, Brian