Friday, February 14, 2020

Discovering Life Through the F Word

Did January feel extra long to anyone else?

Every year my church starts the New Year with 21-days of prayer and fasting. There were a few things I knew right away I would fast off.

Social media, sleep, wine.

They had a service that began at 6 am every morning at the campus and I've NEVER gotten up and gone. (Mainly because I feel like that's an ungodly hour to wake up and then actually leave the house by.)

Not this time! No, ma'am! I made my whiny toddler-like self go to bed on time, set the alarm for 5 am and did it! Hence, the fasting on sleep or should I say staying in bed until the last possible second and then running late.

I had to ask myself some hard questions like ...where do my comfort and hope come from?

Does it come from tv, social media, alcohol, food, sleep, relationships??

Yes...all of the above.

There was one thing I wasn't planning on giving (UGH!!)

But once God asked me to lay it down -I thought about it, whined that it wasn't a problem, (pitched a mini tantrum and sulked) - I obediently did so ;).

A shift happened around Day 7 in my heart.

I realized I hadn't felt this "hungry" for God in a long time. So I took it one step further and adopted a partial fast each day.
I wanted MORE. And in some weird way, I knew the pain would make me needier for God.

My stomach had become a demanding god (demanding mostly pizza, ahem). My soul was bossing around my emotions and sending me into tailspins that would take me days to get out of.

When the body and soul are too loud they lead to destruction. (Proverbs 14)

I learned fasting allows the body and soul to simmer down, quite literally, so that the spirit can rise up.

It's a fascinating experience. (And no doubt why the fitness industry has caught on with its intermittent fasting as a BREAKTHROUGH new diet. Naw, God created it thousands of years ago ;))

Your mind clears up (your digestion system gets back into balance) your world gets quiet, and all the things that were vying for your attention now have to take a step back.

Social media had become and still is a mindless trap. It was messing with my emotions big time. When I got off I slept better than I had in years and my anxiety was WAY down. 

I listened to a podcast interview with best-selling author and former manager of (in)courage who went off social media several months ago and I loved what she said about it...
"Social media doesn't have deep roots. You think you can't live without it and yet when you do, you realize you media inflates ourselves. The story becomes about us. It grossly over-inflates who we are." Lisa Jo Baker

All The YESES!!! 

Less about us and more about others. The lesson of Jesus. Over and over. ( I think social media could be its own little post)

I've made gods out of many things, I'm ashamed to say, and I've let God get smaller and smaller.

But through fasting, it allowed me to put things in proper order 1. Spirit 2. Body 3. Soul
(and keep putting in proper order because it's EASY to get disordered)

When I'm spirit led I turn to God and praise Him NO MATTER what I'm going through.

When I'm Body led I turn to food and alcohol.

When I'm Soul led I let my emotions send me straight into the pit of depression.

I will have no master over me but God. Amen.

In my own strength I can't do it, but can I do anything worth doing in my own strength anyway?
"Everything is permissible for me" - but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"-but I will not be mastered by anything." (1 Cor 6:12)
"Your good thing has become your god thing, and you are no longer free to abandon yourself completely to the worship of your Creator." Alisa Keeton, The Wellness Revelation
Isn't this what true freedom is about?
What about you? Is there anything in your life you've let have too much of your time? What are your little g's? Maybe it's time to reorder to create order.


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