Michael B Linton

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fasting Still Works!!

Now, I'm not saying that when we fast we have tricked God into giving us what we want. What I am saying is that because we are attuned to God, we are more likely praying in His will. When that happens, the Bible says God will give those things to us (1 John 5:14-15). So I'm finding that my fasting has resulted in prayer more focused on Him--not me and my wants--and this has led to many answered prayers.

What if we all took a day here or there to fast and pray? I think we would see some incredible things happen in the church.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Ritual Obliged

I now understand how a great spiritual discipline can become an empty chore or worse, an afterthought.

I am still committed to my Lenten fast from Coke and to my one day a week fast from food. But they quickly lost their status as spiritual encouragers and became just another thing I had to do. Within two weeks, it had become an empty tradition, as Jesus called it.

If it can happen in two weeks, what becomes of a lifetime of going to church every Sunday and Wednesday? What becomes of reading your Bible and praying everyday? As I examine these things, I find that most days they blend into the cluttered backdrop of other check marks on my to-do list.

We have to fight (Paul said in the same way that we buffet our bodies) to make sure that our spiritual disciplines remain spiritual. Church isn't just a social gathering or business meeting, prayer isn't a soliloquy, Bible reading isn't a sedative to help us sleep, and fasting isn't a diet plan. These are opportunities to fine-tune our heart strings to our Composer, Concert Master, and Conductor.

As I renew (daily) my commitment, renew with me (daily) your commitment to the spiritual disciplines God has set before us.