Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year? It’s nearly the middle of January, so how’s your resolution going? If you’re like a lot of people, you may have already forgotten about it or given up on it. You may have gotten distracted from the reason you made the resolution in the first place.
Without some form of discipline, distractions will take over our lives and can even destroy our destiny. For example, two seconds of allowing yourself to get distracted by your cell phone while you’re driving can physically destroy you. And, the Enemy is very good at distracting you from your God-designed purpose.
To help ourselves learn discipline, we can participate in a fast. The purpose of fasting isn’t as much about what you do or don’t eat as it is about preparing you for distractions. Fasting is a fundamental exercise that can help us move by faith, rather than by sight, toward God’s promises.
Matthew 4:1-11—Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you.
And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.’”
Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.
Fasting is about the future, not the fast itself. Engage in the fast because it will prepare you for greater things in your life. It’s like practicing before a big game; you wouldn’t expect athletes to be able to show up to the Super Bowl or the World Cup without training for years beforehand. It takes discipline to do what needs to be done to be prepared for bigger things.
I invite you to participate in our 21-day, church-wide fast. Don’t be satisfied in the desert. Discipline yourself so that when temptations come, you’ll be prepared.