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Fasting and Sabbath - Woo Hoo!

Posted by Colby Kinser on

Fasting and Sabbath - two habits from the Old Testament that we try really hard to ignore exist prominently in the New Testament.

Fasting: Abstaining from a normal staple of life (most often food, if medically safe) for a long enough period to feel its absence, in order to 1) use the discomfort to focus on God, 2) break any unhealthy dependencies, and 3) use your fasting in some way to set others free. (Read Isaiah 58).

Sabbath: A dedicated period of time (most often a 24-hour period sometime each week) for specifically not pursuing your work in order to focus your heart on God, family, and neighbor.

We live in an on-demand, 24x7 connected life, with a severe infection of FOMO (fear of missing out). So, we relegate disciplines like fasting and sabbath to either "That's Old Testament" or "That's just not practical" or even "That wasn't written by a mom."

I'm not going to push you, prod you, try to guilt you, or shake my finger at you in order to "exhort" you to making fasting and sabbath regular disciplines in your life. For one, I'm hardly the best example. And two, it wouldn't work if I did.

All I'm going to do is ask one question: Have you given it a serious try for two months or more?

If not, then you really don't know if relegating these ideas is wise. If so, then you know how these disciplines are and are not beneficial, you know what's hard and what's surprisingly easy, and you know what habits make the disciplines more effective.

Two months. Then you'll know how these disciplines can benefit (and not). I know what the benefits are for me, and they can't be produced by anything other than fasting and sabbath.

Think of fasting and sabbath as an "investment." It costs now, but pays unique dividends later. When I'm best in the habit, I never say, "Well, that wasn't worth it."

(Note: Depriving yourself of food for 24 hours should not be attempted without first consulting your doctor.)

Tags: discipline, fasting, sabbath, spiritual