Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finding Freedom Through Fasting and Prayer - Part 1

Do you have a burden that you just can't seem to lay down? Something that no matter how hard you try you can't seem to overcome it? Maybe it’s something you have just resigned to live with because trying to overcome it seems impossible.

I have felt this way. For years now I have struggled with taking care of my body. I have a bent towards compulsive behaviors and the last struggle that I had to deal with in this area is my diet and exercise. I have prayed and surrendered it to God, only to do better for a time and then go back to my old ways. It has been a frustrating battle. It’s acceptable in Gods kingdom among Gods people to be out of control in the area of eating.

As many Americans do, with so much abundance available, I have struggled with disciplining myself when it comes to this area. I have always given in to my appetite and hated to exercise. So several years ago after God convicted me of another vice, smoking, I quit and immediately gained 40 extra pounds.

The way that I had always treated my body and the extra weight made me feel bad. I didn't like the way I looked or felt physically. Since then I have gone through a process of renewing my mind, changing the way I thought of myself but I still found no victory over my lack of discipline. I drank diet coke from the time I woke up until I went to bed at night. I ate horribly, and craved sweets all the time.

I knew all the things I needed to do, I just could not make myself do them. Then one day I finally came to the end of myself and really cried out with all my heart to God. What he said to me was this, "Your problem is not about health or feeling better, your problem is sin, and it’s called gluttony" This hit me square between the eyes and I dropped to me knees. I was broken. I asked for forgiveness and placed the issue in Gods hands asking him to help me turn from it. What He informed me was if I wanted freedom from this, I needed to fully obey Him.

The first thing God required from me was immediate. I was to give up the diet coke. I had given it up before only to allow myself to have one when I went out somewhere. I soon found excuses to go out so I could have one. Need milk, great, go to the store, buy myself a diet coke and drink it on the way home.

To be obedient, in the very moment that God spoke to me I was to do just that, give it up. Mind you now, I had a 12 pack in the frig and half a can still in my hand when He told me this. I resisted and argued in my mind for a few moments and the conviction became so strong I knew if I really wanted freedom I needed to go pour it all out and be done with it. So that is just what I did, poured out every drop.

Since my step of repentance and obedience in that area God has helped me in so many ways to overcome my sin. It has been a process of submission by humbling myself before Him, prayer and fasting.

Each day I humbly bow before God with my face to the ground to acknowledge His majesty and glory. I place my life in his hands and ask for Him to guide me that day. Then I spend time in prayer and worship. Recently He has put me on a journey of fasting for freedom and to go deeper in my walk.

I will be sharing more tomorrow on what God has to say about the sin of gluttony and the freedom that can come from prayer and fasting....

1 comment:

Andy C said...

That first step, made in trust and faith is so hard for us. Even when we know (or maybe because we know) how good it is for us to obey, it can be so hard.
Thanks for the openness in your post.