As this new year began, the thought of fasting started to occasionally cross my (Tiffany) mind. Then one Sunday morning I woke up and got the sense that Tim and I should go to a certain church service in town. We were free at that time, so we went. The pastor got up to speak and it was all about… fasting and prayer. As we walked away I knew the Spirit was leading me in that direction, so I started asking God to show me what kind of fast I should do. I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back to sleep right away, so I asked God what He was thinking about the fasting. As I asked questions, He gave me details about what I should eat… or not eat. Basically, no chewing, primarily fresh vegetable juices, hot teas, with some supplement like coconut oil.
I also got the sense that it’d be best to start as soon as possible and that it should last 40 days. Within the previous couple of days, I had read the account in Luke about Jesus fasting for 40 days in the wilderness and found most intriguing and inspiring that He returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit! After 40 days of fasting and temptation!
As I continued to process and pray about this the next day, my flesh said “What?! There is no way you can do that! You get “hangry” if you’re an hour late to eat lunch.” And that is so true! Tim can confirm it! Sure, I’ve done 2 or 3 day fasts before, but in a normal day I’ve never been able go a few hours without food and not get light-headed, weak, and cranky. The Spirit-led side of me said “Yes! Great idea! It would be a great time to pray for clarity and breakthrough in our mission with OneLife. Not to mention for breakthrough and growth for me personally and for those I love.”
I shared with Tim what I felt that the Holy Spirit was leading me toward. After praying about it himself, He thankfully thought it was a great idea to join in. We proceeded later that week to begin our first 40 day fast.
I, of course, knew this type of fast would not be a cake-walk but that, especially since God led us to do it, He would help us through. And the reward of seeking Him over food would in the end outweigh the difficulty. That was absolutely true! I’m pleased to announce that we made it through! Yesterday was the last day of our fast and today we are thoroughly enjoying actual food… though in small portions. There were definitely some very hard days, which played out differently for Tim and I – weird cravings, plenty of stomach growling, and yes more tiredness than normal – but overall it was more wonderful than I could’ve ever imagined. No doubt worth it!
Cleansing and Clarity
Throughout the 40 days, God sustained us and gave us energy to continue working on projects and in our mission. Also, we are walking away with more clarity and renewed faith in what God is calling us to here in Nashville! I had a fairly extensive list that I wanted to pray through each day. Even after a week or so I noticed that God was speaking to me, clarifying, guiding me…bit by bit… in various prayer points on the list. As my body was cleansed in fasting from food, I also felt He cleaned out some fears and insecurities within me. Opening my heart and spirit to more freely walk the path He is leading us on. It never ceases to amaze me how gently the Lord can do these types of things in us. His love and kindness are so abundant in these times as we open ourselves to Him!
Midway through the fast, Tim and I felt it would be a good time to retreat for a more focused time of prayer. During the retreat we revisited words God has already spoken over us and came up with a list of specific questions we wanted to ask Him for direction on. We each spent time apart, talking to the Lord about these things and then came back together to compare notes. There were too many questions to go through here, but we each received many similar answers from God. Not earth-shattering revelation, but mostly confirmation that we are doing what we are supposed to be… and that we should keep doing it prayerfully. This may not seem like a big deal but, as we are trying to follow the Spirit and chart new territory, this kind of clarity is quite encouraging. It has created more confidence and excitement as we walk out our weekly rhythms!
These last 40 days have proved to me once again how rewarding it is to go the Lord’s way. I surely would have never come up with this idea on my own! In fact, I previously thought I would be physically incapable of doing a 40-day liquid only fast. If I’d have limited myself to my way, I would’ve so missed out on opportunity for breakthrough and clarity… not to mention beautiful time with God. I’m so thankful for how the Spirit so wisely guides us, for Jesus and His example, and the Father and His loving and gentle way. They are absolutely the best and no doubt know the best for us.