Fasting. This word often comes with many negative connotations.
(You may be tempted to close your browser at the sight of it-- but bear with me.)
I, too, used to shudder at the mention of fasting— that is until I had a change of perspective...
When I was a little girl, I wanted a cat. So when, one day, a handsome feline appeared at our doorstep, meowing pathetically , I did what any other cat-wanting kid would do… I fed it.
“Don’t feed it!” My dad would scold, “It’ll keep coming back!”
And he was right. It took days to convince that cat he wasn’t getting another morsel of food from our cabinets before he decided to make his way to a more hospitable abode.
My flesh is much like that cat. It cries out, I feed it. And not just physical nourishment— all of the things it cries for that feel good.
But as I feed “the beast” I notice it keeps coming back for more.
More social media.
More of my way.
More, more, more.
And by the time I realize that it has taken over my life, and I finally say, “No… ”
the flesh freaks. Meltdowns ensue. I give in, and it begs for even more.
Do you know what fasting is? Fasting is about starving the flesh and feeding the spirit instead. As we say “no” to whatever it is we have determined, we quiet the “beast” and its roar begins to fade.
Fasting refocuses our energy on feeding our spirit instead. As we read the Word, worship and pray, our spirit grows greater and stronger. You see, going without food does not contain any magical power in and of itself. Fasting simply increases our awareness of God’s presence in our lives, and our need for Him.
Sister has your flesh run amuck?
Galatians 5:19-21 says, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature [the flesh], the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”
At times I can relate to more of these than I’d like to admit. If you feel the same, now is the time to stop feeding the “cat.”
Romans 8:12-13 encourages, “Therefore, dear… sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.”
We are not obligated to fulfill every wish and whim of our flesh. No, as Christ-followers, we are instead obligated to fulfill the desire of the Spirit, which produces the fruit of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Fasting is about “less of me,” and less of me equals more of Christ.
Isn’t this our desire? We pray “More of you, Jesus”, but if we’re honest, we’re not always willing to take that extra step he’s calling us to take-- like fasting.
Friend, let’s throw off our prior misconceptions and hang-ups about fasting. As wives and moms we have a great spiritual responsibility. Let us not take that lightly, but pursue Him more passionately by making fasting a critical component of our walk with Him.
Today, instead of plugging our ears, covering our eyes and, ultimately, letting our flesh rule the day, let’s begin to lay every bit of our lives before Him and listen for His leading in this area.
Word of the Day:
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest ever-lasting life from the Spirit. (Galatians 6:8)
Jesus, Forgive me for letting my flesh rule my life. Help me to diligently feed my Spirit through time in your Word, and in prayer instead. I lay everything before you now and pray that you will lead me in this area of fasting— more of you, less of me, God. In your name I pray, Amen.