Ramadan begins next week.
For those of you who don’t know, Ramadan is an important religious observance for Muslims, marked a month of fasting, which is one of the five pillars of their religion. Every day from sunup to sundown during Ramadan, Muslims around the world will fast from all manner of physical needs and desires, from eating and drinking to marital intimacy. The fast is lifted overnight, and begins again the next day.
As Christians, we observe times of fasting, too. If you’re in an evangelical church, you may not have prescribed times of fasting each year, like Catholic and other liturgical churches do during Lent. But you likely have been challenged by your pastor to fast at one point or another, and many churches do fasts in January as a way of consecrating a new year to God.
But there is a major difference between the way we fast as believers in Jesus, and the observance of Ramadan. Muslims believe that fasting in this way actually helps to make them right with God and enable them to go to heaven.
As Christians, we know that’s not true. Our sin separates us from God irrevocably. There is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to atone for our sin. Only the blood of Jesus makes us right.
So then, why fast? We fast to draw nearer to God, “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
Fasting enables us to draw even nearer to a God who has already provided a way for us into His presence. And that is what makes all the difference.
We will be praying for Muslims every day next week, beseeching God to reveal himself to them as they prepare for their time of fasting.
Would you pray with us next week that Muslims would come to know Jesus? And would you consider fasting a meal this week as you pray?
Thanks so much! We are so glad you’re a part of this community. We couldn’t do this without you.
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