Have you ever started a project, a move, a job, a program, or just about anything without really knowing what the outcome would be? I’m sure most of us could answer, “Yes,” to that question. For most of my life the word, “fast,” was just an adjective to describe someone or something and rarely was it ever used to describe me. But, when I became a Jesus follower, the word took on a whole new meaning.
The definition of the word, “fast,” straight outta the Bible is, “to abstain from food.” Now I’m not pretending that I understood the importance or purpose of a fast when I first started following Jesus. It was just something I did because we were “supposed to.” To be honest, I really felt like I was just torturing myself. At the end I was always like, “I’m glad that’s over,” and never saw the benefit in what I was doing. That was until I had it broken down for me.
It was explained to me that there is this battle that goes on between our flesh and our spirit, and a way to defeat our flesh and put our spirit in control was through fasting and prayer. When I understood that, fasting became like training for a fight. Sometimes we don’t realize we’re in a fight though. I had blogged previously about illness that plagued me for months and what God had shown me during that time; mainly to draw closer to Him. A way to do that was through fasting and prayer. My immune system was wrecked, and our immune system is linked to our digestive system, that is linked to our diets. So, I knew I had to change the way I was eating.
Most people don’t know that a week before the 21-Day “Daniel Fast” that our church started together I had actually completed a 40 day “Juice Fast.” The reason I’m sharing this is because it is so relevant to where we are as a church. I set out to “reset” my system; to get “healthy.” What God did was so much more. At the half-way point in the fast I no longer felt sick, I was breathing better, and I had lost quite a bit of weight. I found myself still complaining and looking forward to being done with the fast. I was focusing on what I could not have and only wanted to reward myself for how “good” I had done. I was whining and complaining like a little kid who had just been told he couldn’t have a cookie.
It was then that I felt really convicted. If all I was doing was complaining and looking forward to being done with it, then I was altogether missing the point of fasting. See, while my physical health was improving, my attitude hadn’t changed. God was trying to make a lasting change in my life and I was trying to make a temporary one – a forty-day change. At that moment I decided I would press on and not give up because I knew if I gave up there, then I would just go back to how I was before, because my attitude hadn’t changed. I had won a victory physically, but spiritually I was the same. I decided I would fast as long as I had to so I could see the growth God wanted to produce in me. And I believe He worked. My attitude has improved and my desires have changed.
If you have been fasting, what is God showing you? Will you obey whatever He is leading you to do so that you can see the growth He is trying to produce in you?