Have you ever fasted for Lent, or given up something for a period of time?
Many of us will remember the 40 Hour Famine and its call to give up food in order to provide for the hungry children supported by World Vision.
Last year I chose to live on $2 a day for five days to raise money for Live Below the Line, a charity that helps provide education to the poor.
While I wasn’t exactly giving up food, I was sacrificing my choice to eat whatever I want and to experience, on some level, what it’s like to have very little.
Certainly, fasting can become legalistic, or worse, lead to eating disorders and other distortions of restraint if not handled correctly.
But it can also serve to help us focus on God in prayer, as we present our needs to him.
Going without something – whether it’s Facebook or alcohol or even people – for a bit anyway – can help us re-evaluate our need of it.
Money, food, sex, and relationships can be wonderful and enjoyable – but our worship of or dependence on them can cause problems such as addiction, and a kind of slavery that takes us away from the life-giving, freeing power of Christ.
What’s holding you captive?
And what will set you free?
Take courage, and hand it over to God – for a day, perhaps, or a week, if that’s what it takes. And allow him to refocus your mind, your thoughts, and your energies on the one who is bigger and more beautiful than all your passions combined.