Day 210: THE Force

Day 7 of my hard-core Daniel Fast!

So, my pastor said something on Sunday that has been sticking in my mind…

“You’ll never know the full force of temptation until you are able to resist it.”

I’ve been really thinking on that. It took me a second… okay, a few seconds… to really grasp what it was that he was saying. Here’s my reworking of it… I feel the force of temptation when I am trying to not eat a chocolate chip cookie from, say, Chick Fil A (cause holy moly… have you SEEN those things?!?! They are beastly awesome looking!). But, if I “give in” and eat the cookie then I really might only feel 30% of the force of temptation if I give in quickly. Maybe if I wait a while I might feel 90% of the force of temptation. Maybe even 99.9% of the temptation. But… if I’m giving in to the temptation… if I eat the proverbial Chick Fil A cookie, then I never have the “opportunity” to feel a full 100% of the force of temptation.

I almost felt like I was writing a Star Wars blog post there for a second… with all the times I wrote “the force”.

But, gosh… it is so accurate. It totally makes sense.

And at the same time… I think that there is a second part to that statement:

And until you are able to resist temptation, you’ll not know the full force of freedom in Christ.

Cause peeps… dizang. Once I finally started to tap into the Power of the Holy Spirit to resist temptation in my life, and once those temptations were so easily squelched and resisted: WOW. Then, I felt this freedom like I have never felt in my life. And I felt powerful. I felt like I had been infused with some kind of supersonic supernatural elixir to stand up to anything, and that’s because I HAD been infused with it!

I mean, let me break it down for you… for yearrrrrrrs I had been unable to resist that Chick Fil A cookie (well, maybe not necessarily THAT cookie cause honestly I have only just seen their cookie today… but you get my point)… so for years, I have warred against that cookie. loathed it. resented it. desired it. lamented it. lusted for it. and then eventually, ate it. I have almost always given in. And if I didn’t give in one day, I was sure to give in the next. or the next.

And so once I finally allowed God to become my motivation for NOT eating that cookie instead of my health being my motivation, or my weight, or my cravings, etc. Once I made that change, then I was able to hurdle over that line of not-resisting temptation into the realm of resisting temptation. And oh what a freeing feeling that is. And it continues to be freeing. I still feel a bit of a triumph like I did today watching both of my boys chowing down into those CFA cookies while I just… looked on.

It was just one of those moments where I truly felt… truly knew… that The Force was with me.

Day Forty-Six: Processed Ponderings

I have been amazed at how quickly being on a hard-core Daniel Fast has shown me that I was a bit more dependent upon processed foods than I realized. Yesterday I was a little shocked at how little I had to eat in the house. None of it was “horrible” for me per se, but there is just a sea of pretzel chips, pastas, rice, breads, cheese, eggs, etc that I kept trying to revert to at my meal and snack times.

Granted, I really need to go to the store to get some more fruit options. I find myself not wanting grapes (which will work out fine because my youngest lovvvvvvves them), but I tend to really enjoy cantaloupe, pineapple, apples, clementines, raisins, peanuts, avocados, and carrots as my “easy-to-eat” options. My favorite “cooked” thing is certainly potatoes! Yummmmmm! And I just ran out of La Madeline’s Tomato Basil soup which is deeeeelish.

I bring up all of those foods to remind myself that even though I might have felt like this was an incredible sacrifice, it’s actually quite yummy. I think I’ll even purposefully do a “Hard-Core Daniel Day” each week for the duration of my covenant just to refocus my mind off of processed “easy” foods.

But also… you know, the point of “Lenting” is to focus my mind entirely on Christ, and my mind often goes to Him fasting in the desert for 40 days.

Let me break that down for ya.

NO. FOOD. FOR. FORTY. DAYS.

I cannot even imagine that. I can’t even remember the last time I went one day without food much less FORTY. And in the hot, dry desert.

And ya know, now that I think about it. I can’t remember why He did that.

Time to read…

Okay, I’m back.

So, the Bible says in Matthew, Mark, and Luke that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the spirit.

And then I read about Elijah and Moses’s 40 Day Fasts as well (thanks to seeing it on a Wikipedia page when I was looking for a scripture reference). Elijah was sorta “forced” into it by the spirit because he was running away from Jezebel and had to walk for 40 days through the desert going to Mount Sinai. But again, he was led by the spirit.

Moses was also sorta “trapped” up on the mountain with God for 40 days while God tapped out the Ten Commandments for the covenant. Annnnnd again, led by the spirit or in his case he was told directly by God himself to stick around!

But here is what I think is cool about each of these… being led by the spirit to fast may come with 40 days of trial, but it always ends up TOTALLY RAD. Check this:

Moses – doesn’t eat for 40 days but he is chillin with God Almighty – COMES DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN GLOWING WITH GOD’S GLORY!!!

Elijah – doesn’t eat for 40 days while he has to walk across the desert – AND THEN GOD TALKS TO HIM DIRECTLY AND TELLS HIM JUST WHAT TO DO!!!

Jesus – doesn’t eat for 40 days in the desert – GIVES SATAN THE SMACK DOWN AND HAS ANGELS BRING HIM FOOD!

So, all of that to say, a fast might be difficult, but at the end of 40 days… God’s Power, God’s Voice And Direction, and God’s Strength To Resist Temptation… is there.

That’s about the coolest thing that I have ever had to look forward to!

(If you are confused thinking, “Wait, I thought you were already doing a Daniel Fast?” I’m doing what I call a “flexible Daniel Fast” for the year, but for the Lenten season I will do a regular ol’ Daniel Fast… which I call a “Hard-Core Daniel Fast” because only fruits, veggies, and nuts… that is hard core! You can read a little about the differences here. And you can also read my post where I realized I should do a “Hard-Core Daniel Fast” for Lent.)