Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dieting for God - Martin Wiles

And when you fast, don’t make it obvious as the hypocrites do. Matthew 6:16 NLT

Thirteen years ago, I fasted, but not from food.

I suddenly found myself saddled with two car payments. Knowing I couldn’t afford both, I had a decision to make. One of the vehicles would have to go. One was a new Chevrolet Tracker I had just purchased. The other was a used Chevrolet S-10 pickup. The solution came not in selling one but in drawing out my retirement so I could pay one of them off. I chose the Tracker, and then gave it to my daughter who was about to leave for college. 
The decision to give up the Tracker was difficult. I had plans for using it on my monthly hiking escapades in the mountains. Love, however, led me to give it up for a higher purpose. 

Fasting requires letting go. More often than not, food is in question. It was when Jesus addressed the religious hypocrites who thought they did such a good job at it. Like most of what they did, they did this with ulterior motives. They wanted others to notice them. 

Dieting from food for a time or from certain foods has never been my forte, but there are a few other things God has shown me I need to take a break from. Sin is one. Instead of seeing how close I can come to sin without actually sinning, I need to stay as far away from it as possible. God has given believers a new nature, and we need to avoid the “old man” with a passion. Christian baptism symbolizes our intention to die to the old way of living, walking instead in obedience to Christ’s commands.

When I choose to go on a diet for God, it should also be because I want to draw closer to Him. The world is filled with good—and not so good, attractions that attempt to distract us from God. Choosing to give up whatever prevents us from clinging close to His side is always a good diet to abide by. 

Dieting for God is an individual choice. God won’t force me to diet for Him. I must choose to let go of those things that keep me from a closer walk with Him. 

What can you let go of that will move you closer to God?

Prayer: Father, take away those things that prevent us from being all You want us to be. 

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