Have you ever heard about a fasted lifestyle? We mostly associate fasting with the laying aside of food. We think of it in regards to a period of sacrifice and denial of the body in some form, applying our will to putting aside some luxury or perceived necessity for a period in order to focus specifically on prayer and intercession.
In part, that’s what fasting is. However, for those of us who walk The Narrow Way there should be a lot more going on with fasting than a periodic denial of food or luxury.
No matter where we live, or the kind of Christian denomination we identify with, a fasted lifestyle is something we all should understand and live.
It is right, true and necessary to follow the lead of Holy Spirit into periods of sacrificial fasting- food, luxuries, whatever He leads us into- for the specific purpose of deepening our relationship with God and breakthrough.
However, a fasted lifestyle goes beyond food. It goes beyond the denial of the body, beyond introspection, intercession, ritual, safety, politics, nationality, race, gender, class, prejudice and offence.
It is about the sacrificial way we live and how much of who we are is really given over to God.
A Fasted Lifestyle asks us if we are we able to answer “Yes.” with our hearts and our actions when Jesus asks us to do things which challenge us.
He may challenge our personal space, our sense of what we think we “deserve” financially or things which may put our reputation in danger, that go against political, social or other normative correctness.
Are we walking through our day always with the eyes of Jesus, not just open and seeing the discrepancies in justice, mercy and compassion but also with the hands of Jesus ready to deal with it; being connected to the heart and mind of God, to know how He would want us to manage each situation as it comes up.
One of the difficulties we face is that we are not connected to the Power of the Presence of God in the way we could be. Another is we allow fear to stand between us and the nudges of Holy Spirit.
When we steward the things He gives us, according to His pattern, He gives us more. Whether it is Presence, responsibility, direction, finance, family, whatever.
The lifestyle of the laid-down lover of God is a fasted lifestyle.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Isaiah 58: 6-12 (NIV)
At some stage, it will probably mean fasting- the denial of the body in some form- at the direction of Holy Spirit.
What it does mean is complete surrender to the lifestyle of Jesus.
ALL of the lifestyle of Jesus…
God Bless You Very Much