A Sacred Fast
"Be ye holy, for I am Holy saith the Lord"- 1 Peter 1:16
The title seems to imply some sort of deprivation of food. A, "holy deprivation" or "sacred fast." Well, that is exactly what this little article is about. Yet, it is not in reference to the abstinence of taking the nutrition necessary for our physical sustenance. That is the first thing mentioned in the Bible which comes to mind when considering the term, "fast." However, here we are examining an extension of that, if you will. Please read on.
There certainly can be no mistake as to what God's standard is for the believer with regards to his inward thoughts and outward behavior. We are called and commanded to be pure in heart as well as in speech and action.
Practically speaking, how does one obey that command in an exceedingly sinful generation such as the one in which we find ourselves? How can we overcome and be lights in such a world? One in which, we are literally bombarded with sights and sounds of gross sin, without our looking for such? Paul refers to this in Philippians 2:15, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; ..."
Yes, it's absolutely true, that the world is overflowing with every sort of perversion that can ever be imagined. At every newstand, at every turn around a major city block or (even certain, "low-profile" villages) with its lewd and provocative, larger-than-life billboard advertisements, the conversations at the office or public places, the utter disregard for basic decency and purity in the cinemas, the T.V. shows, the politicians' "alternate lifestyle" agendas, the revealing fashions of the day, the decadent daily newspapers and magazines and radio shows which leave little to the imagination of fallen man by broadcasting the most disgusting and extremely suggestive speech which would defile anyone within earshot of it.
Can we live above all this? Of course! And if we ever hope to see God, then we must. Hebrews 12:14 says, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:..."
Now, God has not left us without the resources necessary to combat and gain the mastery over these things. For the Holy Spirit is there to empower us to overcome in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, God's Son.
Supposing that you are a diligent student of the Word and are endeavoring to give your, "Utmost for His Highest" as one noted preacher put it. You want every area of your life to be sanctified or set apart for the exclusive use of the Lord as He sees fit. Or in a word, you want be completely consecrated to God as the scripture exhorts or, "wholly, holy." We have to readily acknowledge that all Hell will be set against such a person and against such a holy resolve.
Let's take a good, biblical look at the dilemma of the Spirit vs. the Flesh.
True we have a fleshly nature or "old man", which will try to manifest its Adamic or fallen nature whenever it is afforded an opportunity. Yes, within the flesh there is that proclivity towards the perverse. We know however, from Romans 6:19 and elsewhere in the Holy Bible, that we must not give in to that lower nature. "I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness."
Rather, we must starve it (the flesh) and feed on the Word of God instead.
Yes, that's it. Don't feed the flesh. You see, it is not only counterproductive, but downright sinful to do those things (view, read, hear, etc.) that stimulate carnal desires or fancies. It is a postive hindrance to any hope of spiritual progress. A discerning heart and eye and ear will be ever on the alert for Satan's, "harmless" offerings. God wants to feed us that Heavenly manna, but He cannot nourish us if we have already feasted on the garbage of the world, choosing it's harmful delicacies. "Legalism!" That would be the charge made against such assertions as mentioned above. Then again, the world and compromising christians (backsliding on the slope of perdition) will always make such misjudgments and false accusations when called upon to the love Lord Jesus supremely "so as to keep oneself unspotted from this world." - James 1:27c
Have you ever considered starving the flesh? In actual practice at this very moment, this means that you desire to be spiritually sharp and will to do the Holy Spirit's commands in your inner man. Instead of excusing activities and thoughts that you know will defile you and the high calling of God on your life!
May you do it today and everyday for the rest of your earthly life. By this, we mean that you ought be to sober as to what you actually allow yourself to see, hear, read, etc. It doesn't matter what all the other, "Christians" are doing. You must be ever breathing the Sweet Breath of the Holy Spirit within your heart and mind. A pure conscience must be the desired end for every exercise you engage yourself in, whether it is some great duty or some seemingly, 'mundane" chore. The scriptures indicate that even eating and drinking is to be done to the Glory of God! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Therefore, nothing in the Believer's life must be treated as a trifle.
Remember that the Devil can't force you to sin by breaking the holy commandments of God. However, when we ourselves despise God's warnings about the company we keep (it could be a living person, or the presence of an evil spirit or an evil person's ideas through magazines, movies, talk shows, etc.), then we are forfeiting our spiritual birthright and giving our hand in marriage to the Devil's daughters of defilement. Woe to the soul that does not quickly recognize this and repent!
If you employ this, "sacred fast" as a habit in your life, then we say, Praise the Lord! God will then fill your belly with Living Waters and that Everlasting Bread! May the Spirit of the Living God give you perfect understanding is our sincere prayer.
Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
2 Timothy 2:7