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Seven: Everything Starts Here

 

Last night I fell off the Paleo wagon. Hard. For months I’ve been faithfully, fiercely committed to healthy eating,and I’ve loved it. I’ve lost weight and felt better than ever. And yet, last night I was a whirling white flour-white-sugar dervish. Why? Why would I abandon the plan to which I have been committed? The answer can be summed up in one line and this line, dear reader, is a sneaky cat. Here we go:

 

I felt I deserved it.

 

Because of the fast starting today. Because have you read about my last two weeks? Because it’s raining on spring break. Because insert a million interesting and creative reasons here.

 

Ever since the garden, we have been using food as the counterweight to pain or pressure or frustration. I have been doing it like a boss for the last three years which is what led me to change my habits a few months ago. But last night, with just the right combination of factors at play, I ran into Carb Palace and worshipped there for a bit (and it was delicious!)

 

The subversive nature of self-entitlement never ceases to amaze and annoy me. I find myself caught in its clutches in so many ways. And make no mistake, fasting friends, this will be our enemy over the next few days. Hunger will sing a sirens song and our minds, which are far more creative than we give them credit for being, will come up with a million reasons why we deserve to fill the void with something other than Him. With anything other than Him. And it’s not a big job in this case because, come on, everyone deserves to eat.

 

Here’s my plan for combatting my own I-deserve-it nature. Maybe it’ll work and maybe it won’t, but this is where I’m going to start – the two things I want to remember and reiterate when hunger gets bossy and makes me feel abused and downtrodden because I’m going without:

 

1. Not everyone gets to eat. 33% of the world is starving at any given moment. 1.5 million children starve to death every single year. It’s good for me to go without, to feel their pain, and to experience real hunger in my fancy, American world.

 

2. Though I don’t deserve food, I DO deserve satisfaction.
Because Jesus promised it (John 15:11). And then He died for it – so that my joy would be full in spite of circumstances that scream to the contrary. His presence is our exceedingly great reward and when we peel away the counterfeit counterweights, we are more likely to be compelled right into His arms. Right there, where Jesus is everything. Right there, where His voice fills the holes caused by hunger and hopelessness. It is the great mystery of the ages that I am wholly unworthy of friendship with God, yet invited in to feast on it without restraint, without limit. Because of Jesus.

 

So for me, this is where everything begins. This week will be a win in so many ways if I can learn to bypass food as a prescription for heartache and go straight to the source of healing instead.

 

Oh, I just feel it in my bones: it’s gonna be a great week!

 

Hungry for Him,

 

Bo
 

PS: COMMENTS OPEN! Tell me how you’re feeling as you start into Seven. Strength in numbers, y’all!

 

 

March 27, 2014 - 7:36 am

Makency Hudson - I have only ever done a fast for a day off two; can you explain the rules? What are you allowed to ingest?

Good luck!

March 27, 2014 - 7:44 am

William Hummer - 3/27/14 … Thanks again for your writing this article of honesty. It really helps me to understand myself better and know that I can struggle with “eating disorders” or I can understand it better and deal with it. For me life has daily struggles and daily accomplishments. As the bible says, “God delights in me” and I want to look inward and see that I can conquer, overcome, and win in all battles of life.

Sincerely
Your friend in Christ,
Bill Hummer

March 27, 2014 - 7:53 am

bo - Makency – no rules! Everyone is prayerfully deciding what they want to fast during Seven. We are encouraging everyone to fast at least one meal during the seven days – or maybe a meal a day. Whatever you feel to do. 🙂

March 27, 2014 - 7:59 am

Amy - This one is going to be my life verse for SEVEN:

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything! I Corinthians 6:12

March 27, 2014 - 10:02 am

Linda J - I am reading the book “fasting” by Jentzen Franklin. Really helps to bring clarity and dare I say, excitement? to these 7 days.

March 27, 2014 - 10:54 am

Melony Baker - As the day begins and seven is upon us my will is strong, yet I’m sure it will be weakened. Already the Headaches are starting and little things come up. Strength, Prayer and will to not allow defeat is the food of our journey. Blessings to all who are on this journey, can’t do it without you!!!

Thank you for your Leadership Bo.. You are an inspiration!!!

March 27, 2014 - 9:51 pm

Whitney - I’m at the 24 hr mark now. My patience has completely left me and in it’s place is a raging headache. I keep just trying to bring it all back to a desire for Gods presence that is stronger than my desire for food.

March 28, 2014 - 7:57 am

Donna B - Ummm…remember the old cartoons where one of the characters would be stranded somewhere and starving and everything they saw would look like a giant chicken leg or chocolate cake??? Yeah…that’s all I’m gonna say about that! 🙂 God is Good!! All the time!

March 28, 2014 - 11:32 am

Susie - Thank you, Bo.
Fasting for someone who has filled the “holes” with food has always been a daunting task for me. I seem to always make these “deals” with myself and feeling like a failure.
I have been pressing into mindfulness living in my life since the Lord impressed the truth of my identity upon me. He told me I am a blessed and beloved daughter whether I believed it or not. Hmmm, a new thought – a thought that I now believe. Very exciting…
So now I am in the second day of seven and am looking to what I will learn. One thing I feel is privileged. One privilege is knowing that when I accepted Jesus as my Savior, the truth is I have no “holes” – He filled them.

March 31, 2014 - 4:39 pm

Dreaming of burritos and changing the world (Fasting for Seven) - […] Seven, but if you’d like to read more please visit Pastor Bo Stern’s blog (you can start with day one here). She is a favorite of mine – a woman after God’s own heart – and she’s blogging all seven […]