Grace & Peace Loves!
Wow, gosh has it been a while since I have written. The Holy Spirit has been tugging my spirit to write, but some excuse I’ve made, I’ve been loosely using the time God has given all of us. His gifts are so precious, and like time, we all have taken for granted. Today the Holy Spirit tugged so roughly, I couldn’t ignore any longer. With a simple yet powerful devotion on Ephesians ch 5 v:1 “Be imitators of God in everything you do…” via insta-stories of Heather Lindsey, I was convicted to allow God to use some of the gifts He personally uses through me, which is writing and encouragement. What God has done in my life throughout my singleness, I am hoping that my journey will encourage you.
When you think of the topic fasting, what do you think of? Take a moment. I first heard and began learning the term “fasting,” when I was in Catholic school during my high school years, as my school emphasized the concept of Lent and rituals that the Catholic church engages in during this time. My junior and senior year, in our chapel was a sheet of paper with 40 kind gestures to do for 40 days. A teenager, I told myself “Okay I’ll try it!” Not fully understanding that fasting entails stillness, devotion, and prayer with God in replacement from something that usually distracts us and keeps us apart from God anyway. If I only knew back the what I know now..ha! But God’s glory that I am not where I use to be either!
Years after high school, I still participated in Lent. Lent is a period of time millions of people engage! Fasting from social media, chocolate, food, drinking, anything that needed a break, people do it during Lent season..it’s like the mid-year “New Year Resolution,” but with a religious twist. And I get it, we all want blessings, rewards, and to prove to God we can live without these things for a moment in time, giving Him some of our attention. But after my singleness in my late 20’s that fasting became something different from what I have experienced before, something more than proof. Before I only took away things I knew I could manage without and not taking serious the time God desired to have with me. Honestly I had no desire to truly be in worship with Him. Why? Possibly I was still distracted from things I didn’t even see as distractions; lacking understanding the relationship God desired (and He still desires today) to have with me.
Why is it that many of us (yes including myself), only think of fasting during Lent season? Why do we only give up what we know we can go without just for the moment? And why after 40 days and 40 nights, we go right back to our old habit (like a.s.a.p.)? Did we fast just to prove to ourselves or God we can live without social media or a certain food/beverage? Are we fasting only because we need a blessing from God? Or because of religion? Why do you fast?
Lent was a great introduction of fasting for me. But later in my life, as I began taking my relationship and my time spent with God seriously, the concept and action of fasting no longer meant giving up or proving to myself and God that I can live without this or that or even following after religion. Fasting has now become a concept based off of devotion, intercessory prayer, and moderation, eventually doing a new habit; a good habit that will bring Glory to God. I now fast to become more like Christ!
In Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11, we read that Jesus fasted 40 days and nights in the desert where He was tempted to bow down to the enemy’s will. Before the temptation, Jesus was led by the Spirit of God to fast into the desert. Jesus desired time with God the Father where prayer and devotion were not based off of competition, rather holding himself accountable to do the Will of God. Jesus was peaceful in the desert. He concentrated. He stripped himself of distractions and was preparing to do the Will of God. After His fast in the desert is when Jesus began to preach. Jesus used fasting as preparation not as proof!
Today, fasting has become more religious than Spiritual. When the Holy Spirit convicted me during my singleness, I knew that I had to fast. I had to strip myself of my impurities, my guilt, my shame, my mistakes, my hopelessness, distractions such as drinking, men, and the desire to be in a relationship. My first fast was random. It wasn’t during Lent, I couldn’t have waited until February! I needed to surrender right then and there. It was a burning feeling I had to become closer to Christ and study His ways. I did give up social media for more than 40 days, I stopped talking to any guy I was talking to at that time, I stopped hanging out at bars and clubs with friends, I detoxed physically, I totally became more conscious of my life.
I worshipped during all my fasts. I worshipped hard. I cried. I surrendered to God. I realized that I needed better habits that brought God glory. I needed energy to do God’s Will in ministry. I needed to hear God’s voice. I wanted to please God with habits that I knew He would be pleased with as my lifestyle.
A new perspective on fasting: fasting is the beginning of a lifestyle to be more like Christ. It is not about replacing your bad habit with Christ then when the time is up to go back to your bad habit, kicking Christ to the curb. Fasting is when the Holy Spirit speaks to and leads your heart and convicts your mind to be more like Christ forever during your time on Earth.
Don’t wait once a year for Lent to fast. And understand your fast is not for proof! It is for worship! Previously I fasted for married couples either separated or divorced. The Holy Spirit led me, just as the Spirit led Jesus, to pray for those who need deliverance and guidance. My faith assures me that someone was delivered, I know! I didn’t fast because I wanted to prove to God I could, and because it wasn’t Lent, no one knew why I was away (except my Mom). I needed God to move through the land where marriages are falling apart.
You see my dear, fasting is bigger than you! It’s bigger than religion! Fast because God’s Spirit led you to do it! I didn’t fast because I needed something from God like money or a job. I fast for deliverance, healing, and guidance. Surrendering every situation in the world to God because He’s in control. Level up your relationship with God through fasting, eliminating all your distractions and giving it all to God!