We spent some time talking this morning about Fasting. Mainly, we focused on the idea of withdrawing ourselves from the daily routine we're so used to. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and snacks in between are the rhythm of America, and much of our social world revolves around food. We eat together, go out to meet together over something, and then we gear up to do it again in the next few hours. So what's this all about Fasting?
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
And so we noticed right from the beginning, fasting wasn't something of an option. We are called to fast and make it a part of our spiritual development. But in doing so, we need not broadcast our spiritual discipline to those around us. It seems as though there were a group of people whose chief concern was to moan and groan about their ritual in front of people, forgetting about the need to make their fast between God and Man.
They introduced this concept of "Look at me, I'm on the fast trek to God's heart" and instead of worrying about God's motive, they were concerned with the way people looked at them.
I don't think we're really all that different today.
We want people to notice us.
We want people to count us in the right.
For those of us in the church culture, there are certainly rules each congregation lives by that are often taken out of the spirit of the law, and moved quickly into the law itself.
What you dress like, what you wear, how you talk, who you hang out with, it's all couched in a calculated way of trying to gain approval from others. (at least a lot of time is spent in this arena)
And I believe the bigger issue here is Jesus' helping us see the value of living our own spiritual journey without the approval of men.
I was talking to a student yesterday afternoon, and she commented, "KIVU doesn't seem like a place where faith is a show, it's just a way of life." What a compliment!!
We want to live our faith in all areas of our life, whether fasting, praying, or just having fun.