"Instead of food or whatever else we are choosing to give up for a season, we are spending time completely focused on, and living in, His presence."
By: Cami Lee
Today, we will continue our focus on FASTING..."Focused on His Presence".
Intro and explanation: Our hope is that this guided time of reflection and devotion will be powerful, but simple enough that you can replicate it for the remainder of your life. We'll begin each post with the scripture passage as well as the practice of slowing down, allowing our savior to speak to us through His word.This "slowing down" is based off of a form of reading, prayer, and meditation that has been around for centuries called Lectio Divina. This simple, yet powerful way of reading scripture (and meditating on it), is helpful for connecting us to the word of God. Then, we'll move on to a video and devotion written by an Exago staff member. Let's get started...
SLOWING DOWN: Before we begin today, a reminder...Today is on the subject of Fasting. We encourage you to consider joining us in fasting from something today. If you didn't already start, pray and consider starting now or tomorrow.
SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:
DEVOTION OF THE DAY:
By: Cami Lee
I don’t think any of us like to deprive ourselves of something that we enjoy, so fasting is probably not a lot of people’s favorite topics. I like food; I don’t like going hungry and my family definitely doesn’t like it when I’m "hangry". So what’s the point of doing it? Is it a type of righteous hunger strike? Is it kind of like holding our breath until God does what we ask or something in the spiritual realm breaks? Unfortunately, sometimes it can be misconstrued to seem like that’s what it is, because often breakthrough happens during or after a fast. Why is that? In Matthew 4 it tells us about when Jesus had spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness and was tempted by the devil. Satan said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread (Matt. 4:3).” Jesus could have easily done that, and I’m sure that would have been a major temptation, but instead He said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’ (Matt. 4:4)”. I think He completely summarized the point of fasting in that statement
When we eat, our food becomes a part of us. We take in its nutrients and it becomes our energy, our strength, a very important source of life, and a lot of times it can even affect our attitudes and outlook on life. Once we eat it, the good things we take from it stay in our bodies and enter our bloodstream. Think of what would happen if we looked at God’s Word in that light!
When we fast as we ought, we are making ourselves give up something that is life-giving to us and shifting our focus from our own needs and problems to God and what He has to say to us. Instead of food or whatever else we are choosing to give up for a season, we are spending time completely focused on, and living in, His presence. No wonder breakthroughs so often happen when we fast!
We can live a lifestyle of fasting if we shift our way of thinking. Jesus becomes our life, our strength, our energy, and our comfort. He enters into everything we do and every breath we take. That is what it means to abide in Christ. If you’ve never done much fasting in your life, now may be a great time to start. I know that sometimes health or certain seasons of life can make it difficult to completely give up all food, even for a short time. If that’s the case, maybe you could do a Daniel fast (only eat certain foods and drink only water) or give up something else that you would definitely notice its absence. I think you’ll be amazed how your perspective will change if you take that time to put God in that place instead.