Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, author, and former newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psychology and Biblical studies
Prioritize His word
During the season of Lent, a lot of people give up some type of food for 40 days. A former pastor of mine said that if you miss a meal, without a spiritual purpose you are not truly fasting, but on a diet. When I was a member of this church we had noonday prayer service every Wednesday. Many of us would not eat and drink only water from the time we woke up until after church, which would usually be about 1:30 or 2:00 PM. We also would limit conversations, and phone calls, listen to worship music and read His word as much as possible. Often, scriptures we read at home would be the pastor's noonday or Wednesday night topic. I no longer have the ability to prioritize my day as I did when my children were in school and my husband worked 16 hour days. My spouse is retired and around the house and I babysit my grandchildren who are homeschooled. There is more activity in my home now than ever. You may not have a full house, but perhaps you are on medication and cannot abstain from food, yet you desire to fast. I have found denying myself other reading materials and focusing on His word to be beneficial.
It sounds spiritual top say you are joining your church or others in a Lenten fast but what is your purpose outside of it being a tradition. Jesus taught that some answers only come with prayer and fasting. Mark 9"29 "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”: When you decide to fast it should be to draw closer to the Lord and hear His voice more clearly. It should be so that you will have the spiritual power over all the power of the enemy.
Make your own schedule
Many times churches have fasted and designated the way it must be done, but some people find it difficult to comply. When you set your goal, between you and the Lord, no one has to know but you and Him, which is what He said in Matthew chapter 6
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Start with one day a week where you don't read the newspaper, books or magazines and allow your only reading material to be His word. I have done this for as long as seven days at a time. Other things you can give up are television or social media.
Hunger and thirst for His word
John 1:1, In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The Bible from Genesis to Revelation is about Christ because He is the living word, the living water and the bread of life. When you understand this, scripture will come alive with new meaning. You may have to get up a little earlier or go to bed a bit later in order to read His word. Right now with the coronavirus, most people have time on their hands, so use it wisely. Hebrews 4:12 says, "The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart".
In John chapter 4 Christ tells the woman at the well that He can give her living water so that she will thirst no more. When you desire His word above all else you will find that old habits slip away. You will no longer want to read that novel, the newspaper or magazine. You could find yourself seeking His written word all the time.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 30, 2020:
Great idea for the Lenten season. Fasting one day a week is a great suggestion. It boosts spiritual growth for those who are intentional about growing.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 29, 2020:
This is a very thought provokig article, Cheryl. Lent is such a special time and I hae memories from when I was young and we all fasted in some fashion. It is a very special time to become closer to God. Thank you for such a lovely article.
Lorna Lamon on March 29, 2020:
An insightful read Cheryl and even though I am working from home, there are many things I could not do in order to concentrate on his word at this special time. Thank you for sharing.
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on March 28, 2020:
In his word we have everything. Good work.