The Fasting Mirror
Not for the faint of heart. Only read if you’re willing to take a hard look at yourself that will lead to transformation through Christ.
For example, the Daniel Fast restricts food for a spiritual purpose. So there are some foods that you need to not eat for 21 days. If you struggle with that, what’s at the root of your challenge? Are you so dependent on certain things that if they are removed you feel “undone” or so weak you’re not sure you can make it? Do you try to find substitutes so you can “work around” the guidelines and then your flesh can still be satisfied?
When you struggle or even when you give into temptation, do you go to friends so they can pat your on the shoulder and say, “Oh, you’re okay. Don’t worry. Don’t feel bad.” Then you can go on. End of story. Or, do you go the Lord and talk with Him about what’s happening in your life? Do you seek His counsel so you can discover the causes of your struggle or the sometimes hidden reasons for why you gave into the temptation? Do you seek Jesus as your Rabbi so He can teach you so you grow from this experience and become stronger for the next time you are tempted?
Do you find yourself focusing on food in an unbalanced way . . . what you should eat and what you should drink? All kinds of different and more complex recipes and various menu plans. And then you don’t seem to have the time or attention span to spend quality time with the Lord or in study? Yes, you’re engaged with the fast, but still not drinking from the deep flowing waters of God’s truths? Or the food gets so complicated and time consuming that you just want to give up?
When someone asks a question about the fast, are you sure of your answer because you’ve studied it out and relied on trustworthy research? Or do you give an answer because you “think that’s the way it is.” Or because in your opinion “that’s the way it should be” or because “that’s they way it’s always been done.”
And now the big question! If you see yourself in these scenarios, when do the same issues show up in other parts of your life? Do you depend on the opinions of others rather than first seeking God and searching the Scriptures? Do you depend on others or situations for your peace and well-being rather than putting your trust in God and His promises? If conforming to the ways of the Lord are challenging, do you ignore them or find another way to “get by?” Are you quick to give your opinion about God and His ways, even though you can’t back it with His written Word? Are there parts of the living the kingdom lifestyle that you feel are just too hard, so you don’t even try?
The fast can serve as a mirror that reflects back to you how you live your life. If you find room to grow or change, then seek the Lord and make the adjustments under His guidance. Let the fast be a laboratory of sorts so you can realize where you are strong in your faith and living a faith-driven life . . . and also where you can discover some areas that need attention.
As you “look in the mirror,” remember that Jesus did not come to condemn, but rather to love. So let Him lovingly take you by the hand and show you how this fast can be a transformational experience for you. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2