“We must be prepared to give up some things if we intend to get things that are even more important.”
For centuries, Christians have practiced the discipline of fasting during Lent. Fasting is an act of imitation of Christ’s own 40 days in the wilderness, where he met the temptations of greed, idolatry and power with the power of the Spirit. This holy experience must be what the author of Hebrews referred to when reminding us that He was tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin.
This Lent, Covenant invites you to make more space for God by fast ing during the six weeks leading up to Easter. Fasting does not need to be limited to food or drink. You might consider fasting from your current diet of social media or from your attachment to technology. Whatever you decide to “give up” for Lent, remember that the purpose of fasting is to create more space in your life for the more important things God might have for you during this season.
If you’ve never fasted for Lent before, consider these reasons for engaging this practice.
- Fasting is an expression of our whole person in response to God’s grace. Fasting reminds us that our bodies (and what we do with them) matter just as much as our souls to God.
- Fasting teaches us that we are dependent creatures. We are not the author of our own lives. Just as we depend upon food and water to sustain our physical bodies and keep us healthy, we also depend upon the Spirit of God to lead us into the life that really is life (I Timothy 6.19).
- Fasting interrupts our patterns of self-satisfaction and self-indulgence. There is more to our lives than getting what we want.
- Fasting helps us practice saying no to ourselves. In a world of self-gratification, saying no to our desires enables us to better obey Christ’s call to deny ourselves and follow him.