Friday, January 10, 2014

My 500 Words: Day 10 - On Fasting and Renewal

At the beginning of each year, our church does a 21-day fast.  Fasting could be in the form of a true Daniel Fast {I have a button over on my sidebar where you can find everything I've ever written on that} or it could mean fasting from something - technology, caffeine, etc.  The point is to enter a 21 day season of prayerful fasting.  Over the three week period, the idea is to draw closer to God and renew your relationship with Him.  Perhaps the fruit of your fasting will be an answer to prayer, a vision for what your direction is to be, or clarity on something in your life.  By eliminating the distractions in your life, there's a good chance that you may be better able to hear what God has to say to you.

The last two years, I entered into the fast fully intending to do a strict Daniel Fast.  I fully intended to do the same this year.  As the start date of the fast drew near, I began reconsidering what it is that I would fast during this season.  I find a Daniel Fast very difficult.  It's a clean food diet and if, like me, you don't happen to be particularly fond of vegetables, it is very challenging.  Last year was extremely difficult for me.  I found that I wasn't engaging in the fast well.  I wasn't focusing as well as I ought to have been.  The challenges of such a fast became overwhelming to me.  As I considered last year's fast, I thought that perhaps doing the Daniel Fast was too much.  Is a Daniel Fast good?  Yes.  Is it for everyone?  No.  Was it what I needed to do this year?  Perhaps not.

We made a kind of last minute decision to alter our plan for our fast.  We are not doing a Daniel Fast.  However, we are changing our eating habits.  This is long overdue.  We also have specific things that we are fasting from.  We can still use this set period of time with our church to focus on our prayer life and developing a deeper relationship with God.  I believe that the idea is to be more intentional and more focused during this time.  As our pastor has said, there shouldn't be any "fast police" out there.  Every person's decision is their own.

My word for 2014 is RENEW.  I hope to share much about this throughout the year.  I'm in an "in between" season as I've mentioned many times.  In order to move into the next season God intends for me, I need to see some personal change - renewal.  I need physical rest and renewal in order to recover from the many things that have happened over the past several months.  I also need spiritual renewal.  I want to become more intentional in many areas of my life.  I believe in order to move forward, there is much work that I need to do within myself before that can happen.

I am praying that during this season of fasting my heart and mind will be open to hearing from God.  I would love nothing more than to know what His plan is for me.  I would love to make 2014 the best year possible for me and that can only be accomplished through a renewal of heart, mind, and body.

{if you're counting - that was 563 words for my tenth My 500 Words post, for a total of 7,419 this month!}
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