There are times we need to withdraw in order to drink deeper of Godâ€™s presence. That is the purpose of both fasting and silence. That is also the reason we are going to deal with them together. Itâ€™s not just some physical exercise that glorifies God or speaks of our maturity. Itâ€™s creating space in our crowded world for more of God.
Before we unpack some helpful hints, letâ€™s be sure we get the point. One of the funniest exchanges Iâ€™ve ever had was a guy telling me he was fasting from video games because it was consuming his life.
While that isnâ€™t the greatest motivation in the world to â€˜fastâ€™, itâ€™s a start. And I would argue that itâ€™s better to at least start and figure some things out on the fly than to wait until youâ€™ve got it all figured out. Iâ€™m guessing that we would be waiting for a long time.
So this guy is fasting from video games and when he comes home he finds himself turning on the video game console. In a moment of complete spiritual insight and discipline, he stops himself because he is â€˜fastingâ€™ and instead â€“ watches a movie.
Here is an incomplete list of helpful hints:
Itâ€™s important to have some consistent times like these in your life. So if getting started is a colossal undertaking for you, enlist a friend to try it with you.
Start small but purposeful. Turn off the radio in your car and spend some drive time praying and listening. Skip a meal and meet Jesus for lunch through His word one day a week.
Take notes during these times. Some of the stuff will be distractions, but some of it will probably be nuggets of insight.
Practice makes perfect, so if you â€˜failâ€™ (whatever that means) keep practicing.
Concerning fasting â€“ if you are pregnant, have diabetes, or some other health issue, then broaden your scope of what to fast from to include electronics, blogging, email, books, or kidsâ€¦just kidding on the kids thing.
Keep remembering that the purpose of withdrawing from sound or food or electronics is to have deeper encounters with God.