Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Joys of Fasting (or How to gorge yourself until you meet Jesus)

I first started fasting in 2007, but not food, media.  See, I'm a T.V. addict.  There, I've said it.  The first step is in admitting you have a problem.  I'm such a terrible addict that when I was a child my mother didn't even have to spank me.  All she had to threaten me with no TGIF on ABC.  If you don't know what TGIF on ABC is, then you've missed it.  Lin Manuel Miranda said it best, "Gmorning Twitterico! Its Friday! If this were 1990 we'd be fiending for that new Perfect Strangers n Step by Step tonight!"  Remember "Step by Step", "Family Matters" and "Perfect Strangers", just to mention a few?  C'mon people, work with me.  If you don't know what I'm talking about after all of the television classicness I've just spewed on you, Google it friend, Google it.  Because frankly, you've missed out in life.  I'm already feeling bad for you. 

Moving on. . .

In 2010 I started fasting food.  It started out pretty badly.  I got diarrhea and was vomiting.  Don't worry, this isn't a common occurrence.  It was just poor planning on my part.  After I figured out what happened I began actually enjoying fasting.  I feel closer to the Lord during my fasts, even with all the ugliness that comes out in the process.  When you're hungry, you can be mean.  That meanness is your swarthy flesh rearing it's ugly head and getting in the way of the awesome encounter the Lord wants to have with you in your weakness.  Yes, it's hard.  Yes, it can honestly suck at times.  I've made two desserts almost every week for other people since my sweets fast started.   It's not easy to fast while everyone is raving about your yummy cheesecake, or chocolate cake or mousse dessert.  Your flesh wants to taste it, "to make sure it's okay" or  "to make sure the whipped cream is sweet enough".  But to be honest, what I'm fasting for is so much more important to me than having any of those desserts.  I am so desperate for the Lord to meet me right now.  I am desperate to hear His voice and to be free.  I am desperate for breakthrough in my life.  I know that He has great plans for me and I don't want my anger to continue to hold me back from the greatness that is right in front of me.  So, when you come at it from that perspective, a cheesecake seems like celery when compared to what you'll get from killing your flesh.  It's also never about self-control, but grace.  Because seriously, if it were up to me, I would have had a piece of each cheesecake, my sister's yummy cupcakes and a piece of the chocolate cake as well.  But, no, I had fruit.  That's got to be the Lord!  Bottom line, if you think your going to fast in  your own power, your wrong and I promise you'll fail frequently.  We are a greedy and selfish people.  We allow our Id to take over.  Freud knew what he was talking about some of the time. 
I don't know what to tell you.  It's not like I have some incredible revelation afterwards that changes my existence everytime I fast.  But I do feel closer to the one who gave up everything for me.  I figure, if he could die for me, why can't I give up pizza and cheesecake for him every once in a while.  Frankly, it's not a lot to ask.

Isaiah 58:4-6 (AMP)
4[The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
 6 [Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke?