I was walking through my local CVS drug store a couple of weeks ago, looking for something that would fill the chocolate craving I was having.  I did not quite know what I wanted, was it cookies, or solid chocolate or chocolate ice cream or a candy bar.  I kept roaming through the store.  In my roaming, I almost knocked over a bookstand filled with books.  The book title that jumped out at me was called “Fasting – Opening the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with God” by Jentezen Franklin.  Fasting?  Really?  How would giving up food and have my stomach growl all day lead me to a closer relationship with God? 

I know I have read about prayer and fasting in the Bible, but I associated it with ancient times and nothing we do today. I had never heard about fasting from the pulpit and it was not anything I heard people doing.  Wow, where have I been?  People are fasting everywhere.

I read the book and it really convinced me of the need to fast not only food, but also anything else that comes between God and me.  For the record, fasting is only about food.  Fasting is done to hear God’s voice better, clear out your worldly desires and allows you to be more sensitive to the things of God.

However, I see that this can have the same effect in a number of areas.  What if watching TV comes between you and your time with God?  What if you are so busy “doing” that you do not have time for God?  Maybe you want to “fast” activities for a while.

When it comes to money, one of the most critical pieces to a financial plan is the budget, knowing what goes in and what goes out every month.  Many people have no idea where there money goes and debit cards and credit cards help this process.  Just swipe it and go, with no idea what the total was on the purchase. 

I tell clients that have a hard time staying with a budget is to get cash on payday and put your credit and debit cards away.  Go to the ATM machine and take out only that amount that you budget to spend until the next payday.  It is amazing how much less they spend. (By the way, all the stores already know this.  You spend more if you use a credit card.)  They “fast” credit cards and see how much things really cost and they make better decisions about money.  “Fasting credit cards, like fasting food clears out the desires put on us by our culture.

Finally, on of the most convincing reasons I read about fasting was in the story in Genesis.  Adam and Eve ate the fruit, enjoyed the apple and with that one meal Adam and Eve went from their peaceful life to hiding from God.  You can literally eat, spend, and “busy” yourself out of God’s will for your life. Without stopping and reflecting, you can go down a path for your life that God never intended. 

Kristi L. Andersen is the principal of Kristi L. Andersen  Financial Partners, LLC.  (www.KristiLAndersen.com) Registered Representative of and securities offered through Financial Network Investment Corporation, member SIPC.  Advisory services offered through AdvisorNet Financial if applicable.  Financial Network is not affiliated with Kristi L Andersen Financial Partners, LLC or AdvisorNet Financial. 1221 Nicollet Mall, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55403.