We have discussed why the Christian should practice fasting, but many people including myself have had a hard time with the discipline in the past. I know that in the past I have chosen not to fast out of fear and misunderstanding.

Fasting places a lot of concerns for some people who are worried that the limited diet will affect their work, energy levels, mood, or relationships. On a deeper level, I have been guilty of not fasting because I felt my heart was not in the right place. It is always nice to think about the possibility of losing a few pounds (for me at least). But, I have often let that thought actually prevent me from fasting because I felt my heart was not in the right place.

Over the years of battling this heart vs. discipline relationship, I have found that the discipline of fasting is exactly for the person whose heart is not in it. Fasting will change your body whether you want it to or not, you cannot prevent yourself from losing weight, being hungry, and rushing to the bathroom every half hour.

If you are seeking the Lord passionately through your fast regardless of your initial intentions, your heart's attitude will change. Fasting exposes us by revealing the real nature of our heart, when we bring our exposed self before the Lord we encounter his mercy, love, and grace with greater clarity than before. This is why the Bible comes to life for some as they fast because they are reading the Bible with their "naked eyes".

The Daniel Fast begins this Sunday. Join me and our church family as we seek the Lord together and pray fervently for our local community and families.

Regardless of your initial intentions, fast and seek the Lord with all your heart. At Immanuel, we believe that life is better together, and this fasting season is a great time to join a LIFEgroup if you have not already.

I am so looking forward to seeing lives changed, and our church comes together over the next month. This year's Daniel Fast is going to be awesome!

- Tanner Williams