I decided to fast.
People fast all the time. However, I have tried and failed multiple times due to my love for food and hate towards the discomfort of hunger. But, despite past failures, I was determined to be strong and push through 24 hours without food.
The purpose of my fast was to for-go my fleshly desires, and rely fully on the Lord; to pray at each discomfort, and seek the Lord for fulfillment of His Word and Spirit.
I started off strong, by missing my favorite meal of the day… BREAKFAST! By lunch I was hungry, but felt confident when I denied both Dunkin Doughnuts and a PB&J Sandwich. As I spent the afternoon in Barnes and Noble, I started to become faint. But continued to write out prayers for the next half hour, until I was too light headed to think (pathetic, I know).
Rather than to use my hunger to engulf myself in prayer and fulfill my purpose in fasting, I headed home to take a nap…knowing sleep would take my mind off my hunger. I justified that my nap would leave me refreshed and therefore promised myself to finish the night by reading and praying.
Sleep worked like a charm, until I was woken to my Mom calling me downstairs.
The moment I stepped out of my room, I knew I was in trouble…and trouble was confirmed the moment I met my family gathered around the dinner table with plates full of pizza and wings….MY FAVORITE!
I quickly justified to myself that I needed to join my family, as it was my brothers last night before he headed back to University for the semester. Before I had time to comprehend what I was doing, I had already eaten 2 slices of pizza and 3 wings.
It tasted so good!
But no sooner had I started eating, did I feel the urge to vomit. I could not move, every motion made me queasy. I laid on the couch for 2 hours, feeling sick and sulking in my defeat. Not only had I given in to temptation and failed once again, but I also just wasted most of my night. I will never see those wasted hours again.
Praise to Gods grace, that I was not left sick for too long and he redeemed my failures by teaching me a lesson through a tangible analogy.
My failure started before I ever took that bite of pizza. It started when I became weak and tired; when I no longer was dependent on the Lord...when I decided to do things my way and take the easy way out. (ie, take a nap)
It worsened, as my nap took me out of prayer and communion with God, and I was left weak. Being weak, while presented with temptation is a recipe for failure.
Failure happened when appeasing my flesh became more important than honoring God to every extreme.
The satisfaction of quenching my desires through temptation left my flesh satisfied for only a brief moment (ie, eating cheesy pizza), but created a lasting effect on my soul. It took less than 10 min to eat that pizza, but left my stomach and mind in anguish 12x longer as I spent 2 hours on the couch. Clearly turmoil and regret were not worth savory taste buds.
My defeat left me useless, as I was not able to fully carry out my ambitions and goals. It took away precious time, that I will never get back.
I am aware that eating a few slices of pizza in the midst of a fast, does not qualify me in the world record book of sinners (if there was such a thing). But it is in the small and weak, that God reveals the big and powerful. Through this small story of my weakness, He has taught me a big and powerful lesson:
I cannot rely on my flesh, except in expectation that it will lead me astray.
A moment of walking on my own is the invitation to multitudes of temptation and failure. Doing things my way will always get me off course.
Satisfaction is only found in the Lord.
Enticing things are usually a pathway to deception. Sin takes me farther than I ever intended to go, and costs me more than I ever expected to pay.
Justification is another term for disregarding God. It is an ugly word with ugly results.
No matter how confident I may be to overcome something, my flesh will always fail me, and it is through humility of my spirit and denial of my flesh, God will be the one to over come.
“God uses various forms of discomfort to woo us to cry out to Him, but He never forsakes us. God is the only one who is not repelled by the depth and length of our needs”- Beth Moore.
My favorite part of the lesson was to be taken deeper with my Heavenly Father…even through the means of justification, temptation, choosing my flesh, and experiencing failure. To know that His love is unfailing despite any circumstance or failure I might encure, I am free to rely on Him and ditch my flesh!
In my weakness, He makes me strong!