Yesterday, we talked about pressing into Jesus’ presence as we embrace Advent, and today, I want to look at one specific way to do it. I’m a firm believer in giving things up for a season in order to focus on something else. I’ve learned that such exercises in self-denial are good for me because they prove that I can accomplish what I set my mind to, and because they intensify my priorities and clarify my vision. That said, for Christians, one of the best ways to sacrifice is to fast, or to abstain from a particular type of food, entertainment, or pleasure in order to pray and pursue the things of God. A fast can take many different forms — it can be as simple as not eating sugar for a week and coming to Jesus when you’re assailed by cravings for something sweet — or giving up T.V. or the news in order to spend purposeful time in His presence. Though there are no concrete rules for how to do it, the goal of a fast is always the same — to draw us closer to our Heavenly Father and to seek the coming of His Kingdom on earth. This month, as we prepare our hearts to honor Christ’s arrival, I hope each of us will deliberately give up something good in order to gain something even greater.
My friend, in the midst of this Christmas season, strengthen your faith and renew your fellowship with the Holy Spirit by initiating a fast. Stay off of social media for a week, forgo an hour of TV in the evening, or surrender the food that you most crave, and allow Jesus to meet you with His power in your moments of self-denial. Shift your focus to His presence, pray for His will to prevail around you, and listen to what He whispers to your soul in stillness. As you intentionally make room in your heart to receive your King, I’m certain your spirit will soar!