Thursday, October 12, 2017

Are you feeling “STUCK”?

Do you need a break thru? Are you seeking direction for your life? Do you feel “stuck” in your walk with God? Do you not know what to do next or how to accomplish what God has put before you? If so, have you ever thought about fasting?

Last week I did something crazy. I fasted NETFLIX! I know… it doesn’t sound like a big deal. I’m not addicted or a binge watcher or anything, but it had become some what of a distraction for me. For that reason and the fact that I want to push past the rut I’m in and move closer to God, I decided to take a break from it. The results were awesome!

WHY should we fast?
Fasting or putting something aside for awhile (while focusing MORE on God during that time) can do amazing things! When we give God MORE attention He brings… Break thru, we can hear His voice better, feel His nudges better, His word becomes alive to us as we read it, what our priorities should be become clearer to us, and so much more. Not to mention mediocre relationships with God become radical!
When we fast, we choose to take the focus off of “us” for a specific amount of time and purposely place our focus on God. Fasting helps us gain perspective, learn self-control, softens our hearts, gives us direction for the future, opens up our schedules, realigns our priorities, clears out the clutter, silences the noise, and unclogs the blockage in our lives. What kind of blockage am I speaking about? Well… it could be writer’s block, but many times it’s those things blocking fresh vision for your life, or God dreams for the future.

As you take the time to fast and focus more on God, it’s almost like a “Spiritual Drano” is poured deep down into your spirit. I can almost hear it bubbling, fizzing, and popping like peroxide in a wound. It’s eating away at all of the “ugly” inside of us. Once all of it is broken up and pushed out of the way, there is more room for God’s spirit to flow freely in our lives.

What could happen in and through you if you chose to set all distractions aside and focus more on God for just ONE week? I think you would be shocked at the results!

WHAT could we fast?
I’ve heard it said before… “No pain, no gain!” That is totally true when it comes to fasting. Whatever you decide to fast, you need to choose something that will be painful for you to lose for a week. If it isn’t hard or a sacrifice for you to do, you won’t see the results you were hoping for. Here are some ideas for you to try…

Food- There are a variety of ways people do this. They fast ALL food and drink only drink water. They might only eat fruits and veggies or just fast a meal a day. When it comes to fasting food, make sure you are doctor approved if you have any health issues or risks. Don’t feel like you are missing out if you can’t do this particular type of fast. There are so many other ways you can fast something for God.

Note: If you are fasting food and you aren’t replacing that time with MORE time with God then you are just dieting.

Other things we could fast are…
Social Media, a Sport, a Hobby, Video Games, Chocolate, Listening to certain music, Pop (or soda whatever you like to call it… LOL), TV, computer, phone, reading certain things, going to the movies, hanging out with certain people, Spending money on certain things, Wearing Make Up (I know someone who actually did this. They were touched powerfully through this fast!). I think you get the point. Fast whatever God lays on your heart!

The results come as we obey God’s leading, stay committed to follow through, and set all distractions aside.

HOW do we fast?
First off I would say… you need a plan! Determine WHAT you are fasting and for HOW LONG you will be doing this. Share this with a close friend or family member to keep accountable. Sometimes it’s easier to skip out on your commitment to following through when nobody else knows. Accountability helps.

How long should you fast? I would suggest you plan your fast for at least a week. You don’t really see the full benefit of your fasting otherwise.

The whole idea of fasting is to spend MORE purposeful time with God. If you are fasting a meal… spend that time praying and seeking more of God. If you are fasting secular music… replace that time with playing Christian music and more time with God. If you are seeking God’s direction for your life or having trouble making a big decision… set aside specific times to pray and spend more time with God. Give God your complete attention during this time.

It’s hard to really seek God when there are so many distractions all around us

How do we do it? I have a few ideas for you that may help… 

Find a private place you won’t be interrupted to be with Him. Seek out some place where you won’t be distracted (or at least you are distracted less). It may not be the same place each day, but find somewhere to steal away moments with God. You could pray in the shower, in the car, on a walk, in a closet, in your bedroom, pretty much anywhere you can get alone and won’t be distracted.

Choose a special time to meet with God. If you choose a specific time, there is a better chance it will happen. Choose a time that fits best for YOU so it happens.

What should our time with Him look like? It can be different for everyone. I would suggest you put on some worship music… (Music that will focus your heart on spending more time with God) and start to pray. Get hungry for more of God. Pour your heart out to Him… the good, bad, and ugly. He isn’t surprised by anything. Take time to surrender every area of your life to Him. Ask for forgiveness, pray for fresh vision for your life, pray for break through in your life and others, start a prayer list, etc... Then after you have prayed awhile, open your Bible and begin reading. Choose a specific book of the Bible to read during this week Esther is a good one. Powerful things happened when she fasted and prayed! (One chapter a day is a good start).

Continue the conversation all day long! Prayer is NOT an event we do each day to mark off of our “to do” list. It’s taking time and making time to connect with our heavenly father and best friend. Sometimes it will be connecting randomly throughout the day like I do with my spouse and kids (through texts, calls, and little notes) and other times it will be setting aside special, purposeful time to be together. The quick and easy connecting with my family is great, but when we have time to have a family night together or my spouse and I are able to have a date night our relationship has the opportunity to grow deeper.

Supplies Needed:
What do you need for this special fast? Well, I would suggest getting a notebook. You could do the basic spiral bound school type notebook with lined paper. They are pretty cheap. Bring it with you wherever you go to spend time with God. Take time to talk with Him, but also make time to listen. Write down scriptures that stand out to you as you read the Bible, specific things you want to pray about, and anything else that comes to mind as you seek Him.

Be purposeful in your pursuit of MORE of God! When your fast is over… if you have been faithful to what God has asked you to do, you should feel different! You should be more sensitive to His voice and obedient to His nudges. You should have clarity, feel peace, and have more self-control just to name a few obvious changes.

Two scriptures come to mind when I think about fasting…

Philippians 4:6-7 says
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (NIV)

Fasting is a time to lay your requests at His feet trusting Him with the outcome. When we do, He promises to wrap us in His peace… hearts and minds! 

James 4:8 says…
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (ESV)

As we spend MORE time with God during our fast… drawing closer to Him, this verse promises that HE will draw near to us. I love that! Regardless of whether we get our answer during our fast, we will feel closer to God by the end! That alone is worth it all!

I don’t have all the answers when it comes to fasting, but hopefully I’ve given you some ideas so you can test it out for yourself.

In case you just stumbled upon this blog post accidentally… and you don’t have a personal relationship with God (or you have strayed from a previous commitment), I don’t want to leave you hanging.

Maybe you were hooked by the whole idea of needing a change or wanting a break through. If so, I want to let you know that the change or breakthrough you are looking for comes through a personal relationship with God. He makes all the difference!

I challenge you to take a moment today and connect with God
. Share your heart with Him… all of it! He wants to hear the good and the bad. When you are finished invite Him to come into your heart and life. Start a fresh life with Him today. After you do so, be sure to message me. I want to hear all about it! It’s life changing!!!

Fasting… it’s a whole new adventure! Try it some time!

Living to leave a legacy,