Although its meaning has been broadened in modern times, to fast has traditionally meant to abstain from all or certain foods. In fact, the words “to fast” come from a Hebrew word which means to cover the mouth. Two other words, “inna napso”, meaning "to afflict the soul," also refer to fasting.
Many of our readers are too young to remember the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s. During this war supporters of the rebel forces formed a clandestine subversive organization which worked within Madrid, then enemy territory, to help their own political and military causes. One rebel general named the subversive group The Fifth Column. Today, this term remains a picturesque addition to our vocabulary, meaning an enemy working secretly from within.
"Do not be anxious about anything" (Phil. 4:6). What do you worry about? Money? Poor health? Growing old? Offending someone? The future? All of us worry, and all of us have times of anxiety, even fear. But few human characteristics are more destructive to us personally. Worry keeps us from living the full life Jesus promised. It fills us with tension and stress, preventing us from enjoying our lives. It can even make us sick.
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