Today I'm fasting, also known as skipping mealtime. Anyone who knows me well knows that this doesn't sound like typical Hannah behavior- usually I like to have extra mealtimes, not skip them! So there must be a compelling reason for me to do this- more compelling than food. In fact that's the very reason, because intimacy with God is more compelling than food. Ok, that might seem like a leap. How does giving up food make us more intimate with God? Well, what it does (at least when I fast) is it causes me to realize my need for and dependence on God, and it teaches me how to see and live in that need. This, therefore, draws me into deeper "intimacy" or relationship with God. There are a few examples I can think of from today.
I'm hungry, which makes me cranky. I have to depend on God to teach me how to behave toward others, not tasty pizza that happens to put me in a really good mood. Secondly (this is a more recent revelation) it makes me realize how much I worship food. Yea, it's true- food is an idol in my life.
"Their god is their stomach...their mind is on earthly things" Philippians 3:19. That's me! I know that I don't have an eating disorder or have a problem (well, most of the time anyway) binge eating or anything like that, but that's why this is incredible evidence that something can be a false god even if it doesn't completely consume my life! So that being said, I praise the Lord that He actually created food and gave us taste buds for us to enjoy things like goat cheese and carrot salads, chick-fil-a sandwiches, pigs-in-blankets, salads from Panera, chocolate cake....(ok can you tell I'm hungry?) But I also praise the Lord for the truth that He is ultimately better, far more satisfying, and infinitely more worthy than food of my affection (it's true, I really ADORE food) AND that I am in much greater need of HIM, the Bread of Life, than any physical sustenance.
Jesus said, "man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". Matthew 4:4. In other words, I really need God, and His Word (which happens to be Jesus!) far more than I need lunch today.
Even more wonderful, Jesus also said... "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never go thirsty." John 6:35 WOW. So it might sound weird, but skipping lunch (what a sacrifice) helps me to slowly, very slowly, learn to feast on and hunger for and delight in the True Bread- the very life of God offered to me!