1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Several years ago, I went to a church service where Jo Naughton, author of the 30-Day Detox for Your Soul was leading the service. As she spoke about detoxing for our spiritual healing, I felt like the only person in the room, like she was talking directly to me. I bought her book and started reading. It was 30 days of spiritual therapy for me. I wept and wept while reading chapter 1 and had a long talk with God afterwards, then repeated the same thing for every chapter. It was as if God was looking deep into my soul and weeding out all the disappointment, hurt, pain, and suffering that I had gone through in my life up to that point. I had buried them so deep for so long, they all came flooding back. It was like seeing my whole life flashing before me on a movie screen. My stomach churned and I felt physically ill. I was sweating from all the crying and pouring out of my troubles to Him. It was a very hard but rewarding 30 days for me. Yet…it was all worth it.
That got me thinking about how often we focus on the physical but neglect the spiritual. Matthew 23:27-28 warns about focusing on the outside appearance but inside is unclean.
Detoxing is a way of life for everyone today. We are always trying a new product to perfect our face, teeth, or body, for that perfect look – continuous renewal of the outer man.
The many ways we detox
We detox our hair to get rid of harsh chemicals, help rebalance the scalp, rid the hair of buildup, stimulate hair follicles, and enhance growth. We detox our skin to cleanse from impurities, promote collagen, and increase elasticity. We go on detox diets to eliminate toxins from our bodies because it is known to improve health and promote weight loss.
But…when and how often do we detox our spiritual lives – to renew the inner man? We get too busy with physical improvements, which leaves little time for spiritual growth.
What is spiritual detoxing?
Fasting is a spiritual detox for Christians: it is abstaining from food or other ‘worldly’ things as a sacrifice to God while we seek Him. There are many reasons why people plan spiritual fasting. Some people fast for a soul cleansing – pouring out our guilt and shame to God; some people fast to relieves stress; some to reconnect with God; and some to become more sensitive to His voice. Spiritual fasting is also a reminder of how much we need God.
You may ask: “What is fasting and why Christians thing it is so important?” Jesus fasted often. The most famous was the 40-day fast He did when he wanted to prepare Himself for his most important and final assignment and to commune with God. Fasting is also an ancient approach to healing and is historically known to heal and recharge not only spiritually, but mentally, and physically as well. So, when we fast to heal our souls, we actually reap the mental and physical benefits as well. Isn’t God awesome? Every blessing He gives comes with many added benefits.
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