Fasting to gain importance with God!

Luke 18:
[Jesus on fasting again]
9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men - extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'
13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
(New King James Version)

Fasting and giving are both disciplines associated with godliness. The Pharisee was trying to impress God with his outstanding level of godliness.
If most religious people fast once a week, he is outdoing everyone - he fasts twice a week!

What this unfortunate Pharisee had forgotten is that hundreds of years earlier, the Lord had said this:
1 Samuel 16:
7 . . . God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the LORD looks into the heart."   (God's Word Bible)

This tells us something important about fasting (and giving).
Verse 9 above gives us the answer: that we cannot use these disciplines to impress God with how righteous our lifestyle is, if we have ungodly attitudes like despising others in our heart!

We may impress others with our level of righteousness, but the poor attitude of our heart leaves us unjustified before God!

Does that mean that we ought not to fast?
It does mean that we must seek God through our fasting, to change the ungodly attitudes in our hearts so that fasting can achieve what it was meant to do in us: that is, to open our life up to the Lord, and draw us closer to HIM.

Here's a prayer that you can pray today!

See you tomorrow, God willing, for more on FASTING!