Training is not just physical, it is spiritual and the disciplines, though similar in nature have drastically different values on your life. 1 Timothy 4:7-9, teaches that we are to train ourselves for godliness. It's much more valuable in the end.
Read this Desiring God article on a sound approach and understanding of this verse.
I want to focus on one spiritual discipline that I believe is the MOST under utilized in the church and world in general. This raises great concern for the state of our health, spiritually, mentally, physically, but mostly, relationally. The relationship with Jesus. Our desire to be LIKE Him and to be WITH Him.
If we are NOT regularly fasting, what is our spiritual state? Are we, like Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones would say, spiritually depressed? Do we desire to be with Christ? Do we desire Him more than physical food itself? LET EVERY MAN EXAMINE HIMSELF BEFORE THE HOLY GOD.
What is our state of health church?
The most important reason why we must consider fasting regularly is non other than that we become more like Christ and our relationship with Him deepens.
Is there a physical benefit? YES!
Do you suffer from inflammation related illnesses or diseases? Cancer, Auto-immune deficiencies, and the like? Fasting has been shown to have profound effects on our physical (both physiological and neurological) health.
Scientists are studying the impact fasting has on our cellular health through a process called Autophagy. "Autophagy is a general term for the degradation of cytoplasmic components within lysosomes (Cuervo 2004; Levine and Klionsky 2004; Shintani and Klionsky 2004; Klionsky 2005, 2007; Mizushima and Klionsky 2007)"
"However, recent studies have clearly demonstrated that autophagy has a greater variety of physiological and pathophysiological roles than expected, such as starvation adaptation, intracellular protein and organelle clearance, development, anti-aging, elimination of microorganisms, cell death, tumor suppression, and antigen presentation (Mizushima 2005)."
Fasting regularly can have a profound therapeutic effect on our system that can not be matched by any other health process.
Fasting also has a profound effect on fat metabolism and can't be used to combat obesity and type II Diabetes. (See Dr. Fungs work for more information.)
Do any of the brothers and sisters at your church body suffer from overweight and obesity lifestyles? Have them fast! I couldn't be any more serious. FAST!!
I have experienced fasting for 4 years now. I have completed 10 day water only fasts and regular intermittent fasting cycles, with several "small extended" fast like 4-7 days water only. The result? I have felt better, become leaner, and thought more clearly than I ever have before. And, I don't deal with depression NEAR like I did prior.
So what are you waiting for? Go Fast!!
Wait Ben, I don't know how! No worries! Follow this helpful GUIDE we put together for you. Our gift to you!
Ps- if you want more guidance or information on how to build fasting into your regular disciplines, please reach out to me!
Pss- Not ready for fasting? But, you do want to build the right healthy habits? Sign up for out 1 year lifestyle challenge over at TEMOM Fitness!
Be Blessed, Be Fit,