Fasting to Feast

I like eating.  Who doesn’t, really?  I can definitely say that I have been feasting during this holiday season!  It seems like from Thanksgiving through New Years all I do is EAT!  And, the food is GOOD! 🙂  There have been so many goodies around my house this season, it’s crazy!!  I can say, I didn’t resist any urges to indulge. 🙂

And yet, even in this season of feasting, I’ve had a hunger stirring inside that just isn’t satisfied.  I’ve been tasting the richest of fare every day, and yet, I want something more.

I’m longing for REAL food.  The Living Word of God:  Jesus.

I have found myself looking forward to setting aside a special season of fasting as we begin 2011, so that I can make Him my feast!  Yes, I’ve actually been CRAVING the fast! I’ve been looking forward to the sensation of hunger!  I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true!  I’m always so satiated in practically every way, that I forget what hunger feels like!  And, I NEED to be hungry:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” !! [Matthew 5:6]

What a promise!  I want to be FILLED with the pleasures, the delights and the LOVE of God.  I don’t just want to be filled with all these temporary things that pass away and don’t truly satisfy.  So, I will enter into hunger, joyfully expectant!  Now, don’t get me wrong, fasting (i.e. going without some food) is a little unpleasant, but the rewards are SO worth it!!  If you want to read a post I did last year on the rewards of fasting, click here.

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Psalm 36:8  They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.

It’s clear that TRUE life proceeds from “consuming” God, His Word, His Presence.  Now, we don’t have to NOT eat (i.e. “fast”) in order to feed our soul and spirit on God.  But, fasting is a very practical way to focus on this reality.  We feel hunger in our belly and remember at every turn that without God we are weak and powerless, in very practical ways.  It forces you to awaken your spirit and open yourself to “eat” of His reality.  Often we forget how to feed ourselves spiritually!  We’re so full physically on food and full mentally on entertainments of all kinds (music, movies, internet, video games, etc.) that we don’t often FEEL our need for spiritual sustenance.  But, it is our GREATEST need.

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Why is it that eating food comes so easily and naturally to us (we can even do it mindlessly while watching TV), but to eat spiritual food takes such focus and seems so foreign at times??  This should not be!  Our spirit will live forever, but our bodies will perish!  Which is most important to nourish, really?

So, as my church is embarking on this season of fasting, I’m going for it.  This is what is needed!  Because the pleasures of God are REAL, I’ll tell you, they are REAL and tangible.  I have tasted of them — and I want more! 

You may not be a part of my church, and maybe you’ve never fasted.  I encourage you to try it.  Even if it’s one meal or one day, give it a god, and go after the love of God.  Jesus said that His disciples would FAST, so what reason do you have NOT to?  He’s preparing a banqueting table for you!  It’s the FINEST stuff, and it’s ALL FREE — paid for by Jesus in His love, through His glorious sacrifice and resurrection.  So, dive in!  Don’t let this feast that He’s provided go to waste!

Isaiah 55

1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
   come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
   listen, that you may live.

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