Fasting is

Fasting season is here and I can say it's anything but simple.

Biblically, fasting meant you denied yourself in the flesh to gain spiritual clarity. The act alone requires discipline and commitment to follow through with your promises to God.

In all honesty, it’s one of the hardest spiritual practices I’ve ever encountered.

I began my 40-day fast in the New Year to refresh and reset myself but, most importantly, to prove to God that I could make sacrifices too. Ask me how that’s going so far 🙃

There are a variety of ways to fast. There's the water fast, Daniel Fast, even fasting from social media or secular music. You honestly can fast from anything in the name of the Lord, but biblically it’s always been surrounded by food. 

Quite literally, when your flesh is weak from hunger you're to seek God and pray for His wisdom and guidance. In your moment of weakness, you’re to lean on His strength. Fasting is meant to be an intimate time between you and the Father.

It requires another level of commitment that creates a supernatural response or clarity for your prayers.

It’s hard to do, no doubt, but the spiritual clarity you’ll gain is worth it. People always talk about how to fast but never about how the fast actually goes. Well, technically no one but God should know you're fasting according to Matthew 6:16-18, but that is in terms of flaunting what you're doing. My fast for this season has already been challenging and I’m not even a full week in.

The mental fortitude needed to push through temptation is wildly challenging.

Even when I try to put parameters in place to stay on track, it's still a struggle.

The other day, my friends reached out about linking up and I called myself being “smart” as I prepped my snacks for game night with my girls. I have a major sweet tooth and I knew once the wine hit, I start craving all the things I shouldn't. So, I packed popcorn as my deterrent and healthy snack 🤣

Now I messed up on two occasions:

  1. While we planned what to eat/drink I suggested pizza and wine, knowing good and well I was fasting from fast food (no pun intended).

  2. I had the delusional thought that eating dinner at home before game night would stave off any cravings for sweets and pizza. It did not.

I ended up not only eating a slice (I took the box home too 🤦) but I also ate peppermint chocolate popcorn. This tempting situation tested my willpower and reflected how little control I exercised over my fleshly desires. 

Giving up certain food and meals is hard for me in general because I’m an emotional eater.

I received a sermon about gluttony from a friend, and the pastor spoke about idolizing food. The shift from viewing food as simply energy to “comfort food” or “rewards” was dangerous because it placed food on a pedestal where God should be. This put things into perspective for me and gave me the push I needed to start correcting my eating habits.

Initially, I brushed the idea off. Who would ever put food before God? It was a jarring concept, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized we do it every day and don't even realize it. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it highlighted that no worldly thing (yes even food) should fill the space that’s reserved for God.

Food shouldn’t bring you comfort and peace. It shouldn’t make you angry either. I NOTORIOUSLY blamed my behavior on being hangry (hungry + angry), when in reality I just lacked control. That Oreo, pizza, sandwich, Slurpee, or bag of chips had that much power over me, and it was a problem.

The great thing about fasting is that you’re legitimately forced to address those feelings with God.

There's no food to satisfy the cravings so you're learning to rely on His strength alone to get your body through that phase of extreme stress. It's eye-opening, to say the least. A strong mental fortitude against bodily stressors is paramount to finishing a successful fast, but if I’m completely honest external stressors trigger me to eat.

Especially when I’m frustrated, which is quite often when you're a parent. My toddler had a mini tantrum when we were visiting a friend and I was mentally drained after addressing the situation. I ate 3 peanut butter cups, 6 Hershey nougat bars, and a Lindor truffle. All the candies were fun-sized but I still broke my fast. 

I stress ate all that candy because I lacked self-control. The way that fasting reveals your weaknesses is insane, but like I said it's eye-opening. I have the mindset that fasting brings all the gunk you try to hide away to the surface.

The things that you need gentle correction on, the things you need to let go of and hand over to God are revealed.

I noticed my fuse was shorter; fasting showed me how impatient I could be with my husband and I needed to work on giving more grace. I noticed I was easily drained; fasting showed me how “busy” I could be with my schedule instead of just resting and slowing down.

The biggest thing I noticed after fasting was God wants to be involved in all areas of our lives. Even the things we deem small or insignificant. Taking the opportunity to fast and simplify your life can be a major turning point in your relationship with the Lord. When you silence the distractions, live sacrificially, and draw near to God, He will draw closer to you too.

Find areas of your life that need to be cleaned up, refined, and reset. Consider fasting as a way to directly invite God into those spaces. 

My prayer for you is when you decide on what you're willing to sacrifice for Him, you have the strength to resist the temptation to slip back into old habits. 

Come close to God and He will come close to you.” James 4:8 (NLT)

🗣 Speak this affirmation when you’re faced with temptation.

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