Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fasting for a reason.

As you have read previously (on "One Life To Live"), sorry couldn’t help it), we will be starting a fast on Sunday for 21 days. There are a lot of churches that are starting out the New Year and the new decade fasting.

If you are here from Martha’s blog at welcome! Martha, my pastor’s wife, has put together some great tools to help our church face the fast with less fear and trepidation but with more excitement and equipped to succeed.

I wrote a book review for her blog on Jentenzen Franklin’s book, “fasting” and it really has changed my entire perspective.

Last night at church Pastor Matt (go to his website here, , they are a bit competitive) spoke on how he was so excited about the upcoming fast and I can honestly say he is not the only one. There is a feeling of excitement bubbling in my soul. An apprehension, a holy fear almost about what is to come. Yes, I am nervous, yes, I want to make it to the 31st but more then that I just cannot wait to see what is going to happen in my life, with my family, and in my church during and as a result of this fast.

Last time we fasted I did it because the church did it. If you have read some of the blog entries and reviews on Martha’s blog you will see that I wasn’t alone in this. The church said fast, so I fasted. I didn’t understand the purpose for it and I didn’t understand the mechanics of it. It would be like giving my DD (darling daughter), who is 13-years-old, a brand new car. It is a great tool, will enable her to do things and give her freedom, but there is one problem, she doesn’t know how to drive and so the car would just sit in the driveway. She will have to become old enough (mature), be taught how to drive (given instruction) and then guided onto the road with someone beside her (support) to help until she is fully capable.

That’s what the book on fasting did for me. That is what Martha and the rest of us are working towards with the blog entries and the meal plans, etc. It is to come alongside and instruct and support and yes, there is a certainly maturity in your walk with Christ that is needed for fasting, but you also grow exponentially when you fast.

The other matter that has been weighing on my heart is that there can be many things to fast. Our church is doing the Daniels fast, which is no meat, no bread, and no sweets and I really recommend that you try it. The food is good and the recipes are fun, and if you follow Martha’s meal plan I think it would be cool to know that we are all eating the same thing together every night (is that weird??).

But you can fast other things as well, no television, no computer, no video games, there is even a financial fast as well, no buying ANYTHING not a necessity, I think we might be looking at that as well.

If you want to keep it in the realm of food, then fast no cokes (in the south that means no soft drinks, everything is “coke” and then you specify if you want Mt. Dew, Pepsi, or an actual Coca-Cola), or you can fast no sugar, no meat, no chocolate, etc. But the important thing is that you fast something that will be an impact on your daily life because when you are craving, wanting, desiring that, you go to God instead of the fridge, the pantry, or the drive-thru. 

I enjoy my coffee (ok, huge understatement), I enjoy my chocolate, I enjoy my toast and my steak and ice cream and my sushi but by setting these things aside for the next 21 days, when I get up in the morning and my body wants coffee, I will pray. When I am dragging and want that caffeine kick I will pray. When the afternoon rolls around and I REALLY want a snack, I can have one, (fruits and veggies) but I will be intentional about it and I will pray. After dinner, when I want that ice cream and cookies before bed, I will pray. When you talk with someone that much all day long, you cannot help but become closer. How God will rejoice when He sees His children willing to forego something good to have His best.

The second part of this equation though, is like I said before, know why you are fasting. I have written down very specific things that I am praying about. I’m not just doing it to do it. I want answers to questions about God’s plan:
1. for my life
2. for my writing.
3. for my sons and my daughter.
4. for my husband
5. for our marriage and for the marriages of friends.
6. for our finances
7. for our parents
8. for our friends
9. for our church
10. for our leaders in government
11. Other things

Yes, the list is pretty long. I have 21 days and I have a feeling there will be a lot of prayer time during that time (I told you guys I feel great affection for my coffee). The vital point to this is to take your doubts, fears, questions, needs and wants to God. Offer then up to Him to give you guidance and direction. When you get in the dumps during the fast (and it will happen) go to your list and focus on something/someone there and the hunger will fade, the temptation will abate and you will have won that battle. I’m sure we will be talking a lot more about the fast in the coming days.

Leave a comment if you have fasted before and have any suggestions for me. Cannot wait to see what God is going to do! Have a wonderful blessed Thursday my friends!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You amaze me with your passion and your insight. God has blessed us both in so many ways, and here, your calling really shows. I’ve never looked forward to a fast either until this time. Something big is coming and I can’t wait to see what God has in store.