I am fasting for 10 days from February 1st to the 10th, drinking only water and an occasional cup of coffee. Getting close to the end of day 2, and I am feeling fine, except all I think about is food. The psychological part of fasting usually ends after day 3, and I am no so mentally obsessed with anything that vaguely looks like it would be good to eat.
As I wrote in yesterday’s blog the first reason I am fasting is in conjunction with JBC’s 5 day prayer event in which I plan on praying with many others for our ministries around the world, especially in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I believe that the Bible teaches that fasting will increase the power I have in my praying, and I want to accomplish as much as possible in my praying next week for these people.
The second reason I am fasting is as a discipline that will grow the strength of the character trait of self-control in me. As I work at growing as a husband who loves his wife as Jesus loves the church, I realize that almost all my failures as a husband is because of the lack of self-control in the words that I speak. As I work at managing my time well, it is easy to see that my lack of self -control is why I waste time doing things that have no value. As I work at eating healthy and keeping my weight under control, again my lack of self -control is why I do poorly in this area. Each evening as I spend some time replaying the day, confessing to God all the sins that I can remember, I am pretty sure that most of what I confess is a result of weak self-control. As I go over our budget at the end of the month, and recognize the number of things that I bought for my boat went way over what I had budgeted, and the reason was I had as much self-control as a little kid in a candy store. It is kind of embarrassing to be almost 70 years old, and still have the desires of my flesh running my life to the extent that they do.
So, my plan is to put into practice 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 where the Apostle Paul says “I will discipline my body and make it my slave”. I want my flesh to be my slave, not my master. I ride my stationary bike every night for an hour because of the benefits I experience physically as a result. It is called exercise. I am going to use fasting as an exercise to grow stronger and stronger in my inner person. Tomorrow I will write about third reason I am fasting for 10 days.