2 Corinthians 10:5
… and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
During the fast, are you focusing on what you are withholding or on what you are beholding? It’s easy to focus our energy, and therefore mind and attention, on what we are trying to not do or consume. But if we focus on what we are fasting from, we risk exalting it.
It has been said that we worship what we focus on. If you realize you’ve been more focused on trying not to consume or do the thing you are fasting from, that’s ok. Start where you are. Let’s use that as intel. First, notice what the thing you are fasting from “feeds” in you. Notice what thoughts come up as you abstain. This is no small work- slowing down your thoughts enough to capture them. Notice what is fighting to be heard or seen. That’s what you are actually fasting from!
You might technically be fasting from a certain food, media, or a thing you often do. Abstaining from it gets your attention. But going to this deeper level might help you realize you are actually fasting from something like:
- Gluttony (too much of anything)
- Over functioning
When you identify this deeper level, it is easier to now see what God wants you to behold instead. And that’s the real purpose of the fast– to upgrade how we see God, self, others, the world.
If we worship what we focus on, then let’s focus on a deeper aspect of Truth. Instead of eating this good food, I will behold and experience the goodness of God. Instead of watching the news, I will behold and experience God’s sovereignty. Every day, as you withhold from your thing, it is more about leaning into the “instead”.
Take a few minutes and pray through these questions:
- What am I literally fasting from?
- What do You want me to behold instead?
- How can I lean into that “instead” during the rest of this fast?