Wednesday night we had a pretty interesting discussion in youth about the subject of prayer and fasting. I believe that with fasting comes power. God wants us to see that this life is not the end of everything, but the very beginning. If we live with this life in focus then we grab whatever we can now, because tomorrow doesn't matter. But when we live for eternity, we realize that denying ourselves in the short term benefits us forever. The power in fasting comes from giving up something that gives us pleasure in order to focus on what God wants. As I challenged the students on Wednesday, we need to give up something that going to be hard for us.
I love this story in the book of 2 Samuel chapter 24. David has sinned and knows it. Now there is a plague ravaging the country and the prophet has told David what to do to end it. He must go and make a sacrifice to God in a particular spot. The man who owns the field offers to give it to him, but David refuses, and watch what he says:
But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing."
David recognized that when we serve God there should be a sacrifice. Eternal Life is free, but it costs us everything we have. It's important to remember that it was God who created us for His pleasure. We need to live for Him and see His plans accomplished in our lives.