I made a video this morning for MondayMatters on setting Godly goals. Most of us fall somewhere between two extremes, not really doing anything on purpose because we want God to have full control, or trying so hard to plan and orchestrate each step that we forget to see what God wants us to do. That same thing can be true of fasting. We just jump into it because the pastor said to and that’s what everyone does in January, not much thought about the why and what God might have for us. Or we put together our 10-phase plan of how we will fast and what the outcome will be.
Jesus said, “When you fast don’t look gloomy like the hypocrites do, who disfigure their faces so that everyone can see what they are doing. I tell you the truth, they have already received their reward.” Matthew 6:16 Here are some things I see in this verse about fasting for a reason.
- First, if there is a way not to fast there must be a way to fast. God has some things in mind that he wants us to do while we fast, pray, spend time in His Word, care for other. In other words, God has a purpose in mind for your fast.
- Second, if we are not supposed to look gloomy, we are supposed to look some way, maybe gleeful. We have talked about this before but fasting should have an element of joy in it.
- Finally, when we do it right, there is some reward involved. At the very least, I fast to get the reward that God has for me. And what is that reward? I’m so glad you asked. Here are some things that could be on the list:
a. Spiritual strength,
d. More effective prayer.
e. And compassion for the lost and needy.
Seems like pretty good reasons to fast.