Sometimes, on our journey of growing together in God’s grace and understanding of our new covenant reality, some questions can come up that we are either unsure how to answer, or over zealous to answer for others. It can be a little tricky, because we all need one another. We all want to journey and grow together, but what we don’t want is to be belittled or dictated to. We want a conversation.
I guess when we boil it down, we simply want our hearts to be heard.
Fasting is a topic that I get asked about from time to time, I was recently asked about it again lately, so I decided to share my thoughts on the topic. Like I said above, I’m sharing as an equal, I don’t claim to have the answers, but I can share my heart and belief on the subject, and perhaps it will be a help to you also.
So, fasting under grace, is it right or wrong for Christians to do? I think as soon as we start asking questions of “Is it right or wrong” we fall back into the old covenant ‘check list’ mentality. But the new covenant is not defined by a checklist, it is defined by the Spirit of God living in us, to guide us and lead us into all truth. When trying to understand anything in our faith, I think it helps us all to remember that our covenant is a covenant of the Spirit. We all have the Holy Spirit living in us, and he is our leader.
I wouldn’t ever recommend fasting to someone, because I’m not the Holy Spirit. Sure, I could look at their situation, and make some suggestions, but that would just be me thinking of ways to get God’s attention. If we think we can ‘do something’ to get God’s attention, we are in danger of wandering back into a law based idea of God, and that is never a good sign.
But does that mean Christians shouldn’t fast? Well, here is my take on it.
- If you want to fast because you heard an amazing testimony about fasting. Don’t do it.
- If you want to get God’s attention. Don’t do it.
- If you think you are required to do it. Don’t do it.
- If you genuinely feel the Spirit encouraging you to do it. Do it.
There are no rules to follow in the new covenant. There are no principles to get closer to God. The new covenant is about rest. It is about trust. God is with us always. We are holy and blameless in his eyes. He is pleased with us.
In the place of rest, allow the Spirit to lead you. Maybe he’ll lead you to fast, or maybe he’ll lead you to eat a juicy steak. Maybe, like my testimony about fasting below, you’ll get it all a little mixed up and try to fast because it feels religiously right to do so, but actually the Spirit really just wants you to enjoy a nice meal and praise God that you are his beloved.