WHAT EXACTLY IS THE FASTED LIFESTYLE?

 It’s a lot more than just not eating, though that has a lot to do with it. 🙂 The fasted lifestyle is basically embracing voluntary weakness in every area of life—not very popular! It’s saying “yes” to weaknesses and “no” to our own strength. Doing this day in and day out does amazing things to the human soul. It causes us to see our own barrenness and dependency on God—it shows the worthlessness of those things that we rely on to bring us comfort, honor, security, and exhilaration.

“1000 compromises to get me through the day”

Through attempting to live the fasted lifestyle, I realize how addicted I am to false sources of comfort and happiness. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “we human beings are far too easily satisfied.” My heart aches with longing for a thousand different things, not knowing its true longing is for God. Deep down, I really want God, but I eat a Whopper and it makes me feel pretty good, or I watch a funny movie and the ache in my soul goes away for a couple hours. Many people spend their lives living from one false source of comfort to another—just to get through the day. It’s how we stop the screaming, raging ache inside that is common to all men.

Fastedness = Injury

Besides showing us our dependency on God, the fasted lifestyle produces a tremendous amount of meekness in us. The definition of meekness from Merriam-Webster is: “enduring injury with patience AND without resentment.” When we live the fasted lifestyle, we are injured in countless different ways every single day—our comfort, our reputation, our pride, etc., are all injured when we deny the strength that comes from the things that we surround ourselves with—things that naturally support our comfort, reputation, pride, etc.—things like food, defensive speech and actions (no matter how subtle or innocent-seeming), money (giving instead of spending), time and energy (praying and serving instead of producing), etc.

How do you spend it?

It’s basically a question of what we are doing with our life resources. How do I spend my time, money and energy? Do I spend them on my pleasures, defending, strengthening and building myself and my sphere? Or do I truly live the Sermon on the Mount Lifestyle—fasting, giving, serving, praying and forgiving? What is my response when I suffer injury in my life? Oh to respond without offense or resentment!

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  1. standonthewall

    molly. you always seem to ‘hit the nail on the head’.

  2. sometimes i have to remind myself of why i’m fasting…it seems to be just a part of my life while i’m still not good at fasting, but i do it just because i once decided to and i don’t wanna quit. and sometimes i think that’s really bad. i should have a real goal in mind when fasting, not just “i once decided to fast and now i’m still doing it…” If someone would ask me right now why i’m fasting…i would say “i don’t know..it’s good…and it works”

    sooo maybe your post helps me to remember why i’m fasting! 😉

  3. benjaminwood

    I myself love food so much that fasting is a huge issue that I have to bring before the Lord every time i try to do one. I have to constantly ask Him to fill the spot with His word that the food should be in. Oh speaking of food is making me hungry. I think I am going to eat something. RIGHT NOW! AWWWWWW!

  4. And yet another great post. I read it backwards. I’m not sure why, but I did. And it was still really good. (But it has a really great flow to it when you read it the right way.)

    Voluntary weakness. Oy. I think one of the exceptionally painful things about voluntary weakness is the way that it makes me confront my barenness and less-than-voluntary weaknesses in a major way.

    Choosing weakness makes you realize the depths of your resistance to such a lifestyle. Putting yourself in the battle to choose to resist all of those lesser pleasures just makes you realize how much you want them and the lengths you will go to in order to get them.

    The discipline required to embrace voluntary poverty makes me confront the reality of my greed. Embracing a fast makes me realize how much I think about food all day (when I can’t have it), and how much I want to go to it for comfort when things hurt (as you mentioned).

    I say it again… Oy.

  5. Wow. I leave really long comments. (Not a new revelation… just another fresh encounter with that reality.)

    By the way… you totally made me eat macaroni and cheese today. I was hungry when I read your blog before bed yesterday… and the picture of mac and cheese planted the seed for what proved to be an all-day craving that just wouldn’t go away. When a friend randomly offered to make some, later in the night, I jumped at the opportunity.

  6. Ruth – I’m glad my post might have helped remind you why you’re fasting! But, don’t write yourself off too quickly for doing it just cuz you once made a decision to do it. I find that when I make good decisions, even before I have the heart posture that makes it fruitful, making those decisions can keep my heart and spirit from woundedness and can lead me into understanding. So, go with it – “do the stuff” and pursue God in it and your heart will catch up sooner than if you wait for everything to make sense in your heart before you start.

    Ben – ditto. double, triple, quadruple ditto. What do you on Tuesdays, say 6pmish? Do you like Chipotle? 🙂

    Christine – I read your comment backwards. JK – talk about a good flow – even your comments are clear and catchy. You are an excellent writer. Thanks for expounding on my thoughts – you rounded out some of the details well.

    I think that is hilarious about the mac ‘n cheese. The power of pictures! I actually did the same thing when I was browsing for the best pic of mac ‘n cheese on the web – I must’ve looked at 100 pics of the tempting dish and gave in shortly later to a box that was stashed way back in my cupboard. It was delicious.

  7. I wonder if I put up pictures of the Bible if anyone would crave reading the Word? 🙂

  8. benjaminwood

    Not so much chipotle but maybe a nice big juicy stinky burger! thats right a stinky burger!

  9. Mmmm…I am down with stinky burgers. What’s your fancy?

  10. Wow… how is it that our conversations always settle on food in the middle of the GBF? 🙂

  11. benjaminwood

    Well I prefer a onion, anchovy, blue stilton (considered to be the worst smelling cheese in the world), and bacon burger. So stinky!

    JAWSOME!

  12. Christine – I know – killer!

    Ben – I’m with you minus the anchovies. Other than that, sounds good. Is there anywhere in KC that makes something like that?

  13. Okay, I’ve got a bit of story here for ya. All this writing about embracing weakness has been producing a major paradigm shift for me. The other day, as I was worrying about how I’m going to pay rent, I started praying.

    I repented of seeking my strength from the earning power I’ll have once I get a job with my degree. I told God that even though he’s the one who gave me these abilities, I want to remain in dependence on him.

    A few days later, I was checking my bank account to see how much money I’d have to cash advance from my credit card. I noticed a very large deposit into my checking account. After further research, it turned out I had recieved some federal grant for school. Its an all year thing, so even though I graduated, I still get this half. Still, halfway through the semester is an odd time to deposit the money…

    The way I see it, God just slipped me $2000! I think I can handle being dependent on him.

  14. Idhrendur – Woah! That is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing this – it is so encouraging to hear of His faithfulness. I love how He so quickly and powerfully answers our acts of faith. This is really cool – I’m so happy for you!!!

  15. Molly, this is a great intro to the fasted lifestyle. I have been thinking a lot about that and how it relates to consumerism / greed / financial-security / etc….

    The fasted lifestyle is basically a question: How are we spending our life? It’s not something that we can settle once and then just do. It’s something that we constantly work out in our relationship with God as we seek to love Him.

  16. Shawn – great definition. I love dialouging about this! It’s so valuable to be surrounded by people who want to go for this!

  1. 1 Finances: The Problem of Allowance and The Fasted Lifestyle | The Fight Spot

    […] Molly wrote an excellent summary: The fasted lifestyle is basically embracing voluntary weakness in every area of life—not very popular! It’s saying “yes” to weaknesses and “no” to our own strength. Doing this day in and day out does amazing things to the human soul. It causes us to see our own barrenness and dependency on God—it shows the worthlessness of those things that we rely on to bring us comfort, honor, security, and exhilaration. […]




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