Most of us have had to improvise at some point…you know…when you thought you had something at your disposal but didn't, and you had to go with something else. For example, in the middle of creating a new recipe you realize you don't have a certain ingredient and instead of running to the store you use a substitute. Or you're tackling a home reno project and you just can't find the hammer and instead you use the heel of your spouse's shoe (who hasn't done that?).
Fasting is kind of like that but with much greater importance…it's about replacing something we would normally do or use with something else. In the Bible fasting typically refers to food. It was considered a spiritual discipline to refrain from eating food for a period of time and replace that practice with intentional focus on God. In other words, to give more focus on God, we need to take our focus off of something else. This is true in our personal relationships as well. If I want to give attention to my family, then I must refrain from other activities…I can't do both, at least not at the same time. If I normally watch a football game on Saturday afternoon, I could choose to fast the game and spend time with my children. Any relationship is only as strong as the attention you give it.
Here's another way of saying it…fasting is an opportunity to abstain from the natural to discover the supernatural.
Fasting helps us:
- Prepare our hearts
- Develop our relationship with Jesus
- Focus our prayers
- Seek and accept wisdom from the Holy Spirit
Over the course of our 40-Day Spiritual Journey we're all going to be challenged to fast on four separate days. The first fast is planned for day 10 (Friday Oct 19)…we will not fast food but complacency. Later on in our journey we will be inspired to fast personal purchases, screen time for entertainment, and food; but this Friday we want to fast complacency.
We'll fast complacency and replace it with boldness! Boldness in how we pray, boldness in extending an invitation to others to come to Connexus and boldness in how we give. Rather than being passive, let's take every opportunity God brings our way to be bold!
Fasting complacency and being bold may take us out of our comfort zone…it may stretch us to be intentional in seizing the moment…it may mean moving toward someone rather than shying away from them…fasting complacency and embracing boldness may be one of the biggest steps you take in your spiritual walk with God…and won't that be awesome!
So why not plan today that you will fast complacency this Friday. It might be the boldest move you ever make!
What does boldness look like? The possibilities are endless, but here are some suggestions to get you started…
- pray together as a family before kids leave for school for opportunities to talk with friends about their faith
- pray for three people you know well, looking to invite them to church
- begin praying about what God would have you give to Bold
- engage your neighbor in conversation rather than simply wave to them; invite them Connexus
- engage a store clerk in conversation, ask them questions…see where it leads
- pay for the order behind you at the drive-through
- bless your server with an extra large tip
- make a donation to a local charity
- make a meal for a neighbor
- buy groceries for someone you know is struggling financially
How will you choose boldness over complacency? Would you let us know, we'd love to hear from you.