Am I afraid to fast?

23 Jul

I’ve been a Christian a long time, and yet somehow I’ve been able to slip under the radar for taking the plunge into the fasting life style.

It isn’t that I haven’t understood fasting and the importance and relevance for it, or even that I haven’t wanted to start making it apart of my walk with the Lord.

Really, it’s probably the result of two reasons.  1.) I love food.  2.) I wasn’t sure I could be successful.

I remember there were a couple of times in the last 7 years where some big things were taking place in our lives and in the lives of others and it was made known some opportunities to fast, and I was actually thoroughly relieved that I had an excuse not to participate… I was pregnant. Whew.

See, I don’t like to do things unless I know I am going to not only complete it, but do it with excellence.

Fasting always seemed to me like “the big-ticket.”  Those who fasted got answers from God. They were “in tight” with the man upstairs.

What if I fasted and didn’t get any answers from the Lord? Would that reveal that my heart really wasn’t right?  That I wasn’t fasting for the right reasons? With the right motives? In the right way?

On the flip side of that, God does not remove challenges and physical ailments for those who are fasting.  Just like in the desert it tells us that Jesus had fasted for 40 days and he was tired and hungry.  It isn’t like God looked down and said “Oh honey, you’re fasting, OK, well I’ll remove hunger from you. And make you feel like you’ve had a months worth of rest.”

That defeats the purpose of the fast.  It’s a physical sacrifice.  It’s a sacrifice in our physical body to die to ourselves and seek only God for strength, answers and purpose.

Since having my gall bladder removed in 2006… if I go long periods of time without eating, I get nasty heart burn from the bile that enters your stomach.  And I’ve been afraid of trying to work through that.  Some times it is so bad, without medicine, it leads to vomiting episodes.

Man- doesn’t that make you want to run out and start fasting today?

I don’t know if I reached desperation or if my faith is colliding with my fear, but it is time to give this act of worship up to the Lord.  There are some really significant things going on in our lives and we need to hear from the Lord and recognize His leading.  Prayer alone isn’t filling the hunger in my heart over these situations.

Last Wednesday, Josh and I fasted for lunch.  To my surprise, my physical body handled it pretty well.  I tried hard to get in some extra prayer with the Lord.  But prayer time is really choppy and interrupted often for the life of a stay at home mom with 4 kids.

I don’t know what I expect to happen.  I don’t know if we’ll keep fasting one meal a day once a week, or if we’ll try something else, but I know that this act of worship is going to be apart of our lives as we beg God for His leading.

Practical Application-

Lay down my expectations for fasting.  It isn’t science.  Nor will magic results happen for only certain people.

Take the plunge. In some way or another, start somewhere and begin pouring my whole heart into where I start.

Be willing to face my fear that God may not respond with fireworks and a bullhorn. But also that He might start moving in a way I was never willing to look before.

 

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