Fasting + Prayer What are you grabbing hold of? This is usually the thing that nudges us toward fasting. Let's dig in!
Past the Pain Are you managing your expectations?
Going Without Abstaining is the practice of surrender
Jesus, the ultimate "faster" (Week 04) - Are you following the Leader? Why did He fast?
Fasting has changed my life (Week 05) - How? Fasting changes (or reveals) things.
He answers prayers (Week 06) - Will you praise Him no matter the answer? No matter the answer, the King is still worthy of your praise.
Since Jesus fasted, so will I.
It’s kind of funny, or maybe it isn’t…
The entire reason I started to fast a month ago was for the pain and cloud I’ve felt in regards to parenting my young adult son. No longer living with us and having to navigate some tough times without me (or his dad who died when he was 6yo), I was struggling with how to show up for him.
I was tempted to step in and apologize for all I hadn’t taught him.
Tempted to be ashamed and embarrassed for some of the messes he was in.
Tempted to bear responsibility for the depression and pain he was carrying.
It hasn’t been an easy go and what he was feeling, I was too.
Jesus didn’t have any young adults of His own to walk through this with (though one might argue His disciples behaved like older teens from time to time) but He still fasted. But WHY?
According to His own Words, Jesus fasted so that He might GROW CLOSER TO GOD.
Before fasting for 40 days – which I’ve never done before – Jesus prepared Himself by going away and abstaining for food. He drew closer to God because of the coming temptation. Why would He prepare for that? Because well, temptation is ALWAYS nearby, around the corner, at the click of the button, at the bottom of that second glass or in the conversation(s) you have or hear.
It’s subtle too. Sneaky. It’s stealth-like. And it’s dangerous.
Take a moment. If our ALL POWERFUL SAVIOR regularly practiced fasting, abstaining, retreating, drawing closer to God, isn’t it something we ought to be doing to?
I need it. And before starting this fast four weeks ago, I hadn’t fasted since the beginning of the year. And because the church I was attending at the time was doing it.
But, I am so thankful for Jesus’ example. Because I’ve been diligently walking with God for over 20 years, my faith and reliance can get a bit wishy washy. I’ll attempt to substitute things for Jesus, relationships even. I put my mothering at the forefront of everything.
What do you do when they get their driver’s license? When they get a job? Go off to college? Have a cell phone without your privacy locks, monitoring their use and having their passwords?
What do you do when you’re halfway around the world in China on trip with your husband for business and the morning you’re to be fasting (yep, I fasted in China) your young adult calls to tell you that his car was broken into and that everything was stolen and that the police were having to be involved. Moments before your husband is to present (you’re there to be his moral support and encouragement by the way).
I took the call and listened for fear and anxiety in my son’s voice.
There was only a little.
I asked a few questions, but he had answers.
There were steps he had to take without me there.
He was calling to inform me, not to need me or draw me in.
He was assuring me, notifying me, communicating…
I heard him list what He was grateful to God for, he listened to me do the same. I gave him one tip and we ended our conversation.
Y’all. I still shudder to think about how much more like Jesus I get to become. Need to become. Desire to become. Yet, His perfect example shows me that it is wisdom to prepare for the temptation by drawing closer to God so that when it comes – because it’s coming – the closeness to God will help you stay clinging to the Truth rather than drawn away by the lie (temptation).
Fasting is a gift, a tool, a weapon. I pray that you’re seeing God work as you draw closer to Him in this way.