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  • Paul Brooks

Living Lent

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

We are nearly two weeks into Lent - how is your season going? Traditionally people fast during this season, as did Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12ff and Luke 4:1-13. Jesus' fasting was from food for that period, but not all of us could do that for health or other reasons. So if not food, what?

How about fasting from alcohol or chocolate; caffeine or games on your phone; TV or the internet; or something else? It is worth talking time to listen to God and asking Him if there is something you should take a break from - so that you can get closer to Him.

Fasting from meal a day, for example, can be used as an opportunity to spend 20 minutes in prayer and Bible reading (rather than just working through in the office).

Fasting from TV (perhaps on given days or certain times) can promote conversation and reading instead. Or fasting from alcohol, chocolate or caffeine is necessary because you have become addicted to these things and the Lord wants these things to be a blessing rather than a curse. A break reminds us that they could be good parts of our diet - but these things are not our masters. We can love without them - but we cannot love without Jesus.

A quick final note. Some people think as Christians we don't need to fast - and on one level they are right, but in Matthew 6:16ff Jesus says to those listening, "when you fast..." The implication being that his followers do fast as part of their spiritual life (like praying , reading the Bible, giving, serving and worshipping the Lord). So what about you this Lent?

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