Lessons from a Fast
When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. – Psalm 69:10
A reproach is something you are disappointed in, or something in which you disapprove. The author in this verse is saying, “When I fasted, I disapproved of my soul.” I certainly found this to be true. There is something about always being full and content by eating three to five times a day. I don’t think we do it consciously at all, but full bellies make for prideful souls. I realized on this fast that I have been one of them.
Ever since the onset of the fast, I have had these dreams. I’m put in these situations where I can take money that doesn’t belong to me, or just simply do the wrong thing. I have failed in every single one of them. In my last dream I gave away a coat that I really liked. Afterwards, I wanted it back, so I lied to get it back. Upon waking up from all of these dreams, I cry out to God, “Lord, is that really what’s inside of me?” My soul became my reproach on this fast. I realize with new clarity that if not for God changing my heart, mind, and soul, I’d still be as lost as ever.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. – Psalm 34:8
Drinking water only for a period of time is tough. After a few days, the body goes through this initial, main detoxification process. It is kind of miserable. Soon after this, I usually transition into a partial fast like Daniel did. It is crazy how all of a sudden fruits and vegetables taste so good to me. I close my eyes and savor the flavor as if I’d just taken a bite out of a Key-Lime pie on a normal diet. Something is really wrong with the way we eat and the things we eat. If you take a bite of an orange after taking a swig of soda and a bite of a candy bar, it will not taste good at all. Some sort of reset has to happen for you to be able to appreciate that orange again.
The same thing happens when you cut off social media and television. I think I get so desensitized by them that when I pick up the Word of God, it isn’t really that special sometimes. I don’t really desire it. However, when you have that clear and sober mind, it is like the most tasteful, wonderful thing to devour. God has opened my eyes to so many things.
Now no discipline seems joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11
I still would not call fasting pleasant. Like this verse says, it is pure and painful discipline. But, the value of it is immeasurable. I am writing this right before I’m about to break this fast. Something in me does not want to let all of this go. Something in me wonders if I’ll go right back to a prideful heart or if I’ll at least stay aware of how deceitful my heart can be.
As I type, I see a glaring problem. I’m wondering if I will be able to keep myself pure and clean. Of course I won’t. That is why I needed Jesus in the first place and why I still need Him now.
May we always cling to Him, and put our hope in no other. For there is no other name given under Heaven by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)