Why do we fast?
Not my will, but yours be done.
What a stunning thought that Jesus, the King of kings would feel the need to pray these words. That he could will something that was contrary to Father’s will – and yet remain sinless. Possessing a will contrary to God’s is not a sign that you should give up, it’s a sign that your human body is still living on planet earth.
This is where fasting comes in.
Fasting is not about twisting God’s arm to get him to do my will. It’s about untwisting my soul to desire his will. I strongly encourage you to pray through Isaiah 58 over the next few days to develop this idea.
Fasting is not about giving up desire. It’s about foregoing lower desires for higher desires, lesser joys for greater joys, weaker glory for stronger glory, temporary satisfaction for eternal satisfaction.
Fasting reminds me that I can be ruled by God. That I really don’t need to live by bread alone. That I really can wrap my life around the will of God. And that’s the thing about God’s will: there is always a deeper joy on the other side of that choice. It may be delayed gratification, but rest assured, joy comes in the morning.
Your will is an awfully big deal. Submit it to God and you’ll start to see things go on earth as it is in heaven. Fasting helps your will bow to God’s in ways that nothing else seems to do.
And so we move into a 10-day period of prayer and fasting. I invite you to join in. Eyes on Jesus. Feast on his words. Purge the urge to twist your fasting into dead religion. And stay the course. You won’t be sorry.