Sunday, January 8, 2012

He set my feet upon a rock: Daniel Fast #2

Well, I'm back to where I started. Blogging about doing a fast. I don't want to do a fast. I am rebelling about doing a fast. But I know I'm in need of a fast. Over the course of the past year I have fallen down in some areas of my life that were my life blood. Running. I ran my first half-marathon last November. I thought I would keep it up, but I didn't. Now I can run 3 miles at the max. Bible reading. I stopped having daily Bible reading and a time of solitude with the Lord. I also stopped attending and/or leading women's Bible studies. I did the Daniel fast in February and had some times of drawing near to the Lord. I even had some speaking engagements and was truly inspired in preparation by my time with the Lord. But somehow I got busy with life and let those things go. I thought after the fast I would keep up eating only God-made foods, but I didn't and I'm back to my life-long love of eating all things food. With the lack of exercise and poor eating habits I've put on 10 pounds over the last year. The rebellious part of me is like, "I don't care. I'm so over being in shape and wearing a certain size." But then when I can't fit into my clothes, I'm not so care-free. I know fasting has nothing to do with losing weight. That's not its purpose. In fact one of the reasons I am rebelling against doing a fast is because I know I will go back to my usual way of eating, so what's the point? But fasting isn't about the food. Its about the heart. And that's where my real problem is. I've grown complacent and apathetic, like the rest of the world. I've lost my sense of motivation, sadly, even toward living a life of holiness and being set apart. There are many factors: going back to work, which has been less than satisfying; financial struggles; weariness with being the spiritual leader in my home; unrealized goals and dreams; spiritual warfare; depression; feeling I can't overcome certain things in my life, etc.
The last time I did the Daniel fast, honestly, it really wasn't that hard. I was healthy then, exercising regularly. I wasn't working, so I had a lot of free time to read and study God's Word and to pray. But now, its a whole new game. Last time I was excited to do it. Now, frankly, I dread it. Because I want to eat what I want to eat. And I remind myself again, its not about what I do or don't eat. Its my rebellious heart. Yuck--that is hard to admit. It's so easy to deceive myself into thinking that that's not what its about--that I'm not being rebellious. But I am. And it goes deeper than that. Its a trust issue. Rebellion means I don't trust God. It means I'm going to do it my way rather than trusting that God's way is better.
Do I want to do it? No. I want to eat my dark chocolate peanut butter dream on a cinnamon raisin bagel; and everything else I want to eat. Am I afraid of failing, as I seem to have a life time of? Absolutely. Am I afraid of being disappointed? Yes. Am I afraid of fasting for the wrong motives (attempting to somehow manipulate God or just to get answers from Him; weight loss; just because others are doing it?) Yes.
But fasting is a way of abstaining from certain foods for a time to honor the Lord. It is a time to devote myself to prayer and to studying God's Word; to draw near to Him and He to draw near to me. Will it bring revelation and clarity? I'm believing it will. Will it restore within me the joy of salvation and a sense of urgency for the lost? I will say yes. Will it renew a right spirit within me? Yes. Will it draw me deeper into the Living Waters of a Holy and Redeeming Father? Yes. Will it enable me to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit which I long to do? Yes and Hallelujah! I am going to fast. I'm going to turn to and live in the Truth. I'm going to be changed, restored, and as a brother in Christ put it; recalibrated, in my time with the Lord. If I fall down, and I will; I'm trusting my Counselor will be there to pick me back up, dust me off, and set me on my feet again...
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord" Psalm 40:1-3.