My van is old, the kind of old where certain “quirks” begin to develop. For example, I recently discovered that if I am driving in the rain, I can’t run the heater (which blows onto me) and the defroster (which blows onto the windshield) at the same time. My windshield started to fog up rather quickly, and it became apparent that I had a choice to make. I could run the heater, and be comfortable on my drive. Or, I could run the defroster, be a little chilly, but be able to see the road in front of me.

(Since I survived to write this post, I’m sure you can guess which one I chose!)

I was struck by the situation’s similarity to the act of fasting. Each year, our church participates in 21 days of fasting and prayer in January. Our pastor encourages all who can to participate in some form, as we seek God’s direction for the new year.

This year, he was teaching on fasting and asked the congregation why we do it. (Spoiler alert: “To look more spiritual to others” is the wrong answer!) Our motivation should be to draw closer to God, to deny our flesh temporarily so that we are better able to “tune in” to what He is saying.

I can either enjoy a delicious meal, or I can temporarily endure hunger pains and spend that time in study and prayer, making myself more available to Him. The first choice makes me comfortable. The second can change my life forever.

Are you fasting at the outset of the new year? It’s tough, but be encouraged. These temporary discomforts will be worth it all as you deepen your walk with Him. Let us pray for each other, that we will be strengthened for the journey ahead.