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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, that became my reproach.”—Psalm 69:10 (NKJV)
In a lot of ways, fasting is the quintessential summary of the life of faith. By that, I mean this: Faith is something that does not base value on the visible. It runs contrary to the way we’re conditioned to think and behave in this life.
We put stock in something we can verify through our senses. If we can see it, touch it, hear it, taste it, smell it, then it holds a higher place in our priorities. Faith says the opposite. It basically says, “Put priority on things you can’t contain or control. Trust in what you cannot touch!”
Fasting falls into this category, because it’s based on the belief that it can be better to not do something that we usually agree on as being good. In general, eating is a good thing. We need it to survive! How then could not eating be a good thing? That’s where faith comes in. Faith tells us that while eating is good, there is something better, something that can be experienced through the act of fasting food. The same can be said of television, or social media, or hot showers, or any other thing you may feel led to fast from.
Again, this won’t compute with those who live according to their senses. Fasting doesn’t make sense apart from faith. But with faith, with the understanding that there are better things beyond the obvious before us, fasting makes all the sense in the world . . . and more, because it has the power to connect our hearts to heaven.
That’s why the Scriptures consistently point us to the practice of fasting. We see it in David’s Psalm above, as well as occupying a place of prominence in the greatest sermon on the Christian faith ever shared, Christ’s Sermon on the Mount: “When you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting . . .” Matthew 6:16–18 (NKJV).
It’s clear that fasting is an important part of our faith. In fact, our faith is exercised and strengthened each time we fast because we’re trusting that more is gained than lost, that spiritual satisfaction runs deeper than the physical satisfaction, and that to have a full soul it is way worth having an empty stomach.
DIG: What’s the relationship between faith and fasting?
DISCOVER: How has your faith been impacted by fasting? How might fasting play a greater role in strengthening your faith?
DISPLAY: Fast today from one meal. Use that time to seek the Lord, to hear His voice, and to seek His will for your life.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.