I decided to fast from television for a while so I could connect with God in a personal way and consider what Christ’s gift of salvation really means.
Much of the Christian world gives up something during Lent. But Lent isn’t the only time we can fast to hear from God.
My decision was a big sacrifice. I love television.
I spend hours and hours with television. We’re tight, and breaking up with it—even if only temporarily—was not an easy decision.
That meant no weekly network shows, no Food Network, no Netflix, Nada TV! Aargh!
Knowing how it calls to me like a long-lost friend in moments of fatigue, boredom, and procrastination, I knew if I wanted to be serious about spending more time with Jesus, I had to cancel my subscription to Netflix.
No more British dramas, hilarious sitcoms, or mysterious whodunits.
The first couple days I thought, What was I thinking?
If I was going to fast from something, why didn’t I choose something easier—like reading the Bible in its original language or running a marathon or solving world hunger?
But after a week, I knew the answer.
God wants me to be hungry for him.
To have time and a quiet space to hear him.
When I long for a Netflix fix (oh, and I do long for it), God is calling me to long for him.
Instead of pondering and worrying about how fictitious characters are going to get out of their jam or what’s going to happen in the next episode, God wants me to think about how he has rescued me! To lean into his faithfulness for my future.
Instead of Just one more episode, I began to have time to read, call a friend, sit reflectively, exercise (well, I hardly ever think that), but you get the idea.
More and more…
- I began to hear God’s whisper traipse across the backyard of my brain.
- I felt his presence as I read his words in my Bible.
- I was filled with love and wonder and wisdom.
As Steve Harmon says, “Everyone wants to be transformed, but nobody wants to change.”
That’s why God calls us to fast, so that change will lead us to be transformed.
After I ended the fast, I acknowledged the good that came from it.
Without the distraction of television, I was offered a time of self-examination and reflection to consider who God is, what he’s done, and how to respond to him.
Have you ever considered going deeper with God by fasting from something that only keeps you distracted?
Maybe it’s television, or social media, or the news.
Whatever it is, it’s the golden opportunity to institute a change that could revolutionize your thinking, your spirit, and your life.
This week, ask God what you can give up to experience his presence in a more powerful way. Then prepare to be amazed.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” —Philippians 4:8
O God, I want to know you more. I want to hear your still, small voice. I want to see you move in my life and in the lives of others. Help me find you in this world that contends for my every minute and attention. I want to let go of that which keeps me distant and questioning. Meet me in the space I create for you and me. In Jesus’ name, amen.