“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:16-21
Fasting, like our life in Christ, is about the heart. During these 13 days let’s press into God and ask Him to make us more like Him as we submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches that man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. The heart is the center of our physical life as well as our spiritual life.
In Matthew 6:17 Jesus talks about fasting and the heart. He tells us not to put on a gloomy face or neglect our appearance so we will be noticed by men.
During these 13 days of prayer and fasting ask the Holy Spirit to show you heart attitudes that may not be Christ-like. Are you fasting or doing anything else to be seen by man or is your desire to please God, receive His reward, and become more like Him?
As we pray and fast let’s be more concerned about God noticing than man. As we mentioned earlier, God looks at the heart and knows our motives. As we replace food with the meat of God’s Word and submit to the Holy Spirit’s work in our heart we will be changed.
In verses 19-20 Jesus talks about storing up treasures in heaven that will last forever as opposed to earthly treasures that are only temporary. In verse 21 He says: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. What do you treasure? Where is your heart? Who or what has your heart? Let’s honor God with all that He has blessed us with.
-Vernon Harkins @vernonharkins