Spiritual Formation Part Seven – Fasting

As I write this, Christmas is fast approaching. Christmas brings with it a lot of traditions. One of those traditions is FOOD. And we tend to eat a lot of it. No diets are started in December by any sane person – just my opinion! Many devise creative ways to rationalize the quantities we’ll devour.

So I’ve chosen the spiritual discipline that my be the most despised but perhaps one of the best – Fasting! Fasting is the spiritual discipline of limiting food intake as a way to focus on Christ. Ever been hungry and deprived yourself of food? You will  get focused quickly. But due to our addiction to eating we may neglect this powerful spiritual formation tool of fasting. As we continue to explore this discipline it’s important to note that if for any reason you feel you need to see a doctor before trying this then by all means do so.

Now before you freak out and think I’m suggesting that you starve yourself, just stick with me. What many are unaware of is that there are many different forms of fasting.

Regular Fast – Refrain from food but still drink liquids. You pick the duration but be careful if you choose an extended period.

Partial Fast – Refrain from certain foods and still drink liquids. Shorter in duration.

Intermittent Fast – This one is probably my favorite. It seems to work for me. This, as the name states is, well, intermittent. For instance, skip lunch and supper and break the fast with breakfast. Or skip and entire day but break the fast the next day with breakfast or lunch. Experiment with what works best for you.Click here to read a recent Harvard Medical School article on Intermittent Fasting.

Goggle search for even more fasting possibilities.

But food isn’t the only item you can fast from. You choose what might work for you. You can even try fasting from these: Cell phone, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, News, Fast food, Favorite T.V. series, etc…

Whatever you choose to do, remember the goal as one definition stated is:

a. Fasting is when we voluntarily choose to sacrifice something of value for the purpose of seeking God with more intensity. b. Usually it’s food because for most people food is the most difficult thing to give up.

Again, choose a spiritual discipline that works for you. But don’t let the harder ones scare you away. They can all be hard to start with. But with a little practice the harder ones could become the best spiritual formation tool for your spiritual growth. Remember , it’s a discipline!

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