A curious phrase pops up in the book of Joel: holy fast.
A fast is going without something, such as food, to draw closer to God. By implication it should be a holy act, so why does the prophet Joel make a point of specifying a holy fast?
I wonder if it might be because the people lost sight of why they were fasting. Perhaps they were going through the motions and forgot the God focus of their fast.
When done for the right reasons, a fast is a physical denial that elevates our spiritual awareness. When done for the wrong reasons, a fast is a physical denial that just makes us feel deprived, forgoing any spiritual benefit. I guess that would make it an unholy fast, secular and meaningless.
If you practice the discipline of fasting, may it be for the right reasons. If you’ve not experienced a fast, I encourage you to consider it.
Either way, may you fast well, may it be a holy fast.
The 2014 Bible reading plans are now available:
- Read the New Testament in 2014.
- Read the Old Testament in 2014.
- Read the entire Bible in 2014 (our brand new reading plan).
- If these are too big a bite for you to take, start small with our monthly reading plans.