“Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” -Exodus 20:1-2
“More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.” -Richard Foster “Celebration of Discipline”
That quote from Richard Foster sticks with me. In my experience, when I am fasting, I discover that certain things have a grip on my heart in ways I was not aware of. “Idolatry” has been described as taking a thing, possibly even a good thing, and making it a God thing. When we put things in the place of God they become idols. This can even mean when we look to other things to fulfill needs that are meant to be fulfilled by God, they slip into becoming idols for us. A thing does not have to be bad in order for it to be an idol. It just has to be something we put into God’s place in our lives. I think it is helpful during times of prayer and fasting to ask what is shaping us. What are the things that have control over our lives? What are the things that we are looking to for meaning? As these things are revealed to us, our response ought to be repentance. We should turn back to God as we turn away from our idols.