by Caroline Speas
Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
You learn how strong something really is when you have to lean on it. You also become dependent on it when it’s the only thing you have to lean on.
I believe fasting – whether it is fasting food, a habit, a treat, entertainment – helps us depend on Him. When I have something that I am used to doing taken away from me – even for a little bit, I feel I have to fill that gap with something. I become a little weak, so I need to lean on something. There are a lot of options. I could replace that one thing with something else I enjoy, or several things that I enjoy. Or I could do what the purpose of fasting and praying is – lean on Jesus. Sometimes we need to do without to show us the one thing that cannot be replaced in our lives is our relationship with Jesus Christ. When our distractions are stripped away, we lean on Him, we trust Him, we grow closer to Him. And it is such a refreshing time! Challenging? Yes, to our human bodies and minds. But still refreshing.
Maybe you have begun the fast, and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it to the end of January. Lean on Jesus, depend on His strength, and use this time to grow closer to Him.
Maybe you’re reading this, and you’re not participating in the fast but are wondering if you should. It doesn’t have to be all month. It doesn’t have to be fasting every meal of every day. Pray about what God is leading to give up and for how long.
Maybe you’re just not quite ready to participate in a fast. That’s ok. But consider doing it at least one time this year. I don’t think I’ve ever looked back and thought, “Man, I wish I hadn’t given up social media for a whole month to grow closer to God and to pray hard about this specific need. That was a waste.” The more I lean on Him, the stronger I realize He is. (And I haven’t even scratched the surface of His strength, really!)
Imagine how much strength our church could tap into if it were full of people choosing to lean on Jesus!