Galatians 5 and Mark 8:31-38
The thing I love about fasting is how it changes your taste buds.
I have had many seasons where my health required that I eliminate every form of sugar from my diet. Anything that even turns into sugar in the body was a no-go like fruits and carbohydrates. I was born and raised a sweet-tooth, so you can imagine some of my tantrums and hissy-fits. (I’m serious. Sugars mess me up. I quit cold-turkey and my emotions lashed out!)
After the initial shock and the first several weeks off sugar, some people feel great. Me? Well, I was like a hyena on the prowl for something to satisfy my need for carbs.
Introducing: mashed cauliflower.
Ok. So it doesn’t exactly stick to your bones like it’s “twin”, mashed potatoes, and it doesn’t exactly fill you up like them either. But I’m telling you… mashed with some olive oil and thyme, those suckers are sweet! Marvelously sweet.
If I was still eating all that sugar, I wouldn’t have discovered the delicate sweetness of the cauliflower. And it’s funny. My cravings changed over time. I began to crave cauliflower. Asparagus. And oh baby… cabbage.
Sometimes we fast and get so caught up on that thing we are giving up. Can you hear me say, “Shuuu-garrr?” We focus on the withholding. The can’t. The don’t.
Do you believe Christ is the Freedom He says He is? Because if so, when you fast that thing that feels so good going down (even though it doesn’t feel good later in the gut), soon your taste buds begin to change.
Mark Batterson says, “If you are not hungry for God, then you are probably full of yourself.”
Apostle Paul could honestly say that all he wants is to know Christ. He says that compared to knowing Jesus, everything else is like poo (food, money, comfort, shopping, approval of others which often masquerades itself as facebook, email, or texting).
Mark and Paul… they get it. You and I… we need to get it.
Fasting is like a fast-track to making the things of the world fade. Then we realize that (like cauliflower) Christ is sweeter and more nourishing and more strengthening than we ever knew. Even better… now that our desires have been re-set, we begin to crave the One who is good for us.
Now, see there. You made me go and compare my Savior to a cruciferous vegetable. But maybe He made cauliflower that way in the first place. To show us how He woos our hearts through all of creation. He is sweet like that, after all.
Father, this is a hard prayer. It’s a refining prayer. But Father, if there is anything I need to lay down or set aside or fast from, please show me. Honestly, part of me wants to plug my ears and not really listen to your answer. But God, give me strength.
Change my taste buds. I want to crave the fruit of the Spirit, not the empty calories of the sinful nature. Help me realize this is not about you holding out on me; it’s about you wanting to give me Freedom. You have called me to be free. I want that Freedom! Bob Hamp says that Freedom is not the absence of bondage, it’s the presence of a person. Jesus Christ, you are my Freedom. More of you in my life, Jesus. More of you! My sweet Jesus. Amen.