Friday, January 15, 2016

Fasting: My Journey

When I first learned what fasting was, I thought of it as this easy task. Well, I was completely wrong. I had no idea what temptation came along with the denying of my fleshly desires. I did not know that things that seemed easy to let go of would be the most difficult things to deny while fasting. But I quickly learned.

When I first began fasting it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. Not only did it test me spiritually, the physical and mental tests came along also.

I remember the very first hardcore fast that I did. It was our corporate fast for my choir's annual gospel fest. We were only allowed to have fruit and water between the hours of 7 am and 2 pm. Now, this may not sound like a challenge but I am here to tell you we were struggling. It was very odd to me because normally I could go this long without eating anything but once it became something to grow me spiritually, it got hard.

That's when I realized that this was truly a warfare. I realized that with an opportunity the devil will tempt us and divert us from the task at hand. This taught me the importance of praying while fasting. Without praying during your fasting you will not succeed.

So as I began to pray while fasting, I got easier to handle. It wasn't a piece of cake but it was easier to handle the temptation of wanting to tell God I can't and break my fast. While every fast that I have done has not been perfect praying has helped me strive for the mark of perfection while fasting.

One other thing that I have learned in fasting as well is to know your limits. While you are supposed to push yourself, do not kill yourself. The point of fasting is for you to grow healthy in your relationship with God. Everyone wants to say "God knows how much I can bear", and he does. But do you? God gives us discernment and it is never his intention that we do, the most. Pray and ask God to reveal to you what it is that you should be doing while fasting.

Contrary to popular belief, food is not the only thing that you should fast from. Anything that consumes a lot of your time and seems to replace time spent with God is something that you may want to consider fasting. Whether it be the internet, social media, television, shopping, etc. All of these things can easily take the place of God and it is important that we acknowledge how big of a role they all play in our lives.

I have learned, if nothing else, that fasting is important!! It allows us to get back to God. That quiet time that we should always be spending with God is so much more intimate to me during times of fasting. I feel like an open vessel, like God is just pouring in me everything I need to know to carry me over. I am not implying that when I am not fasting God does not speak to me but what I am saying is that I am more focused and sensitive to his spirit when I am denying my flesh.

I am learning to be diligent and disciplined through fasting. Both are things that I have struggled with all my life and to know that God is growing me in that area because I simply obey is amazing. Through fasting you gain so much wisdom and you grow so much spiritually. You will eventually start to see this growth and get motivated.

If you are starting your journey read what your word says about fasting. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY! It is no fun going into something that you aren't accustomed to without seeking God's guidance first! Remember that this is a journey and that you are learning, be patient with yourself. This is one of the best things that you can do for yourself to grow closer to God. It'll all be worth it.

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