Loving God. Loving People.

Pre-Fast Lesson: Day 1

Title: You Can’t Fast and Eat!
Text: II Corinthians 10:5
By Heather Lambert

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:5)

For the past 8 years, I have committed to do the 21 day fast with the people of Clearpoint. Each year has revealed new and different struggles in my heart and life and produced new and different breakthroughs. I want to tell you about the huge breakthrough I experienced fasting in the very first year. When Brian approached me about the idea of the 21 day fast, I wish I could say I embraced the idea. I did not. (That resistant spirit should have been the first clue to me that God wanted to do a major work in my life through fasting and the enemy wanted to keep his strongholds.) I remember reluctantly committing to the fast saying, “Fine, it won’t even be hard for me, I don’t struggle with food.” Well, I was eating those words before the end of the first 24 hours!

Fasting is hard! Harder than I ever imagined. It takes discipline, commitment, and mental strength. It takes constantly taking every single thought and hunger pain captive and beating it into subjection to Christ and his desire for us to develop as spiritual warriors with great strength. II Corinthians 10:5 is a scripture I held to and recited numerous times daily. It teaches, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

I had to admit it, I was struggling. I was afraid this just wasn’t going to work for me. My mind began to grow weaker and weaker. I justified the idea of quitting. People who fasted in Biblical times did not have the demands of current life schedules, I thought. I had lost over 20 pounds and my thoughts were starting to get very foggy. I was working over 40 hours a week, going to grad school, parenting and fulfilling obligations. I needed my strength! In my desperation, I found myself sitting on a stool in my pantry. Reasoning with myself turned into prayer and justifying myself to God.

One of the greatest things about fasting is creating space and developing the discipline to listen to God. Creflo Dollar says, “Prayer is simply communicating with God. It is not a monologue where you’re the only one talking. It is a dialog where you’re talking to God and he’s talking back to you.” In that pantry, in my time of weakness and desperation, I had a great conversation with God. I was trying to devise a way to satisfy the letter of the law and continue the fast and to eat. I remember asking God if I put some crackers in the blender and added some water and blended them up finely, made them liquid, then would I still be keeping to the fast? (I told you I was desperate for food.) I remember the Lord clearly saying to me, “Eat. I will love you no more if you continue the fast and no less if you break the fast.” That moment, that revelation unlocked some performance based idea of love of Christ and set me free. God loves me completely no matter my actions! His love is not dependent on my goodness, but His. Then, the Lord said, “But you can’t eat and fast.” I was instantly reminded of Matthew 6:24, ““No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” In my case, I could not serve God and my comfort or my food. For the first time in my walk with Christ, I wanted to serve him out of LOVE, not out of obligation or expectancy. I cried out to him for strength, left the place of temptation in the pantry and fellowshipped in my new understanding of a God who loves me, perfectly!

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