Day Seven – A New Obsession
Fasting Date: Sunday, February 11, 2018
“Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.” (Hebrews 13:9 ESV)
We live in a culture that, by and large, is obsessed with food. At times, this obsession takes the form of indulgence; seeing food as a source of pleasure and entertainment, with our thoughts continually being drawn to what we will eat, where we will eat it, and who we will eat it with. Weekend plans revolve around which restaurant we will visit and what mouth-watering item is on its menu. Other times, our food fixation is revealed as we adopt carefully regimented restrictions with an eye toward physical health and fitness. One month we are nibbling like rabbits, while the next month finds us imitating the culinary habits of cavemen. If we’re not careful, food can even become our focus during fasting, tempting us to view this practice as more of a diet than a spiritual discipline with the goal of losing weight surpassing the goal of gaining God.
Although we give great attention to what we feed (or don’t feed) our bodies, we often give little consideration to what we are feeding our souls. Fasting is an ideal time to lay aside our preoccupation with food and focus instead on giving nourishment to our inner man. One specific way to do this is to strengthen our hearts by contemplating the past, present, and future grace of God. Take some time to get alone with your Father and purposefully recall the grace that reached out and took hold of you, turning a rebel into a dearly loved child. Then thank him for the grace that he is lavishing on you in the midst of your current circumstances, sustaining you and supplying you with all that you need to walk in a manner that honors him. And finally, give God thanks in advance for the grace that is promised you for the future. There will never come a time when his fountain of grace will run dry.
May your fasting lead you to a place where food is no longer your obsession, but instead, you are captivated with the abundant grace of our amazing God.
Reflection: In what ways has God been gracious to you in the past? How do you see him giving grace in the present? Now go ahead and praise him for the grace that he will give in the days ahead.