The Significance of Fasting; Part One

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Is it that the impact of our supposed spiritual activities is supposed to be only inside of us without a corresponding outward manifestation of any such internal transformation?

The euphoria of 31st December Watch-night (x-over) Services has come and gone, and the Fasting periods (on the church’s annual / yearly calendar) are here with us; some do 21 days of fasting prayers, and others do 40 days. Some people inadvertently go through this activity only mechanically, just like the people of Israel in Isaiah 58, and do not receive any spiritual benefits from it; that is really sad because Fasting is, perhaps, the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines, and to go through it and not benefit must be avoided at all cost!

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But do we really have clear objectives for fasting during the period? Do we make the effort to measure / assess the impact or success of it? And most importantly, how can we get to allow the period to have tangible / significant positive social impact through us? These and more will engage our attention in this discussion and the sequel(s) to follow.

Exposition:

Besides the stated observation that some individuals do not benefit from the fasting, I am inclined to believe that society as a whole is not benefiting much from these activities, if at all; otherwise why is it that we have observed these traditions for so long and there is indeed upsurge in religious activities and yet there is no corresponding difference in our lives as a people? Have we considered the likely negative impact on our national productivity / GDP? I think we have taken Isaiah 58 (and also Matthew 5:13-16, Ephesians 2:10, and 1 Timothy 4:12-13) too lightly. In Ghana in particular, where Christians alone constitute about 70 percent of the population (and Africa in general) the following issues or problems have persisted over several years…

  • Our reading and writing habit / attitude and especially appreciation / application of scripture are hardly improved.
  • Productivity among us is still so low (as our GDP shows).
  • Our work ethics / attitude is no different from that of unbelievers; appalling.
  • Unemployment and underemployment have gotten worse.
  • Poverty abounds; actually stares us in the face.
  • Our economy is still predominantly in the hands of foreigners or otherwise import-driven and weakening the Ghana Cedi (among other dire consequences).
  • Our environment has gotten destroyed even more.
  • Filth is all over.
  • Our transportation and healthcare systems are nothing to write home about, and our life expectancy is terribly low.
  • We are even more self-centred than ever; we hardly put our collective interests above personal interests.

And the list goes on! A case of activity without productivity, following from just maintaining the status-quo, or applying spiritual solutions to non-spiritual issues? Much like taking paracetamol tablets in a bid to deal with hunger. Do we even care to understand the issues at stake? Or is it that the impact of our supposed spiritual activities is supposed to be only inside of us without a corresponding outward manifestation of any such internal transformation? I don’t think so, because as per today’s passage, God ignored their fast because they ignored the required practical living expected of children of God. I believe that when we ignore the practical things that are required of us and suppose that fasting would do some magic, we might just be attempting to ‘twist God’s hand,’ and it is not likely to work.

For some specifics as to what other issues we should be focusing on in order to make significant impact on society, you may click here.

I suggest that we should make some declarations: that, we are not just going to go through another religious tradition to satisfy the calendar; that we are prepared to allow ourselves to be transformed significantly by this year’s Lent; for significant social impact! Amen!!!

The Significance of Fasting; Part One

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About the Author

David K Egyir

David K Egyir

An Architect, a Designer, and a Life Coach; passionate about harnessing his true or hidden potential, and helping so many people to also harness their true or hidden potential; having observed that the greatest tragedy in life is that majority of people have accepted to be less than they were born to be and are thus accomplishing far less than their true capabilities and living unfulfilling lives. To that end, he authored (wrote) PURPOSE COMPASS, THE EAGLE IN YOU, RICHMATIX, and other amazing books, and more than 50 articles; on how to live a highly productive and a truly fulfilling life. And he organises training seminars and workshops for the benefit of individuals, groups and organisations. He is the Lead Founder of Seers, Associate of Arthro Synergeio, Lay Preacher of The Methodist Church Ghana, Global Lead Advocate of Zing4Life! and Volunteer Mentor with iMentor Ghana. Dave (as affectionately called by many) understands life thoroughly and shares amazingly liberating insights from a uniquely empowering perspective. He is the best coach for excelling in #Educationincreasing your #Income, eliminating #Stress, and enjoying true #Fulfillment in life. Dave is married, and is a father of two. To see more about him you may click here. To get in touch with Dave or to follow him on social media you may click here. #DaveGuidesDaily | To support Dave's writing & life-coaching social ministry you may click here. #SeersFoundation | To be part of Dave's live sessions online at 20.30 GMT on Sundays you may click here. #TimeWithSeers |
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The Significance of Fasting; Part One

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So in the diagram, how many squares did you make out in total; how many squares are there?

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Lessons…

One: Sometimes you need someone to show you the obvious, and oftentimes… the not so obvious! Credit to ZigZiglar

Two: Education and schooling are not the same thing. What goes on inside the schools is often not education. And the results may well be that it reduces productive capacity rather than to increase it. Credit to Prof Sir William Arthur Lewis

Three: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Credit to Prophet Hosea

Four: The illiterates of the future are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn! Credit to Alvin Toffler

Five: The greatest obstacle to progress is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge. Credit to Daniel Boorstin

Six: When you know the right things, the boundaries around your life suddenly disappear. Credit to Brian Sher

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