When I was a child at the grocery store with my mom there would be an enormous array of goodies that overwhelmed me. I would start to beg. I want that, and I want this, and I want that. My mom’s response was always, “But you don’t need that.” Being the smart child I was, I changed my approach to, “I NEED this. I NEED that!”
We do the same from God.
We have a lot of “want” today masking itself as “need.” We live in a present day culture of never enough. Whatever we have never seems enough so we grab bigger handfuls. Brene Brown in her book “Daring Greatly” calls it the “age of scarcity.” Our closets are jammed, our bodies are over-stuffed, and according to Fast Company Magazine we will double our digital universe every two years until 2020 in an effort to quench our thirst for more knowledge. Maybe it’s time to turn off the flow for a bit? Maybe it’s time to detox? But where do you start?
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Think about a cleanse – think about starting with a fast.
There isn’t a known beginning to fasting. It’s a natural habit that many animals do instinctively in an effort to rest, balance, and even conserve energy at critical times. Early philosophers, thinkers, and healers fasted – Plato, Socrates Aristotle, and Jesus. Today every major religion practices fasting and it’s widely recognized by the health community for many healing benefits. Scientific evidence is proving each day that the future of medicine may lie in our energy patterns and the knowledge that we are more than just a biological process.
The word “fast” in the Bible comes from the Hebrew word “sum” meaning “to cover the mouth” and the Greek word is “nesteuo” meaning “to abstain.” There are many examples and references within the Bible about fasting. The bottom line is that as a leader there is merit to taking that journey from time to time.
Fasting is not always about food. What if you unplugged from all your media? What if you stopped Internet surfing for a long period or stopped playing that video game?
What do you REALLY need – not want? Are you pondering a major decision or choice in your life? We are in the season of Lent and for the Christian it has traditionally been a time of fasting or cleansing. Even a one day fast can be beneficial. I believe God honors and listens when we get serious about renewing our minds, cleansing ourselves, and denying something in our lives that may be distracting us from following His lead.
Finally if you do fast, the Bible says it’s between you and God. It’s not the time to FaceBook, Twitter, or Instagram your empty plate. Matthew 6:16-18 says, ”Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
I don’t know about you, but I still get tempted in grocery stores. You truly never know what you will find – especially in those mega stores. I do know that when I have made a disciplined choice with regard to my mind, body, and spirit and trust God to meet the desires of my heart, I get all I need and reap some of the biggest and best treats I have ever found.
I’m gonna try the giving up social media once a week fast. It will be tough but worth the spiritual growth. Thanks Kathleen!
God always rewards our sacrifices. Praying He brings new dimensions of Himself to you!
OH MY GOODNESS, Kathleen, will you join my no hunger fast? The Lord’s been teaching me to fast the past few months, and it is such an amazing blessing!! He actually took my hunger away for 4 days when I devoted myself to prayer and fasting 6 months ago, it was crazy! And since then, He’s been teaching me to fast, and it’s so helpful for women especially, because it’s so calming, so I’m trying to spread the word as much as possible, because probably no one believes that the Holy Ghost will take away your hunger. That’s the point of what I’m doing, I’m only doing it when He takes my hunger away because He’s taught me that it’s not when I want to fast, but when HE wants me to. And it has been LIFECHANGING, not just for me, but my family, so when you help a mom, you help their family! And also, oh my goodness, if you get a chance, I made a fasting video diary (yes, I don’t normally tell people when I’m doing it, but so many people are like, “I can’t fast, I have to work!” and, “Is that safe? Don’t you get dizzy?” So, it’s such an important thing, I made a video diary to show that, yes, I looked coherent WHILE I was fasting, so people could visually see that you can fast and be okay at work. I actually have MORE energy and am more clearheaded, so can work better and faster! And when God took my hunger away for four days, I didn’t tell anyone until the following week and they were SHOCKED! And after the first day, Kevin was like, “You’re acting weird! Why are you being so nice?” And I just said, “That’s the joy of the Lord,” and smiled, because I didn’t want any negativity from him about this. But when I told him he said that the Lord let him know not to tease me on this, that this is real. Anyhow, if you can, I hope you will watch my video diary, because I’ve learned the most bizarre thing about fasting, and that’s how at about 3pm it seems that the benefits of fasting seem to kick in (peace, joy, feeling close to God, etc.) and then I had an epiphany–3pm IS WHEN JESUS WON THE VICTORY ON CALVARY (because I was like, why 3pm). Ooh, that gives me goosebumps. Anyhow, fasting is so powerful, especially when you only do it when the Holy Ghost takes your hunger away because you’re completely depending on Him to do it. Here’s my video diary: http://bit.ly/1BtFOqJ
– Kristen 🙂