Spiritual discipline is an open invitation to pattern our lives around the intimate rhythms of eternal life offered in Christ. According to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:29-30, he welcomes us to join him by taking upon ourselves a “light and easy yoke.” The yoke is light and easy because Jesus himself already carries it and will be carrying it with us. What we call spiritual disciplines are simply those practices that help conform our lives and values to Jesus’ life and values; we carry his yoke with him.
Plain and simple, fasting is abstaining from food to turn our attention to God.
In Christianity fasting is an essential spiritual practice, recorded from the time of Jesus and his first followers to present day.
Fasting is one of many spiritual disciplines or spiritual practices that Christians historically have relied on to exercise the spiritual life because spiritual disciplines function to carve out opportunities and greater capacities for prayer.
Busyness besieges our lives. To do lists grow. Calendars overflow. Voices constantly chatter. We are always connected, yet always on the cusp of empty. Everything wars for our attention. We ride a never-ending rollercoaster: frenetic, overstimulated, yet hollow, stressed, and starved.
In the book of Isaiah, we glimpse a better way: "This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength...'" (Isaiah 30: 15). Repentance, rest, quietness, and trust lead us to what our busyness, noisiness, and self-drivenness can never achieve.
The Bible is our primary tool for spiritual formation. Yet for many of us, the Bible is not a source of comfort or encouragement. For some, the Bible is boring. Others will find the Bible confusing with little relevance for living today. Most of us, in one season of life or another, have found it difficult to read or learn from the Bible.
As followers of Christ, how can we engage what's written in the Bible in ways that spark life and inspiration, spiritual growth and transformation? How can we relate to the Bible so that it is a source of our flourishing and not of our yawning? I suggest that what needs to change is not content or commentary, but our personal motivation behind reading the scriptures.
Our world runs at an unforgiving pace. To keep up, we use up ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors to achieve our tasks, but our tasks never end. Even our religious life and "church success" are so often measured in terms of our busyness.
Please click below to learn more about how keeping God's Sabbath Rest can restore balance to our busy lives and help us live a full and undivided life in God.