Silence and Fasting

There are times we need to withdraw in order to drink deeper of God’s presence. That is the purpose of both fasting and silence. That is also the reason we are going to deal with them together. It’s not just some physical exercise that glorifies God or speaks of our maturity. It’s creating space in our crowded world for more of God.

In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus speaks pretty frankly about the issue in the same context he speaks on the subject of prayer. All of the principles there apply here.

Before we unpack some helpful hints, let’s be sure we get the point. One of the funniest exchanges I’ve ever had was a guy telling me he was fasting from video games because it was consuming his life.

While that isn’t the greatest motivation in the world to ‘fast’, it’s a start. And I would argue that it’s better to at least start and figure some things out on the fly than to wait until you’ve got it all figured out. I’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 ‘fasting’ and instead – watches a movie.

Here is an incomplete list of helpful hints:

It’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 ‘fail’ (whatever that means) keep practicing.

Concerning fasting – 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 kids…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.

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