Ever since I have read Robert Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, I have been intrigued by fasting.
Before reading this book, I was not sure that fasting was a road that I wanted to go down. Who in their right mind wants to give up food for 3, 5, 15, 21, 40 days?
I wouldn’t say the book changed me but it got me interested in exploring spiritual disciplines that I have not been successful with or just flat out neglected.
I have completed a few three, and five day fasts. My body is now too well adjusted to three and five day fasts. I knew that I needed to go longer.
I recently completed a 15 day fast. I know that is no where near 21 or 40 days but let me share with you some things I learned by fasting in this short time.
I Am Addicted To Food
The first three days of fasting were not painful. It did not really bother me. Well…my brother in law did buy me Chick-fil-A and did not understand why I did not eat it. I wanted to cave right then. Chick-fil-A!
Anyway, after the fifth day things begin to get real. My brain wanted me to eat. My brain and my body were wanting me to eat anything I saw. I fed my two little boys Cheerios and my brain thought the cereal was the “precious” ring in LOTR. My body doesn’t care what I eat, as long as I eat. It doesn’t care if you eat processed foods, salad, fast food, baked goods, snack food, junk food or Jello. All it wants is for you to eat. Why? If you do not feed it, it starts to eat itself.
My brain and my body cannot be trusted. I have resolved that I will not be a slave to food.
Most Of What I Thought Was Food Was Not Good For Me
When the fast was over, I had a fried pork chop. I like fried foods and I like pork chops. However, during the 15 days of fasting, my system detoxed. Chemicals and toxins and other impurities had left my body.
When I finished the pork chop, I felt sick. I could taste the excess salt in the food. I could taste the oil that was retained in the breading after it had been removed from the fryer. I remember telling my wife that I should have ate a salad.
I Don’t Spend As Much Time With God As I Would Like
I am a pastor. I spend time in the Bible preparing for sermons, I read the Bible with my little boys, I listen to podcasts and rap music (116 Represent), but I don’t spend as much time with God as I want to.
I am a husband, daddy, and pastor. I love playing with my kids and I love spending time with my wife. I love my church. Yes, I am busy. I help with housework, write blogs and other articles, write sermons, plan and prepare for church events and other things, I am truly busy. Then there is the subject of down time.
See, that is where I am not good with time. I do not always spend my down time or free time in a productive manner. I have to agree with my wife that I probably spend a little too much time on Instagram or reading through Twitter.
It is in this down time that I need to focus on spending time with God. I need the outpouring of his grace and mercy as much as anyone else. I cannot expect that God would send a revival in my church or my city if at first there is not a revival in me. The solution……I will be a better manager of my down time. I want my relationship with God to be as good as it can be. I want my relationship with my Heavenly Father to be better than the relationship my two boys have with me.
Fasting Needs To Be More Of A Priority
Fasting is a neglected discipline. I neglected it for most of my Christian life. I want to be better disciplined as a disciple of Jesus. I am going to start incorporating the discipline of fasting more often in my life. In fact, I have scheduled two more for this year and already have two on the calendar for next year. This is something I want to do because I believe fasting is a way that God teaches me things and works in me to conform me more to his image.
What is a discipline that God has been wanting you to incorporate?
What are you learning from that experience? Share in the comments.