Devotionals by Dennis Rainey


MAY 27

Fasting 

Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke? ISAIAH 58:6 
 
Quite a few years ago, I was grappling with the state of the family in America and what God was calling me to do about it. I sensed Him leading me to embark on an extended fast. So after checking with my doctor to be sure I was physically able to consume nothing but fruit and vegetable juices for 40 days, I set out on faith to meet God in this stripped-down, bare-bones way. I cannot adequately describe what my experience with Him during that time was like. 
 
It can be uncomfortable to talk about fasting. Some say that we shouldn’t talk about fasting because it can mean we are spiritually proud. Because we seldom talk about it, fasting is the most misunderstood of all the spiritual disciplines. Fasting is spiritually healthy because it forces us to stop feeding our unending fleshly appetites. I would say that one of my most important lessons from my time of fasting was that I got a real look at how truly selfish I am and how much of my life revolved around my appetites. I realized how much I need God. 
 
Our culture feeds our materialistic self-absorption, which rebels and resists anything resembling sacrifice. We often live to satisfy our appetites, and we surround ourselves with luxuries and creature comforts. We deny ourselves very few things. It was good for me to throttle my flesh for an extended period of time. Part of my reason for doing it, quite honestly, was to invite God to work in my heart and subdue the stubborn tyrants of pride and self-sufficiency. I was unprepared for the “heart” surgery He performed. Okay, here’s the challenge: Start with a sunup to sundown fast to seek God in a new way and to pray. Share with one another what you learn about God and yourself.
 
DISCUSS 
What kind of fast could you institute in your own life? What do you need to bring under the Lord’s subjection? 
 
PRAY 
Pray that God will lead you to bold new ways of seeking His face. 

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About Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey is the president and cofounder of FamilyLife ® a subsidiary of Campus Crusade for Christ, and a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dennis is senior editor of the HomeBuilders Couples Series® and daily host of the nationally syndicated and award winning radio program FamilyLife Today®. He was the recipient of the National Religious Broadcasters Radio Program Producer of the Year Award for 1995 and 2003. Dennis has authored numerous books including Staying Close, a winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

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