What went wrong with my fasting venture Tuesday? Honestly, it was all wrong from “Go!” But my gracious God blessed me with benefits from it anyway.
Mistake #1 – I didn’t seek God’s guidance first (by prayer, Bible reading, and waiting on God to ascertain His timing.) I assumed I was doing something good, responding to a writing prompt about a “spiritual discipline.”
Related Mistake #2 – I did it for the wrong reason. Though I said we shouldn’t fast just for the sake of fasting, I did, even though I tacked on vague hoped-for results. My fast matched none of the biblical examples of my last post.
Mistake #3 – It was all flesh, just the work of (wo)man, to be expected to fail. Flesh alone can’t do a spiritual discipline. I needed the Holy Spirit working in this.
Mistake #4 – I bit off too much at once. (Pardon the pun.) Husband advised, “Keep it small.” I thought I had. But not small enough. By mid-afternoon, I could feel my metabolism, and blood sugar, drop: sluggishness, brain fog, even a tad of dizziness.
Mistake #5 – “There’s a time to every purpose,” and this was not the best one. I’d just been accomplishing healthier eating, not too much, not too little, and steadily dropping weight, benefiting body, mind, and spirit. (And that effort had started with prayer and involved God’s help and my self-discipline). This disruption threw my metabolism and weight loss into reverse!
Also, though it freed up lunch hour for quietness with God, by 2 PM I was just spinning my spiritual wheels, and my day got less quality time with God, all totaled, than usual!
Still, God is good. Even when I mess, He blesses.
Benefit #1 – My empty belly reminded me of African brothers and sisters who, even apart from drastic famine times, often go through a season of one meal a day. Thus, an Isaiah 58 principle kicked in.
Benefit #2 – I became painfully aware of my impulse to head toward fridge or cupboard just because it was a particular time, or because I was passing through the kitchen, even though I wasn’t authentically hungry.
Benefit #3 – I gained all the wisdom listed above about how not to fast.
So, to fast or not to fast? Both. At the proper times, with the right motives, and empowered by God.
Meanwhile, I do best to concentrate on the “fast” of Colossians 2:18-23 (Hover cursor and read) — “holding FAST to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together… grows with the increase from God.”
There’s the most important “fast,” and the most important thing to do during any food fast.