Monday, June 30, 2008
Beyond Base Level Living
My daughter's tummy growls and she peers into the fridge for something to satisfy her natural craving. I'm hoping it's a healthy snack, not a squirt of chocolate syrup right down the throat. She instinctively reacts to her body's physical cues that let her know she needs sustenance.
She's also 3, screams when she is angry, and is pretty sure the world was created to appease her. She has mastered base-level living. Her goal is moment-to-moment happiness.
So, I'm starting a fast tomorrow and have been pondering the "why" of fasting...as I pound the chocolate chip cookies and chai lattes I will miss so much. I found a great message on fasting by Jason Miller from Granger Community Church. He communicates the concept of living beyond base level here. Jason describes base-level living as filling our lives with the things that our basic senses crave. Jason was clear: when you can't say "no" to base-level desires there is a cost, a high price. We don't only live once...we live forever. For better or for worse. Living at base-level can cost us everything.
Fasting is a classic spiritual discipline that gives us the opportunity to starve our cravings and be sourced in God alone. Cravings that include not only cheeseburgers and milkshakes, but anything that gives us a sense of well-being and fills up our schedules. It's saying "no" to the things we eat so we can feast on the goodness of God. It's the chance to realize that God is my source and not my grande three pump chai latte.
One thing I appreciated that Jason said, is that when we plug into a discipline, we need to check our motives. If we're doing it to look strong or feel strong, we're doing it for the wrong reasons. Just believe I'm going to come out of it changed, and do it to be strong in God alone.
And according to Jason Miller, this is a great time for me to fast. Here is a list of "When to Fast":
-when you want to bring urgency & priority to your prayer life
-when you want to enhance your experience of Scripture
-when you want to prepare for worship
-when you want to prepare for ministry
-when you want to discern God's will or hear his voice
-when you are having a hard time saying no to something destructive & sinful
So, when is it a good time for you to fast?