Soul Rest: 7 Days To Renewal

Day 5 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

PRACTICE FASTING OR WITHHOLDING

What we have realized together is that God intends for humanity to find both freedom and flourishing in our lives on earth. Many of us have believed the lie that God is seeking the opposite and, in turn, it has affected the way that we live. There is no rest in the effort to continually attempt to earn the love and grace of God when the Bible tells us there is no way to do so. But we celebrate that it says in John 3 that God didn’t send His son to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved. So, if God intends for us to “fully live” on earth, we need to discern what the Spirit is saying to us about how to do so. 

Today, choose to withhold or fast from something that you know will be difficult to live without. For many of us, it may be turning off our cell phones for a period of time. Another might be intentionally fasting from a meal. In doing this, we are attempting to bring to light our reliance on certain things, in order to reveal our need for God to be our ultimate desire. We also want to ask God to speak to us about the ways that He is leading us to live flourishing and thriving lives. Write down the insights that God provides for you as you engage the process. 

Caution: The temptation may be to choose to withhold from something that is not as important, in an effort to minimize the impact on your day. I would encourage you to trust God with something that might be a bit more difficult to live without so that you can experience the weight of the tension of the practice. 

We fast because, as those already caught up in Jesus’ kingdom-project, in God’s new world, we need to be sure that we are saying a firm goodbye to everything in us that still clings to the old.

N. T. WRIGHT 

We fast because it helps to give us balance in life. It makes us more keenly sensitive to the whole of life so that we’re not so obsessed by our consumer mentality.

RICHARD J. FOSTER 

Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement or pursuit—for any season—sets the stage for God to appear.

DAN B. ALLENDER