Our fasting devotional today is part 5 of our series titled "THE PURPOSE OF FASTING" from Richard J. Foster in his book "Celebration of Discipline".
Fasting helps us keep our balance in life. How easily we begin to allow nonessentials to take precedence in our lives. How quickly we crave things we do not need until we are enslaved by them. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:12, "'All things are lawful for me,' but I will not be enslaved by anything." Our human cravings and desires are like rivers that tend to overflow their banks; fasting helps keep them in their proper channels. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, "I pommel my body and subdue it." Likewise, David writes in Psalm 35:13, "I afflicted myself with fasting." This is not excessive asceticism; it is discipline and discipline brings freedom. In the fourth century Asterius said that fasting ensured that the stomach would not make the body boil like a kettle to the hindering of the soul.
Numerous people have written on the many other values of fasting such as increased effectiveness in intercessory prayer, guidance in decisions, increased concentration, deliverance for those in bondage, physical well-being, revelations, and so on. In this, as in all matters, we can expect God to reward those who diligently seek Him.
Now, let's take this moment to break up the fallow ground in our lives. Hosea 10:12 states, "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you."
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