Sunday, July 24, 2016

Eight Things I Learned During Fasting

I need to make a confession, I am a person who gets easily distracted. I generally understand my goals but somehow, someway I find diversions along and then gets out of track. For the past weeks I have seen myself undisciplined with regards to sleeping habits. Oftentimes I will start checking one song in youtube at 10pm and then find myself browsing until past 12 midnight. There were also times after office I will open my laptop at home to watch some series or movie show after deciding to shutdown my laptop, I will continue watching on my phone.

The struggle is real and it keeps evolving. To think that is only sleeping routine, how much more with major issues and concerns.

CCF's mid-year prayer and fasting by some means re-evaluates my current routine and priorities. It realigns my thoughts and gives me a better sense of direction. Not just to exist but to really live fully.

1. Abstinence from social media, television and other noises of this world gives you ample time to sleep. Thankfully I had more than 8 hours of sleep for the past four days during our fasting week, first because there was no distractions, second because you don't want to feel hungry at night.

2. Fasting allows you to hear God more not because He speaks louder when you fast, you just hear Him better because you are quiet. It makes you more sensible to your surroundings. You start to notice people, the same people you saw before but didn't bother to look at because you're occupied with your phone. You hear the rain pours outside the window which you may have not realised before because you are too hooked in the net.

3. While fasting oftentimes require you to reduce the seemingly important activities in your daily routine like going to the gym or running, it is never passive. It is actively seeking His will in the more essentials of life.

4. Earnestly praying for others teaches you to be less of yourself and more compassionate to others by bringing their concerns through prayers. Prayer time become more meaningful because you are not only praying for your own instead you begin to see others in light of God. Eventually you'll realise when you pray for others, you'll never run out of prayers compared to when you pray for your own.

5. More than a yearly practice, fasting is a commitment with yourself to the Lord. Not because you know you are able to finish it but because you are certain that God will see you through until the last day. In the end, you really did not made God a favor, you made yourself one.

6. Fasting develops gratitude. It makes you appreciate what you have at the moment. You may not be eating the kind of dinner you wished you had but still you have something and for the moment it's enough.

7. Fasting encourages you to be hopeful. Hopeful for the day when you will break your fast. Looking forward for all the lessons you will learn and the things that God will reveal to you.

8. Fasting is intentional. You don't wake up one day and feel like fasting, who would like diversion from their convenient patterns of life? There are times you'd feel dragging yourself to it. But you have to deliberately make that decision to say no to your cycle and spend most of your energies seeking His voice.

The Lord expects us to fast, for Christians it was not an option, it is a command. For the Bible tells us in Matthew 6:16-18:
Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Yes it can be challenging to break away from our comfort zones but if there's one thing that encourages me every time I do fasting, "When we fast and pray the battle is the Lord's."

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