Day Five = Fasting as a Discipline (40 day fasting challenge)

Day Five = Fasting as a Discipline

But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21)

Discipline is training to ensure proper behavior, to make yourself do something regularly (Encarta Dictionary).

It is interesting to me that our world accepts a certain amount of self-denial in order to achieve a particular goal. If we look at Olympic athletes they spend hours and hours of their time training. They deny any food that doesn’t fit into their strict training regimen, they forego any activity they distracts them from their goal. With intense focus they self-sacrifice anything that does not align its self with their main goal, which of course is the Gold! Go for the Gold is the slogan we hear ring out with fervor all throughout the Olympic season. If we ask anyone in our world to turn their focus from the training Olympian, to the church; all of a sudden self-sacrifice is absurd. In the world, we are to abstain from certain things in order to achieve a desired goal; however in the church our great and giving God is only supposed to be there to grant us the desires of our hearts right?

For some strange reason our powerful God is seen either as a Genie who grants our wishes or as a terrifying punisher of those who sin against Him. It would be a travesty, if as the church; we did not attempt to show the world the true nature of our awesome God. Does God desire that we self-sacrifice? Yes absolutely he does, but this is not because He wants us to feel bad, hungry, mistreated, or left out. It is because He wants us to condition ourselves just like the Olympians. He wants us to be as close to Him as possible that we might finish the race. The book of Hebrews says it this way:

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

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