Were you thinking of fasting for the Lenten season in preparation for Resurrection Sunday? Is your agenda to being yourself to a point of extravagant worship and you might lose a few pounds, or is it your way of trying to use the excuse of “religious” reasons to do it with your first thought being to lose weight and everyone will think you are being devout and dedicated to the cause of cleansing yourself from all un-righteousness? I am not here to judge you, I have probably done it all… here are some thought I had on fasting.
In today’s world of dieting, fasting or complete abstinence from food has become a popular way to lose weight. Is it easy? I can tell you from personal experience that it is not easy! I did a total water and lemon juice fast for 23 days. I lost weight, but as soon as I started to add solid food, it all came back and brought a few friends that my “lost” weight had found! Another popular method of losing weight is doing a “cleanse”, which involves laxatives and herbal tea. Again from experience I can tell you that what you mostly accomplish is sitting in the toilet and feeling so weak that you must have something to make you feel better, which is probably NOT on your cleanse. If you want to lose a little weight and you can stand it fast for a few days, it might help, in my case I think I only accomplished murdering my metabolism.
There are special spas and places to go for your cleanse while you are fasting and I have a special one to tell you about. An old song says “Bring all your needs to the altar, bring all your needs to the Lord. He is so willing and able to help you, bring all your needs to the Lord.” I have watched enough diet/lose weight shows to know the first thing a trainer does is to go in and clean our your cabinets to get rid of the junk. It is not much different spiritually, you have to get rid of things that drag you down, maybe it is a friend, a lover, a habit, or an attitude, but whatever it is you need to take all of those things with you to the altar and leave them there! Another hymn says “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.” When you get tired enough of the way you look, you will do something about it. When you get sick and tired of the way your life is going, ditto. Some feel that once washed, always washed, not true, I think you probably bathe everyday to get the days dirt, grime and smells of all you’ve done off of you, right? A fresh cleansing bath in the fountain of His blood everyday is refreshing!
Fasting with a purpose is life changing, not to lose the weight of your flesh, but the weight of the trouble, depression, anxiety and, yes, sin you are carrying. This cleanse was formulated by our own High Priest, Jesus, Who knows all about the suffering and temptations we face, He faced it all without sin! He shed His cleansing blood so we could get good and clean. God has a formula for His fast and gives us the benefits!
Isaiah 58:6-9 “This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. (Now here are the benefits from a Godly fast) Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’ It is your appetite for having that critical attitude, hunger for causing trouble, need for greed He is checking out! He wants you to be on your best behavior and not just to impress those around you, but to have it pressed so deeply in your soul that it becomes who you are, not just what you do. I try everyday, I fail everyday, but I “keep on keeping on” and one day I will get it right!