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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Fasting: God’s heart cleanser

Tonight I wonder how I can keep from singing His praise when I have met with Him? How can I refrain from worshiping Him when I have been in His presence? I do not know exactly what this next phase in my life will be, but it is clear from all His communication with me that it will involve worship. Worship, joy and praise.

Mornings are so hard for me, especially when I am fasting. How can I praise before I get a bite to eat? How can I be joyful when I am thinking about how nice food would taste and how long it is before I can have some? The agony of hunger always draws me to Him. It redirects my focus. It makes me realize all my everything comes from Him.

I will never forget the first time I went on an extended fast. Except for one time when I had fasted for one day, it was the first time I fasted in my life. By the end of the first week, I realized something literally I had known in theory since I was three: I would die without food. The super hyper-independent woman I thought I was would die without the apple her ancestors ate in the garden that caused her initial spiritual death in the first place. Like her ancestor, she was weaker than a piece of fruit.

Honestly, it was a weird and entirely necessary revelation. Even if it was nearly two years after I hit rock bottom and came to an end of my own will, I had no idea how weak I actually was. I am sure I still do not.

My second extended fast had me walking through the streets of the wealthiest sections of town, crying. Layers of bitterness, jealousy and envy were brought to the surface. God, I have given up earning an income worth speaking of and You won’t let me eat either!!?? It seemed so ridiculously unfair and cruel. I learned to open my hands up to God on a whole new level. To learn to trust Him about what He says is good.

By the end of that second fast I rejoiced I was able to walk among skyscrapers and temporal extravagance without envy. Am I still sometimes envious? Absolutely. Occasionally my type A, career-driven, selfish, make-a-name-for-myself self rears her ugly head. She wants people to think she is important again. She wants her job title to inspire confidence instead of doubt. That prideful part of me keeps having to die.

This third fast is another doozy. Perhaps the most unplanned. One morning I woke up and just knew the time to fast had arrived. This time God is working on another part of my attitude. I always struggle the most with being joyful in the morning. I have the hardest time seeing the best in people. I have the hardest time not defending myself in imaginary arguments. I have learned my go-to defense mechanism when someone has hurt me is criticizing them over and over in my head. I struggle with it the most in the morning.

This time God has asked me to be joyful. To sing His praise. To read the book of Philippians over and over again. In this time of fasting and life transition, I am not to let one word of complaint pass through my lips. I tremble at His request. I know it is a request He has made in love. I know I will only reap good from obeying, but I also know my weakness. I know His Word says “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”. If I do not want it to come out of my mouth, it cannot be in my heart.

So I have been practicing joy. I have been singing His praise. I have been praying harder than I have ever prayed before. If praying is knocking on the doors of heaven, I have been banging so hard the door is about to break open.

Fasting continues to be one of the hardest, longest spiritual disciplines I have experienced. I have found it to always be well worth the outcome. Always God uses it to cleanse my heart. To bring things to the surface and help me deal with them. To remove the remnants of the ugliness of my sinful nature. It is in moments like these that I simultaneously dread finishing this fast and eagerly anticipate the next.

What are you doing to allow God to clean the selfishness from your heart?

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