Twisting Baal’s Arm
It’s no surprise that to many, the concept of fasting primarily revolves around that which is being given up. It’s an abstaining from food, from eating patterns, from activities, or the like. It’s a way to say “no” to the flesh and its normal desires, right?
Yet hopefully by now, we at FIRE realize that there is much more to fasting than this.
Fasting is not self-punishment. It’s not penance. It’s not penalty. And it’s certainly NOT to curry favor with God, or to somehow twist His arm and persuade Him to visit us with His presence.
Thinking like that – even subtly – is dangerous. It mirrors the attitude of the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel (as they labored with all their might for Baal’s attention – even to the harming of their own bodies).
Any hint of that thinking must be thoroughly rejected! Our God – our loving Father – is of a completely different nature.
Simply put, any physical endeavor that we undertake in His name — be it fasting, praying, kneeling, singing, dancing, or distributing to those in need — is never to capture His attention or to compel Him to act.
Fasting isn’t the extreme behavior of a hyperactive child attempting to elicit a response from preoccupied parents. Not at all. Remember: our Father wants us! We are not unwanted children; His parenthood of us was planned — in the purest and holiest sense.
And that is why we fast.
Think About It…
- We fast to turn down the distractions to which (dearly loved) children can so easily fall prey.
- We seek Him because we have caught a glimpse of the twinkle of our Father’s eye, and we want to see more.
- We deny ourselves, because we seek to be imitators of God — and since we are so dearly loved, then we can rest assured that our “self” doesn’t require our (hyper) attention and focus. He will take care of us even better than the little birds of Matthew 6 (read and meditate on it) — we are truly in Good Hands.
- We love, because of, in response to, and only through HIS LOVE. That’s what this fasting is: A little touch of love.
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” — Ephesians 5:1-2