16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18)
Today we turn our attention to the Discipline of Fasting. For a variety of reasons this Discipline is one of the least understood. If you would like to read about the Discipline, I encourage you to visit the Disciplines tab on our www.40daysofdiscipline.com website.
The passage above assumes fasting is a part of our lives (“When you fast”). It also clearly admonishes us to avoid practicing this Discipline as a self-righteous act. In the context of our identity, an interesting dynamic potentially emerges as we consider Fasting: Self Denial ==> God Discovery ==> Self Discovery.
Please prayerfully reflect on the words of Jesus above.
Something to think about:
How might the practice of fasting sharpen your understanding of who God wants you to be?