- 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NKJV) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
Scheduling an annual beginning-of-the-year season of prayer and fasting is a great way to “shock to the system!” Following on the heels of the holiday season with its tendency to encourage overindulgence and a relaxation of vital disciplines, a season of spiritual and physical discipline is like an icy shower that jerks us back into the real world—and that’s a good thing.
The real goal of “shocking the system” is to bring ourselves back to the middle. In other words we go from one extreme to other to balance the scales–average things out, get ourselves back in line and back in shape so that we can compete for the “imperishable crown.”
For example, the goal of fasting is not to learn how to live without eating, it’s to remind ourselves that life is more than just focusing on our needs and appetites (Isaiah 58).
The goal of an intense season of prayer is not to teach us how to check out on life or to live a monastic life of contemplation and isolation. The goal is to put us back in touch with God in whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28) so that we will live a more active, focused and productive life that gives the maximal return—both in this life and the one to come.
So don’t blow it—you need this shock to the system; it will do you good.