Holiness.  The first image that I get in my mind is people with a certain look in how they dress, what they allow in their homes, and most likely only shop at Menards.  We determine that holiness means looking down at those who do things we don’t like, and using it as an excuse to tear apart others under the weight of be holy because I (you) am holy
In Matthew 23: 25 Jesus came against the Pharisees who were consumed with cleaning the outside of the cup but inside they were filled with greed and self indulgence (NLT)  Fasting is a way of combating this exact problem.  We are willingly giving up self indulgence so we can allow the grace of the Holy Spirit to clean the inside of our cup (lives).
Malachi states that God is a refining fire which will purify His people.  In fasting, we allow distractions to be taken away from our lives so we are able to spend extra time laying by that refining fire.  When we are experiencing incredible attitudes because we haven’t eaten in a day or been on Facebook for a week, we realize that our pursuit of this refining fire has been dulled by “self indulgence”  As this fire cleans the inside of the cup, we begin to be changed into the likeness of Jesus more and more each day. (2 Corinthians 3: 18).
Here is an interesting thought. We are not just praying to an invisible God, we are invisible too. What we will and what God has in store for us has not yet been seen. (1 Corinthians 2: 9) Holiness which is fashioned on the inside may not be noticed by others.  Giving up a meal or an hour on the computer may not been recognized by those around us, but our pursuit of God will be rewarded and who we are becoming will be revealed someday.  Our holiness, or Christ’s character that is formed in us, will be rewarded because God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
As we start this week, let us ask God what He wants us to put aside for this week so we can pursue our relationship with Him more deeply.  Allow His character to be formed in us so we can be truly holy in all we do.