Day 693: Leaving Luxury (Celebrating Advent)

20131203-102122.jpg

Advent season is here!

{If you aren’t familiar with Advent, the word derives from “Coming” and it starts four Sundays before Christmas… this year it started this past Sunday, December 1st… and it is when Christians anticipate the coming of Christ’s birth!}

I feel like, finally, everyone else has caught up with me and they are ready to celebrate Christmas now that Thanksgiving is over! (We decorated on November 1st so we’ve been in this mode for a while now!)

In the previous years I’ve always gotten a book or an app or a reading plan to celebrate Advent, but this year I decided that I wanted to do my own! It’s mainly happening on my Facebook, twitter, and Google+ pages where I am posting throughout the day on a typical focus.

My personal focus this Advent is giving to Christ. I mean, He has given me SO MUCH and since He is the focus, then I want to give HIM gifts. But of course, unlike my 6 year old, God isn’t really interested in Lego’s Lion Chi Temple… but He is very interested in me. in my actions. in my attempts to honor Him.

So each day has a focus like the past few days have had:

Day 1: Give Him your service.
Day 2: Give Him your praise.
Day 3: Give Him your luxury.

And I’m afraid that already Day 3 is going to be the most sacrificial gift of all.

Because for Advent, I’m going to give God the gift of giving up a luxury.

Diet sodas. Tea. Coffee.

On hold for the remainder of Advent.

Water only here.

Oh. my.

Because not having those things, well, it is going to get my attention… and that is why I am doing it. Like I said on one of my social media posts, giving up a luxury is like making a mental speed bump. It makes you stop and think, “Wait. I’m used to having this… why can’t I have tea? Ohhhhh! Oh yes! Because I can use this moment to direct my mind to Christ!

And really that is exactly what I want to be happening all through Advent… I want to be looking to Christ! Anticipating Him! And getting ready to celebrate Him!

Because when I really think about it, all of this “luxury” is really just stuff.

He is truly what makes my life luxurious!

20131203-101515.jpg

 

Day 657: I Quit.

i quit

Yep.

That’s it.

I’m done.

Out.

No more.

I quit.

… … …

Seriously.

I’m not joking.

… … …

You see, for months I’ve been just downright struggling with this whole experience. I’ve put on a whole pant size for sure (and yet you can be darned sure that I’m still squeezing my size ten rear into my size eight jeans because I don’t want to go buy a bigger size… because I WON’T go buy a bigger size) and I’m just so weighed down and shackled to food again it’s become nigh unbearable.

I can’t make it through a Sunday School lesson without breaking down in tears.

I’ve cried to my husband multiple times.

I seriously, seriously, seriously was considering calling my church to see if they would work out some kind of deal for me to get counseling up there.

Things in my soul have been a total and complete roller coaster.

I mean, every few days I would find a new “resolve” and would have faith in myself again that I could do this and then day three or four would hit and well, all it takes for me is that one bite of chocolate…and well, it would all go downhill from there.

And so this past week, I’ve just really had to face up to what is going on here…

I can’t do this anymore.

So, I’m going to quit.

Okay, but I’ll end the suspense.

I’m not quitting The Covenant Diet… I can’t quit it. God has brought me so far and I know… I KNOW… that He is faithful. I’ve read too many accounts in the Bible where He brought people through terrible, terrible adversity to reveal His Glory OR to make them face up to the fact that He really IS in control.

And here’s the deal: He has shown me over and Over and OVER and OVER and OVER again what I need to do. Like I said on Day 653: Just Like Jonah, I just keep running from it. But in my heart for months He has been telling me through friends, through the wisdom in his Word, through Sunday School, through prayer… He has been saying that I have GOT to make this sugar thing a total and complete lifestyle change.

As in… never again.

As in… quit.

Quit.

Quit eating sugar.

For.ev.er.

… … …

I know, right?!?!?

… … …

For.ev.er.

… … …

That’s nuts!

Wellllll, yeah, but so was giving up sugar for a year. But it was one of the best years of my life. Total and complete freedom.

So, this post could go on and on today… and I’ll explain more about how I came to this point in the following days’ posts… but here’s the deal.

I’ve been running from God.

Just like Jonah.

And I’m tired.

I’m tired of running.

I’m tired of trying to do this battle with food my way.

I’m tired.

And I’m failing at doing it my way.

I’m tired of failing.

So, I’m looking at this raging sea in my soul and I know that it’s raging because of me.

Because of my decision to go my own way.

And I’m done.

I’m just ready to quit.

So, this morning, I took one last sigh.

{Sigh}

Stood up and walked to the edge of this boat in this raging sea.

And I dove in.

I dove into the waters of His grace and mercy.

I dove into the waters of self “sacrifice”.

I dove into the waters of freedom.

I dove into the waters that will guide me back to where I need to be.

Will it be easy to give up sugar for.ev.er.???

Heck to tha NO.

It sure as heck wasn’t easy for Jonah to live in a whale’s stomach either.

But it got him back to where he needed to be.

And that was where God wanted him to be.

And as I tread water in this sea that is my soul, I realize that as soon as I jumped in… it was immediately calm. Refreshing even. Going His way instantly brings me more peace than I had during any of the days of trying to do it on my own.

The peace I have felt just in this one day… well, it just makes me so glad that I finally… finally…

quit.

i quit SUGAR

Day 452: God’s Little P.S.

coffeeless coffee pot

I promised in my post the other day that I would tell you about the other thing that God called me to give up over the next five years.

Honestly… I did NOT expect for Him to call me out on this one, buuuuuuuut, He did.

Coffee.

Oh yes, you heard me right… c.o.f.f.e.e.

I mean… how many times have I said that I couldn’t give up coffee? wouldn’t give up coffee? (Day 94: Oh! My! God! is a great example of that)

But there I was sitting in that comfy arm chair on my women’s retreat, looking out at the lake, praying to God, hearing from God. And, well, actually… there was more to the conversation than I said on Day 444: So. Worth. It. THIS was the entire conversation:

So, as I prayed, I distinctly heard: No sugar for 5 years… until your 40th Birthday. On your 40th Birthday, you can have cake.

Yes, God, Yes… I will do this… I will follow You.

… and coffee.

Uhhhhhhhhh, say what? Come again? Did you just say “And coffee?”

… and no coffee for five years.

{Lengthy Pause} Yes. God. If you say so.

Oooooo, I’m just gonna admit right now that my last response was, well, a little begrudging.

But, looking back (and being able to look back so easily is one of the big perks of this blog) I can see how he has been prepping me for this.

And, well, I’m back in agreement with myself again. Coffee… ain’t… all that and a bag of chips. or, a bag of grounds. or whatever.

But here’s what is interesting – I have only experienced POSITIVE things from being off of coffee. I have only missed it, like, a couple of times and it was only because there was no tea there when I wanted some (like at church on Wednesday morning and at Nanny’s house). Tea actually tastes better. I drink less tea than I did coffee because I am so satisfied by the taste from the beginning. I drink more water because I’m not dumping gallons of coffee down my gullet. I am not “addicted” to caffeine anymore. I actually eat a good breakfast because I’m not filling up on coffee and almond milk.

Let me praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for me. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9

Hold on to what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Day 400: Mirror | rorriM

I’ve been really contemplating how to honor God this Lent season (yes, I know it’s supposed to be Lenten but that word just makes me think of lentils and that word just gives me the willies). And so I decided to give up Facebook for the 40 Days (although I “lent” on Sundays too cause I don’t do so hot on days “off” of things). But that seemed so… well, so not enough this year. Not only did I want to sacrifice something but I also wanted to offer up something. (Especially after reading mignonpanache’s post about Lent when she mentioned the idea of “mirroring” Christ for these forty days. I mean- in His Life, of course he sacrificed so much but He also GAVE so much and He continually pointed our attention to GOD. And I want to mirror that!

How ironic that my sacrifice (Facebook) would be so similar to the thing I “offer” to Him… cause it’s on Twitter. Ha!

I follow this blog called Fat Pastor. And can I admit that I totally followed it because the name was just kinda strikingly funny to me??? Anyway, in this post, he brought up this thing he’s doing on twitter from @umrethinkchurch where you post a pic a day based off of these words that they posted and hash tag it #40Days and #rethinkchurch. (f you aren’t on twitter you could just as easily blog these or journal them to yourself in the form of words or on facebook or with {gasp} REAL PHOTOS. Here’s the order…

20130213-183053.jpg

And already today it has refocused my mind on Him! At first I was like “Why would focusing on ME the first day be a good way to get me into all of this?”

And then I remembered just who I am IN CHRIST. And it was a refreshing reminder.

20130213-184508.jpgAnd here was the pic that I posted for the day…

20130213-184529.jpg

sins. imperfections. goofiness. burdens. filth. exhaustion. happiness. reality.

All of it is the real me. And the real me… is a saved me.

And at the end of the day, that is what matters.

That is what His Walk To The Cross was all about.

Day 399: Lent Life

Last year on Fat Tuesday, I published this post. It was an interesting thought process for me, especially since I was only on Day 42. Here is the main point of what I wrote:

I guess though that the more that I think about Fat Tuesday I sorta get a little insight into my “issues” of overeating. Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to overindulge simply because lenting requires sacrifice. It’s almost as if we fatten up on this day because we feel like we deserve it since we will have to self-sacrifice the rest of the time. And that is kind of the mentality that I’m afraid of having...

…But now that I get to thinking about this whole Fat Tuesday mentality, I’m kinda of wondering if maybe that’s not what would please God. I mean, my whole thing has been about Him changing my mind, my heart, my soul. Wouldn’t that be just like me turning my back on Him pretty much as soon as He has delivered me into the promised land? Which is so much of what the Israelites did when He dropped them off. After the generation that had been wandering in the desert died off, the people started worshiping other idols in no time. And God was NOT pleased with that scenario. I’m reading through Judges right now and it seems like any time one of the judges gets the people back in order, everything is good, then he or she dies, and everyone gets right back into their mess of looking somewhere other than God. And then He punishes them.

Yeah… I don’t want that.

And wow – reading that now, after my weekend of… gluttony… I’m even more assured that sticking to a more strict covenant is what is right for me. It was one thing for me to have a night off in California when I didn’t have a lot of options, but it was an altogether DIFFERENT experience being here at home AND baking a bunch of sugary treats! I just… lost control.

No, I gave up control.

But either way, I let myself get into a Fat Tuesday Mentality of I have to “sacrifice” the rest of the year so I should be able to eat whatever I want and as much as I want during this “off” day.

And it was just a terrible, terrible time.

I mean… I didn’t even really enjoy it because it was all about breaking the rules instead of celebrating in what God had done. I knew that the only sugar I was supposed to have was at my husband’s birthday PARTY (cause that was the agreement that I made with God), but I started eating sugar the night before while making all of his cakes and cake balls and red velvet cake popcorn.

On Saturday morning, I tried to get back on the right page and I was resisting eating one of the cake balls that I had made for him, but I eventually gave up and ate one.And I think that’s when I first started lamenting what  was going on. I was “fighting” with those cake balls. I hadn’t “fought” with sugar for so long. It was horrible. It was extra horrible because I gave in.

My mind immediately told me: See. Nothing’s changed. Just live it up and give in. You can just get back on track tomorrow and no one will know the difference but you.

And then at the party I was too busy to eat, but I did load up on my dessert plate… But WHY? What was the point? I’d already had everything!

Once I got everyone to bed then I ate some more, although not too much, I was stuffed and exhausted.

Then Sunday… oh my. Sunday I ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate until I was, quite literally, sick.

I ate TRYING to make myself so full that I couldn’t eat anymore. I wanted to stop eating all that junk and I knew felt that getting obscenely full or eating everything was the only way at that point. I finally collapsed into bed, feeling horrible and sick and knowing that I was done with sugar again.

Monday would be a new day. A fresh start. A day without fighting the food. A day without sugar. A day without justification or rationalization. A day of boundaries. A day of joy and peace and comfort like I had known for the past year.

And Monday was all of those things for me. Much like an Ash Wednesday will be for some tomorrow. A breath of fresh air as they step away from something that has its hooks in their soul: Diet Dr. Pepper, Facebook, television, etc. And really, I sorta “bashed” Fat Tuesday last year, but now that I sit here and think about it… the Fat Tuesday to Ash Wednesday is really such a beautiful picture of our salvation. We think we need to party it up to live, and then we step from the things of the world into a new life because of Jesus. Not condoning Fat Tuesday for those reasons, but… really, salvation is just this exact process for all of us.

Our life before Christ = one big ol long Fat Tuesday
Our life with Christ = choosing to follow rules and a code in order to honor Christ and focus on Him

The main difference is, we don’t have to keep going back to Fat Tuesday year, after year, after year. We can live a Lent life… all the time.

Day 229: A Covenant Challenge

The other day I posted the following on my church’s women’s ministry blog on which I have a rotating author spot spot, and although some of it is stuff y’all already know about me and this covenant, I wanted to share it for some of the other thoughts and for the “challenge”… (I cut out the first several paragraphs cause it was me explaining why I had posted a bit late- ha! I’m sure that’s not much of a shocker for y’all since you guys are used to me not posting for a few days and then all of a sudden posting two or three blogs in one evening!) Anyway, here it is…

{And then came my afternoon prayer time, and it started out like a lot of my prayers “Uhhhhhhh… hey God. Uhhhhhhh… what’s up? Uhhhhhh… not sure what to pray about…” and then my prayer dramatically (and randomly) shifted to talking about making covenants with Him.

As you may, or may not, know… in January, I made a covenant with God to eat vegetarian for a year, cutting out all sugar (cause I was pretty hard core addicted to the stuff), and seriously limiting my bread intake. And I decided to write my own devotionals every day during that year in an effort to gain my strength and motivation from Christ, within whom I can do all things. And, so far, it has been an amazing, life-changing, mind-altering, soul-reviving year for me.

Yes, my body looks drastically different from the way it looked before, but more importantly, my soul looks drastically different than it did before. Losing a bunch of weight has been nice, don’t get me wrong, but finding the freedom from being addicted to food… that has been the most amazing part! And today I was praying to God thanking Him for the self-control that He has given me (cause I naturally have pretty much zero self-control), and I was thinking about all the different parts of my life that seem so out of control… my eating was the first one, my time-management, my approach to mothering, my spending, etc. and I was starting to get excited thinking about covenanting with Him to rid the sin out of each of these areas as I have seen Him purge (and continue to purge) the sin of gluttony from my life. And well… I just wanted to share a portion of my prayer-journal with you:

    More and more I want to covenant everything. Maybe that’s a lifestyle in and of itself… to covenant everything in my life. To give everything to You, God. What… what a life I would have… simply put: a life like Christ.

    And wow… He truly, truly gave it all, didn’t He? He completely gave over everything to You and your power. He truly covenanted His LIFE. He covenanted His death…for me.

It was such an awesome moment… for now that I have covenanted with Him, I understand a bit more that pull that Jesus must have felt… standing there in the Garden, struggling between his human self wanting to keep His life and his God-self knowing that He had a covenant with God to sacrifice it all in order to give us the gift of righteousness. For the first time in my life, I understood this verse a little: “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” (Philippians 3:10-11).

So, all of this rambling to say… look at your life. I think we all have areas of our life that need to be completely taken over by Christ. Well, I would just encourage you to seriously think about letting Him completely take over that area. Make a covenant with Him. Like, I recently realized that my “prayer life” pretty much consisted only of praying continually (also known as sporadically) throughout the day. I never sat down to really meditate or talk to God, so I covenanted with Him to sit down for the fifteen minutes after I get both of my sons down to nap… to pray. Just fifteen minutes. But it’s not a deal with myself. or with my pastor. or with my husband. or with anyone. It’s a deal with God. And I’ll stick by a deal with God… because, well… because He. is. God. And already, just ten days in, my relationship with God has exploded to a whole new level. Who knew? (Well, He did… of course).

I just know that a covenant with Him this past year has changed my life… for.ev.er. And I want to make sure that you guys know that a covenant with Him could change your life… for.ev.er.

I pray that you consider it… I pray, sisters, that you might “want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.”}

Day 218: Mid-Night Musings

Day 15 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

It’s 4:45am and I’ve been up for about an hour with a cough. My husband, toddler, and I all have it. Not sure how the five-year old skipped it, although if Murphy’s Law proves true, he’ll get it just in time for school! Ha!

Anyway, I’ve had this cough for about a week now. Most days it’s just been annoying but yesterday and through the night I have actually felt sick. I went to bed, well, on time last night… but when my boy woke up at 3:30 I could not go back to sleep because of this tickle-itch in the back of my throat. Of course, I came out of the bedroom and am now lounging on the couch hoping that sleep will find me again.

I should have known I’d get sick once I started a fast… poor ol’ Satan. He needs a new bag of tricks… doesn’t he know that he’s already done this to me… twice?!?!

Anyway, one of the big things on this hard-core Daniel Fast is that I decided not to drink anything other than water. But yesterday, I literally was at my wits end with this cough. Meds weren’t working. Cough drops were having zero effect. My husband suggested that I have a cup of hot tea. I was on the verge of giving in and just having a cup of hot tea in the mindset that it was medicinal, but then he suggested that I have some hot lemon water with honey. My reaction was one of disgust, even though I knew that it would help me, and so then when I thought about my options, I was like “well… a cup of hot tea would be nice and it wouldn’t be much of obedience to Him, but a cup of lemon water… ewwwwwww. Yes, even with honey… ewwwwww… it’ll be like a sacrificial obedience.” So I figured that it was safe to view the lemon water as medicinal instead of a cup of tea.

And wow, did it help.

And wow,  was I glad that I avoided the tea and went with more of a sacrifice… went with obedience.

And it wasn’t like a legalism kind of thing… I really wanted to please God by not giving in easily to something that would break my fast agreement with Him. It kind of reminds me of this conversation:

What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

And in a way, I felt like it was obedience… trying to obey Him. That is what pleased Him. And that is my goal.

Day 136: A Fast Shopping Trip

Today was a “me” day.

And ohhhhhhh how nice those “me” days are! My parents watched the boys for me so that I could go get a hair cut and, well, just not be in constant “mom mode” all day. As much as I adore my boys, I also adore… me. And I like to spend time with just… me.

So I dropped them off at my parents house this morning, and went and got my hair cut. I was kind of craving a parfait but didn’t have time to snag one before hand (which I was glad about later).

After that I had decided already that I was going to try to find some shoes and a few shirts and tops down at the outlet shops near us.

I went into GAP cause it was near where I parked and I have a friend that wears GAP stuff and I always think she looks classy… and I grabbed a few things that I thought looked cute… both size 10 and 12 in shorts and a few medium tops.

Nervously, I went into the changing room and looked at my options. I was nervous for two reasons:

a. I had not been shopping anywhere but Ross in ages and each store has its own “protocols”… and for some reason not knowing how many outfits I can take in, if I have to wait for an attendant, should I knock on the door or not, etc. all makes me nervous.

b. I had a pair of size 10 shorts. I was about to find out if my size 10 “moment” the other day was just a one-dress deal or if I would be able to wear more size 10s.

Instead of trying on the 12s first to see if they were too big I just went for it with the 10s. And… they. fit. perfectly.

I grinned at myself in the mirror and said a quiet “Thank you Jesus”… and then like all good iPhone users, took a pic of myself!

20120525-221331.jpg

And then I tried on another pair of 10s and they fit (but looked hideous). But I got a couple of other shirts and totally thought to myself, GAP is gonna be a good place for me: good clearance rack, trendy but classy clothes options, good “cut” for my body type.

But I’ll admit that I was grinning as I walked out of the changing room.

And still grinning (and a bit giddy) as I checked out.

Still grinning as I walked around the outlet stores.

Annnnnnnd, yep, grinning… as I walked into American Eagle, J.Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, and Puma.

And everywhere I walked I thanked God for the restrictions that had brought me so much freedom. I thanked Him over and over again for that freedom.

On my way to Old Navy on the other side of the highway, I decided that I would stop by Paradise Bakery (which I love) after getting a few things. But as I walked out of Old Navy (with several more size 10s and some medium tops), I was just so overwhelmingly thankful to God. Like I wanted to show Him how thankful I was.

And for some reason, I thought, “I should fast for the rest of my ‘me’ day.”

We tend to fast out of obligation, or heartbreak, or concern. In fact in looking for a verse or a time that someone in the bible fasted because they were blessed, I kept coming up with people fasting because they had messed up and wanted God to forgive them or because they were in mourning for one thing or another. But I can never think of a time that I have thought- wow, having such a great time right now… I should fast. Fasting because I’m blessed instead of fasting in order to be blessed. It was just such a new thought for me. But it was great! I thought even more and more about His blessings every time my stomach growled. I was so glad that I had missed breakfast and then passed by Paradise Bakery, so that I could have those fasting moments with Him.

And it helped me keep my focus on the One that made that size 10 possible. I didn’t once look at myself and think, “Wow January. Good work.” Because I know that it was only by His strength that I was able to lose weight. And that’s why I was so pleased with doing that little “blessing-fast”… giving Him my thanks through a sacrifice… makes me think of the One that did the same.

Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Psalm 50:14

Day 110: Why Now?

Well, I had another little text-fest with my friend Alice today. And she posed the question:

Why wasn’t his love enough for me before?

I have often asked myself this same question. In fact, that question is what drove me to do the covenant in the first place. After finishing a three-week Daniel Fast last year, I was astonished at how easily I had withheld certain foods from myself that had been seemingly irresistible before. But before that, I had often called out to God and requested that His love and power save me from… food. from myself. from weight. from addiction.

But it hadn’t ever worked.

So, here was my response to her question as to why was His Love enough now?

Here are my thoughts… His Love has always been enough, but now you have committed to Him to rely solely and only on His Love. Before (at least for me) it was really just an “acknowledgement” of His Love.
But now, I am saying, “I believe that Your Love and Your Grace are so powerful that I will commit to sacrificing this food so that Your Grace and Your Love can change me without distraction of food.”

But each person’s journey has been sooooo unique. Soooooo different. The only “sameness” has been that Jesus has, and is, changing them.

I’m sure there is some thick theology about why this is helping so many of us to stand up to these strongholds that we have struggled against for years, but I am at this point with it…

When the blind man who has been healed by Jesus is being interrogated by the Pharisees…

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” John 9:25

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.)