Every year my church family conducts a corporate fast in observance of the Lenten Season.
While I have partook for as long as I can remember, I find advance preparation helps. I can abstain from eating meat without too much of a challenge, but Starbucks – please pray for me Saints!
Let me first say, in all seriousness, I am not a theologian or Bible scholar. Nor am I sanctimonious or judgmental, at least not intentionally. I am just a church girl that loves God. My intention and my heart’s desire for this post is to encourage, inform, and inspire.
So what is Lent?
Lent is observed by many Christians as a time to get closer to God through prayer and sacrifice, a time of penitence. The season begins on Ash Wednesday (today), while the end date may be calculated differently, most observe Lent through Holy Week. This year my church will fast from February 10th – Palm Sunday, while other Christians may continue through Easter.
Actually this years’ fast, Born Identity, is February 14 – April 1st, 2018 (Please pray for me!)
Matthew 4:1-11 outlines the 40 days that Jesus abstained from food and water in the wilderness. During this time He found clarity and strength to resist temptation. For me personally, I can a test to finding strength and endurance during fasting. If I told you some of the things I have overcame…some of the opposition I have faced would kill others…but because of my faith I am here today.
Even last year, in the midst of the fast, I lost my rock – my mother. That was probably one of my greatest tests but I am confident I made it because of spending this time with God. No, it was not easy and yes I cried…I cry today but I cry tears of faith.
Anyway, so what is Fasting?
There are different ways to fast. For example, an absolute fast is not eating or drinking anything as Jesus did in the aforementioned Scripture. Additionally, a partial fast eliminates a particular type of food, such as in Daniel 1. Daniel abstained from eating meat and ate only fruits and veggies. The latter is the most common type of fast.
In fasting, too often we focus on what we can’t have. No, I can’t have Starbucks but I can have water to replenish and purify my body. I can have any fruit, any vegetable, lentils, black beans, quinoa…the list is endless. Plus when I think about His sacrifice, I can give up my Venti Pike. (Well most of the time – let me be transparent)
Fasting is just one way to participate in Lent. There are other acts of sacrifice or service. For example, refraining from alcohol, cigarettes, profanity, or using social media. Additionally, you might commit to spending a specific amount of time reading the Bible. I recommend the YouVersion Bible App. This app provides a variety of reading plans on various topics.
So why Fast?
Fasting is a personal time with God. While weight loss maybe an added benefit, it is not a diet. It is a commitment, for a specific reason.
Corporately in 2016 (when this was originally written) we fasted to break free from the bondage of debt!
This year corporately we are fasting for our youth, families and for God to reveal Himself to us and to be transformed.
I am believing God for a spiritual breakthrough, for nothing missing and nothing lacking…to see His glory manifest in my career, my finances and the lives of my children.
I hope this has helped someone. Feel free to join our corporate fast – go to EasternStarChurch.org to download a pamphlet. Or just get in where you fit in.
This is a spiritual journey between you and God.
Please share your positive comments or questions. Also follow me on Instagram @artistah for fast friendly foods! 😍