Fair warning now, you probably won’t like what I’m throwing down today. This may make you so uncomfortable that you need a passport to get back in your comfort zone. May the brave continue listening (or reading).
Have you ever done a fast? Fasting is the intentional abstinence from something that is available to me, but a distraction from God. A sacrifice of one thing for devotion to a much more important thing.
This is your personal invitation to join me for a 3 day fast … but it’s not what you think! You still get to eat. Ahhhh, doesn’t sound so bad now does it?
Galatians 5:17 “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
Do you ever feel like you are at battle within your own self? You make a commitment that would improve your life and then it’s a full fledged war between what you know you should do and what you want to do. 61% of us admit to a current addiction to our cell phones. We know our lives would be better if we would put the phone down and fully engage, yet we don’t. We spend the majority of our days scrolling and checking, distracted and scattered.
Is this you? Have your blessings become a burden? Have you allowed your flesh and your spirit to be in conflict over the 5 inch screen you hold in your hand? Scripture tells us because of this conflict, you are NOT to do whatever you want. When is the last time you practiced real self-control over your need to be plugged in and connected? When is the last time you successfully denied the flesh and fed your spirit?
Scripture encourages us to fast. Yes, the intentional abstinence from something that is available to you, but a distraction from God. What is available to you 24/7 is connection. Connection to the entire world is always available to you now. Connection to limitless information and resources is always available to you now. However, connection to your almighty creator is always available to you as well. How often are you choosing connection to the world and all it’s information over connection with your creator? Oh dang.
We have chosen a connection that leaves us feeling overwhelmed and empty and the reason being we’ve failed to connect to the ONE who can sustain us. We’re googling the answers when we have a direct connection to our God who not only knows it all, but created it all and controls it all. Oh my gosh, how foolish have we been? When is the last time you prayed about a solution before you went to the internet? When is the last time you chatted with God about your decision before asking your 974 Facebook friends for advice?
I’m forever grateful for connections through technology. That’s how I get to be part of your day. But dang if my life isn’t noisy as a result of my LED screen and free apps. My family HATES my phone. And you know what’s funny, I hate their phones too. We’re all disappointed over each others connection to the world instead of our connection to one another. We all sacrifice priceless moments together for cheap interactions with the masses. Why? Because we’re doing whatever we want. And what does our scripture today tell us, “you are NOT to do whatever you want.”
Get it together woman. You don’t have to be a slave any longer.
We’re wasting our lives and ruining our relationships by doing whatever we want. We’re missing days we will never, ever get back because we’re so totally connected, yet truly disconnected from what’s most important. If I’m hitting home with you today, I’m inviting you to join me for a 3 day fast … from your phone or computer.
Oh snap, did you just feel the resistance and turmoil inside right then? 3 days. Yes, 3 days. Unplugged.
Why? Because we can’t allow ourselves to be so unbalanced. We must get the flesh back in check and let our spirit be nourished. This is the fast of the decade.
Joel 2:12 says “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” RETURN TO ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART. This is what we’re doing. We’re returning to God with all our heart, because our heart sure has been divided and distracted in other places.
Return to me with all your heart with fasting.
Fasting: The intentional abstinence from something that is available to me, but a distraction from God. Fasting is typically considered as food. But I gotta be honest, food isn’t nearly as big of a distraction from God as my cell phone. I can skip a meal and still be okay, but a day without my cell phone and I feel lost. How about you?
Okay, now let’s address some of the concerns … maybe you need your phone for work or for other legitimate reasons. That’s fair. When fasting from food, there are available modifications for health reasons. Some fasts are sunrise to sunset. Some fasts include some calories for sustained energy. So, you can still work. You can still be available for your clients and your kids when they call. You can do that … and you can still refrain from all the other stuff. That’s fair, right? I will still have my phone with me because I’m always on the hunt for the day’s gratitude photo, but that doesn’t mean I will have my phone scrolling through Instagram. I will still have my phone awaiting a call from one of my soldiers, I’ll still call my mama, I’ll still text my BIG Life Mentoring girls, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be checking Facebook. I will still work over the weekend on my computer, but there’s a difference between work and waste. I won’t waste! I’ll still use my phone for music and podcasts, but I’ll make sure it helps me connect with my Creator, because that’s the intention of this fast.
Will we feel lost without our cell phone? YES.
Let’s get lost together. Let’s feel like a limb has been cut off by intentionally putting away our devices for 3 days.
God gets our ears.
God gets our eyes.
God gets our hearts. All our hearts.
Imagine what we will hear and see as a result. Perhaps God has been trying to get your attention, maybe he’s been trying to give you direction, your answers have been all around you, but you’ve had your head down.
For 3 days, we look up.
For 3 days we unplug from the noise so we can plug into the source.
For 3 days we put our blessings back in their rightful place.
The harder this will be for you, the more it is needed. For me, this is the pinnacle of challenges, and there’s never been a better time for it. I am blessed with the opportunity to be connected to YOU, however sometimes that connection has become a burden to my family. It’s become a burden to my God even. But for the next 3 days, that changes.
Wherever I am, I will be there fully. I won’t miss the moments happening in front of me. I may miss some messages and be absent from the social media scene, but I’ll be present in the real life scene. I’ll receive ALL my messages from God. How about you?
Our flesh cries out for that screen.
Our spirit is drained by that screen.
There is a conflict. Choose the spirit intentionally for the next 3 days by going unplugged.