Monday, February 27, 2012

Fasting and Lent

"Lent is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault-finding or finger-pointing, but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store."--excerpt from my "Lent for Everyone" devotion.

I always thought Lent was just for Catholics. They were the only ones I knew who every talked about it. And honestly, all I knew was that my catholic friends in high school would come in from ash Wednesday with a cross on their forehead, give up cussing or sugar until Easter, and not have meat on Fridays.  I had been thinking more about Easter and trying to make it just as big of a deal in our home as Christmas. I mean its super great that Christ was born, but would be useless unless he died and then rose from the dead. So I started reading this little Lent devotion on my phone as a way to prepare my heart and help build the excitement in our home for Easter.

Today's reading was very convicting.  I have been trying to fast since the beginning of the month. You can read more about it here and here. It went pretty good for a few weeks, but then recently I have not been doing well. I have only had one coke, and about 2 or 3 "sugary" things.  But each time it is a battle I lose, and I feel disgusted. Not like "ew I'm disgusting for eating that, now I need to go throw up". It's like I just feel like I WANT those things I feel like I should have them. So I ignore my truth and instead give in.  Then I feel disgusted that anything (especially food) could have so much control over me. Then I get mad because I feel like I should be able to eat whatever I want!  I know that eating sweets is not a sin, but when I have not enough self-control to pray when I feel tempted during my fast (which God tells us to do)...that is.

So reading that devotion and Psalm 32 to go along with it, was just the breath of fresh air I needed. 

"Blessed whose transgression is forgiven whose sin is covered"-- in order to be free of the weight of my sin, I MUST confess it.

"For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long."-- I have been so numb but also weirdly emotional lately. I know it was God's "heavy had upon me" so I would turn to him.

My original plan to was to fast for 1 month. Well, obviously I am going to keep fasting as God really is using it to show me the depths of my sinful heart and the even deeper depth of his glorious grace and forgiveness. Once I can truly spend 1 whole month praying and fasting...then I will re-evaluate how much longer I will do it. I still feel my selfish/sinful nature lingering in my heart...thoughts of "but what about this wedding. I LOVE wedding cake. I could just have one piece, right?".  But then I remember Jesus as he quoted scripture to satan "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God".  This is going to be REALLY hard for me. But I am 100% positive, without a doubt, sure that abstaining from that piece of cake to reflect on how much sweeter Christ is and feast on His goodness will be much better and more fulfilling to we go again! Prayers greatly appreciated!

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