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The Practice of Fasting (Part 3)

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III


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Our fasting devotional today is part 3 of our series titled "THE PRACTICE OF FASTING" from Richard J. Foster in his book "Celebration of Discipline".

It should go without saying that you should follow Jesus’ counsel to refrain from calling attention to what you are doing. The only ones who should know you are fasting are those who have to know. If you call attention to your fasting, people will be impressed and, as Jesus said, that will be your reward. You, however, are fasting for far greater and deeper rewards. The following was written by an individual who, as an experiment, had committed himself to fast once a week for two years. Notice the progression from the superficial aspects of fasting toward the deeper rewards.

“1. I felt it a great accomplishment to go a whole day without food. Congratulated myself on the fact that I found it so easy....

2. Began to see that the above was hardly the goal of fasting. Was helped in this by beginning to feel hunger....

3. Began to relate the food fast to other areas of my life where I was more compulsive....I did not have to have a seat on the bus to be contented, or to be cool in the summer and warm when it was cold.

4. ...Reflected more on Christ’s suffering and the suffering of those who are hungry and have hungry babies....

5. Six months after beginning the fast discipline, I began to see why a two-year period has been suggested. The experience changes along the way. Hunger on fast days became acute, and the temptation to eat stronger. For the first time I was using the day to find God’s will for my life. Began to think about what it meant to surrender one’s life.

6. I now know that prayer and fasting must be intricately bound together. There is no other way, and yet that way is not yet combined in me.”