“You guys must be having a pretty hard time finding space, huh?,” asked a friend of mine when he read that The Gathering Church was fasting today in order to seek God’s guidance and power about finding meeting space. Fasting is so non-routine in churches and in most lives of Christians, that it seems reserved for only the most desperate times
In case of emergency – fast.
As a last resort – fast.
When you have exhausted all possibilities – fast.
When you have nowhere else to turn – fast.
When you need to twist God’s arm and prayer is not enough – fast.
That’s certainly the way I tend to approach fasting. In spite of Richard Foster’s classic, Celebration of Discipline, fasting never made it to my operational spiritual life. (Actually, I don’t think that I was ever disciplined enough to finish the book.)
Even though fasting is not mentioned much in the story of the early church (Acts), and none of the church letter writers give instructions about it, when it is mentioned, it seems more routine than we might think. For example, in Acts 13:2 it says, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’” What followed, of course, was the incredible spread of Christianity as Barnabas and Saul/Paul begin their first trip to take the news of Christ out of Palestine. The fasting seemed part of their worship experience.
It seems that fasting is a deliberate disruption of our needs so that we can focus more on our ultimate need – which is God. Fasting creates a posture of dependence, as well as a posture of attendance to God’s purposes. If it does those things, then fasting should be more routine.
We certainly want The Gathering Church to be a RESULT of what God does – through us and others. So, we seek him in a special way today by fasting
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8