There are different ways to focus on God and prepare to come into His holy presence; fasting is one. It’s a spiritual discipline that might seem complicated and even impossible. But, there is a point at which a person goes from someone who would not consider fasting, to someone who finally does.
For Ben, that point came when he heard a person ask Pastor Miles, “So what is so spiritual about fasting?”
“Try it and you’ll find out,” was his reply.
Hmm, Ben thought. Was there a blessing waiting on the other side of refraining from eating? It was a blessing he wanted like a child wants to open a gift on Christmas morning.
“After all,” recalls Ben, “not only is fasting throughout the scriptures, Jesus said in Matthew 6, ‘When you fast,’ not ‘if.”
So he dove in. He decided to fast for one day. He knew that to grumble through the hunger pangs was going to be unproductive and make the experience not worth doing. So he set his mind on “things above.” As Ben recalled. “I was talking to a friend at work about God when suddenly, I started to have this feeling, like, God, you’re so amazing, in a way I hadn’t before.”
When Pastor Miles announced that the church was going to do a seven-day fast, Ben was eager to have the same feeling he had the first time. This time, however, with having to go seven times as long without food, a new realization came to mind. “Fasting is all about denying the flesh,” says Ben. “You can’t give up food and then try to distract your mind by doing other things like shopping on ebay all day. Once you understand that it’s all about contemplating God’s amazing gift to you and the fact that He actually resides in you, then your connection to salvation starts to get very focused and meaningful in a way that it may never have before.”
But it wasn’t until Ben did the next church-wide fast, the 21-Day Fast, that he got a new perspective—a new twist—on what it means to fast. Says Ben, “Once you get a faster’s perspective on how much of your life is spent tending to the ‘self,’ you realize how much energy we put into seeking our own comfort at almost every moment of the day. God is saying, ‘Let Me be your everything. Let Me show you the miracle of the cross and the power of My Kingdom inside of you.’ Fasting moves doubt out of the way so that we can really see it. I think in the end, fasting really isn’t about fasting food. It’s really about you fasting you.”
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