"Stay awake and pray that you may not be tempted. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
I have heard this verse at least a thousand times, but I have a new-found understanding of it after the events of last week. You see, I have tried to fast before, but I have never been able to make it more than a meal or two before I caved. I would tell myself that I loved food too much. I knew it was an excuse. But what I didn't realize was that that stupid excuse was ACTUALLY TRUE.
I had set such a high value on food that I wouldn't surrender it. To some of you, this probably seems foolish, but I am sure that there are some out there that understand completely where I am coming from - I mean, a day without food? That's crazy! But I seriously felt that I absolutely needed to do it.
I know about idols in the lives of Christians. They aren't just little statues that people would bow to in the Old Testament; they are the things in your life that you value too much, so much that you place them above your relationship with God.
This isn't the first idol that I have battled, and I was determined that I was going to strike a blow against it. I thought about fasting a day, but that seemed too small. So, I decided on a week. My wife talked me down from that. It's not that she doubted my conviction, but she knew that I am a big guy, with a demanding physical job. That it wasn't smart to go from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds. She also stood beside me in my fast - both of us fasted for three whole days.
THREE. WHOLE. LONG. UNBEARABLE. DAYS.
Or, at least, that is what my mind was screaming by the first afternoon. But I was determined, committed to giving something over to my Lord that I had never truly given before. I stood resolute that I would not fail. And I did not fail. My spirit was willing.
I personally saw something in my life that I heard about from different pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and teachers.
The spirit trumps the natural. It truly does, you only need to commit yourself to it. I mean, all my previous attempts ended in failure. But in each of those, I wasn't committed. I caved after a meal or two, but not this time. This time, I gave the times of my meal to God. I read my Bible, prayed, and thanked God for the things that He has done for me. I made it through the three days. And I am so glad that I did.
I have felt my relationship deepen with God because of this fast. That idol of food has been pushed back, and I need to be vigilant that it doesn't return.
I would challenge you - find something that you have never given over to God completely and give it to Him. He will honor that. We have those "hidden" little sins and secrets. Start letting them go. They are only weighing you down. In my case, that was literal.