Suggestions for Further Reading of Celebration of Discipline
I think fasting is required for every believer of Christ today. Although Jesus has not constituted fasting as commandment for his disciples in the New Testament, yet we can not ignore the truth of Jesus’ teaching on fast on the Sermon of Mount in the opening of his public ministry. He never taught his disciples not to fast, but he restored proper fasting. Indeed, Jesus has advanced on the principle that the children of God would fast in his Kingdom. Today, church should fast in the absence of her groom.
There are two major differences in fasting: one that is centered on God and other not centered on God. God centered fasting drives a man into the close relationship with God. This kind of fasting is a channel to connect with God which brings blessings in our spiritual and physical lives. In other word, it attaches us to the world through God’s spirit but gives us freedom from the worldly life. It is a spiritual discipline. Contrary, fasting that is not centered in God is merely a merit. It is a worldly discipline to keep metabolism in good condition. This kind of fasting seeks detachment from ones own mind and soul from the world. Fasting that is not centered on God is a mere practice of trying to keep oneself from worldly thoughts. It has nothing to do with the relationship with God. Nevertheless, people of different faith other than Christianity fast on a regular basis so that their will be fulfilled by their gods.
General: Engaging in a partial fast by abstaining from a particular kind of food or beverage is one of the best suggestions for beginners. When you want to get rid of some of your habits or food or beverage, but you were not able to do so on your own, fast can be a greater help for you. I also had some issues with anger. Minor things used to annoy me a lot. I tried to not be angry, but my all efforts went in vain. I was just struggling inside me and trying to build up my confidence and overcome my anger and bitterness toward people. My commitment seemed futile to the point that I felt completely helpless. So I fasted for getting rid of some of those mental and spiritual issues. After fasting, there is no more struggle and everything is in control. God gave me victory over my past habits.
Reflection Points for Journal Entries
The practice of fasting is leading me into the deeper relationship with God. I found the greatest benefit of fasting is the intimacy with God. During fast, I felt the day more different than other days. Having this said, my mind and heart were focused on the Word of God. So my mental state was under my own control by the power of God’s Spirit. At the midst of fast, some noises annoyed me; still the reaction toward the annoyance was quite unusual. I saw it from another perspective that God showed it to me.
I also realized that I should continue my habits of fast even amidst busy schoolwork. Fasting helped me to see inside me, and evaluate myself where I need to be broken for God’s purpose. The practice of fasting taught me to be humble and be submissive to God. I confess that I have not denied myself several times where I should. During fast, I read the Scripture and meditated, and I prayed. This is how fasting is complementing my practice of other spiritual disciplines as well.
Because of all these reasons, I want to continue my fasting in the future. I have planned to separate a day every week to abstain myself from eating food and drinking other beverages except water from dawn to dusk. I believe, surely God will help me and guide me through his Spirit.