This week I am joining my church in a three day Daniel fast. Journey Church recently finished a series call Hungry. During the series the pastor talked about the significance of fasting. Fasting is abstaining from food, or certain foods, for spiritual purposes. The Daniel fast comes from Daniel 10. The diet for a Daniel fast consists of fruits, vegetables and water.
We started the fast today and so far it has been a challenge. The diet is not that different from what I have been eating recently. Because of health problems I haven’t been able to have caffeine or sugar for the past month. So this week I am only having to cut out meat and dairy products. Though, it feels like a big step. All day I have been hungry. It seems like the fruit and vegetables don’t have any substance.
When my roommate and I began discussing the fast we went over the menu and talked about the things we could have and couldn’t have. Kristin was not happy to let go of the coffee and I really wanted to keep eating my cereal. But, we both surrendered and expect to see God do great things this week. It seemed very difficult at first to figure out what we would be allowed to have. I spent a lot of time thinking what I would eat and how meals would work.
I realized after I had analyzed and questioned what I was going to do, that I already had my focus in the wrong place. Being a perfectionist I wanted to make sure I got everything right, that I didn’t mess up. I felt like if I even accidentally ate something that wasn’t on my list then I would completely mess everything up. I started to get picky and concentrated on not messing up. My entire life I have been worried about making mistakes, disappointed others, and failing to do the best job I can.
And it was starting to now, even with this fast. I felt like God was telling me that it’s not so much about what we “should” and “shouldn’t” eat, just like in life it’s not so much about what we “should” and “shouldn’t” do. It’s about seeking the Lord and giving up something so we better focus on Him. My focus needs to be him, instead of being a list of rules, during this fast and in every other aspect of my life. Not that the rules aren’t a good thing, they give us guidance and direction which we need. But, when our focus is fully on the rules, we miss God all together. I definitely don’t want to miss him this week because all I can think about is if I’m going to mess up by breaking a rule.
I also feel like God is not only calling me to give up food this week. He is calling me to give up my dreams. Because I’m a perfectionist I like to plan. Instead of going to God and asking Him to show me His plans, I often tell Him what I want to do and ask Him to make it happen for me. I am very good at planning, not so good at letting go. I have a lot of plans that I spend a lot of time thinking about. I am impatient and I want things to happen right now, so many times instead of waiting on God and His will, I go off and do my own thing.
He is calling me to give up the pieces of myself that I keep fighting Him for. Those pieces I am holding onto and have refused to give up. All semester it’s been a struggle for me to let go of certain things, to completely surrender. Again, it’s all because of fear. I am afraid I’m going to lose something that really matters…relationships, possessions, the hope of living out my goals and my dreams the way I want to. It is scary to think of giving it all away.
I constantly have to remind myself that God loves us so much. He doesn’t want to take anything away from us, but He wants to make our lives full and He wants to bless us. He has perfect plans for our lives, but in order to get where He wants us to go, we have to surrender our plans. We have to lay it down and let God work in us and through us.
Proverbs 16:3 – Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 20:4 – May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.