Tuesday, January 1, 2013

starting off 2013 with a ... fast

inspiration: Seacoast's annual Daniel fast

every year, Seacoast kicks off the New Year with a three-week fast.
many do the Daniel Fast, which is a fast where one eats only fruits, vegetables, whole grains (not bread), legumes, nuts, etc. and only drinks water; essentially, no meat, dairy, sugars, processed foods, etc. there are a lot of "what-about-this...", but i'm learning as i go with everything.

this is the first year i'll actually participate and this is the first time i will ever fast anything food-related.
it's going to be an incredibly difficult thing because i love my meat and sugary treats; when the announcement came last week about the kickoff for the daniel fast, i instantly resisted. i rationalized it with "i'm training for a half-marathon. i can't give up meat!" but the other night, i was reading "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson and he mentioned praying and fasting like Daniel and i immediately felt the Holy Spirit calling me to make a sacrifice and to participate in the fast.

i immediately began Googling recipes just to feel out how hard it would be.
with every link i clicked on and every "small victory" i came across, i felt the Lord melt my hardened heart.
with every blog i read, i felt the Lord say "Trust me. I will provide"
with every comment and question i read, i felt peace about my decision.

fasting isn't about "checking-a-checkbox" in order to receive God's gifts.
it's an act of worship and an act of surrender to God.
just because i fast won't mean that His plans will fast forward to me.

the official kickoff isn't until tomorrow night, but i wanted to share a few things that i hope the next three weeks will unfold.

  • a deeper relationship of intimacy with Christ
  • a firm foundation of prayer to be established
  • a stronger relationship with Holden
  • to physically be made stronger in my running
i'm anticipating this fast will be physically exhausting; but i know that it is also a strong spiritual act of worship, so i also anticipate that i will become stronger in my relationship with Christ. i know that with every craving for a burger and sweet tea, i will draw nearer to Christ in prayer to work mightily in my life. my relationship with Holden has been divisive in some aspects and i pray that fasting will strengthen me spiritually so that i can resist temptation and sin in our relationship. i am also proclaiming Daniel 1:15 in respect to my physical demeanor:

At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate (AD)the king's food.

After ten days of eating nothing but vegetables and drinking water, he seemed stronger rather than weaker.

i won't be able to eat meat, but i am relying on the Bread of Life to strengthen me. i have sources of protein that will strengthen me, as well.

i won't be able to eat sugar, but i am relying on the Great Almighty to satisfy my soul more than chocolate will satisfy my sweet tooth.

i want 2013 to be a year of dreaming big.
i want to be bolder.
i want to be radical.
i want to know that i am in the middle of God's will for me.
i want to make an impact.

and i know the best posture to start this year off in is in a posture of humility and sacrifice.

what are your 2013 goals?
are you planning to fast anything, even if for a short period of time, like Seacoast?

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