Change comes. Whether you like it or not, change comes. New presidents get elected, parents pass away, new children are born… change comes. Or does it?
Things seem so different and new. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, are they really new or just the same old thing in a different package? Are we just repeating some cycle that is so large we never even notice it? In 1993, I reached a place in my life where everything was the same. No matter how many adjustments I made … nothing really changed. I just kept repeating the same mistakes over and over. I wasn’t getting anywhere and I didn’t know how to change!
It’s easy for us to point fingers at people around us when we need to change. We have to remember that the only one we can change in our lives is us. And we have to remember that real change doesn’t start on the outside. It’s easy to change our appearance, but that’s not real change. No, real change starts in our spirits.
So how do we change ourselves from the inside out? When I was desperate to experience real change in my life, the first BIG thing God had me do was some fasting. As I did, I began the process of mortification, or dying to myself. It isn’t easy, but it sure has been worth it.
Why fast? For many people, when fasting is mentioned, they think “CULT!” But Jesus fasted, as did his disciples and hundreds of thousands of early Christians. I believe it is a foundational principle for seeing change in our lives.
When I was growing up, fasting was presented as a way to get God to move in your life. Here’s the problem: fasting doesn’t move God. You can’t manipulate God into changing you! I think many people believe that if they fast long enough God will owe them something, and He is obligated to move in their lives because of their own sacrifice. The fact is that fasting doesn’t move God… fasting moves us! God has already done what He is going to do! He’s waiting on us to receive and act on His Word! The problem is, we’re usually too full of ourselves to find out what He has already provided for us. But when you fast, you’re hungry. Hungry people are sensitive. Hungry people are very aware of what goes in and comes out of their mouths and in and out of their minds. Hungry people seek to destroy the strongholds in their lives that limit them from receiving the things God has already provided in His Word! To the hungry, Jesus becomes the Bread of Life.
When you fast, you are depending on your spirit to sustain you instead of your body. You are creating a sensitivity to your spirit over your flesh. But your body isn’t your only problem: your mind, will, and emotions are your problems, too. So, food isn’t the only thing you can fast. Maybe you have a mouth that likes to gossip. What if you fasted running your mouth for a month? Or maybe you have trouble keeping your finances in order. Have you ever thought of fasting shopping? Talk about creating a sensitivity and an awareness in your life to things that are out of order!
Fasting begins to unlock things stored up in the “fat” of our lives. The toxins, the poisons, and the unhealthy things that have trapped themselves in our physical and emotional reserves are unlocked as we begin to burn up the stored things in our lives. When we eliminate these ugly things, change begins.
Change doesn’t just happen because we want it to. It happens when we make up our minds that we need to change, and we start taking steps to change. So start your journey toward true change today. Try to pick something to fast for the next 30 days: try food, sweets, television, excess spending, or maybe even your computer. When you deny your flesh, feed your spirit. As you do, you will become more sensitive to God and true change can begin…from the inside out!