Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fast comments on fasting

Here I sit eating ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.
We got it for my husband's birthday in February, but it's taking a while for us to eat it - which is probably a good thing.
We don't need that much cake, but while I'm on the topic of food I do want to mention a good Bible study that our church finished not that long ago.
It's called "Fasting" by Jentezen (pronounced Gent Sen) Franklin. I guess his book was a New York Times Best Seller.
I'd never heard of him, but his study is very good. It has videos and a workbook and you can buy his book. In the study, Franklin tells how every major person we see in the Bible fasted - Jesus, Peter, Moses, Esther, Daniel ... the list goes on. He tells about the different types of fasts and why fasting isn't just going without food.
That's starving.
This is different. It's going without food for a spiritual purpose and Franklin says it brings you in a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with the Lord. He writes that: "Fasting prepares the way for God to give you fresh revelation, fresh vision and a clear purpose ... Fasting keeps you sensitive to his spirit."
Now, I must admit that I've never been big on fasting, but I tried fasting a meal and just praying and reading my Bible a very few times during this series.
I was amazed.
Franklin is right when he says God will give you the grace to fast.
It took a whole lot of grace for a big-time, food-lover like me to fast, but I was able to do it for those short periods of time.
And guess what?
Two times while I was fasting a meal, I was reading my Bible when a couple of things just jumped right out at me and made for some good, powerful "Spiritual Spinach" columns. One was about Jeroboam in the Old Testament and the other was about a rich, young ruler who has a conversation with Christ.
It's been a while since I've made time to fast, but I know I want to do it again.
I realize that it's not about giving up food (and if you have health problems, you need to seek your doctor's advice). It's about putting everything else aside and seeking God.
And when we do that I really believe that he blesses us in wonderful ways - better than any ice cream cake ever made!



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