Faithful Fasting {How to Become Less So He Can Fill More}

Holey Wholly Holy Quote

Fasting isn’t about food. Fasting is about faith. It is about consciously choosing Christ when we want nothing more than to stuff ourselves with that which is temporary.
Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

Although my childhood church believed in fasting, they did not practice the Lenten fast. I understood why. But I had so many friends in school that did, I would generally give something up anyway. Just to encourage them in their spiritual journey…to be a part of something greater…oh who am I kidding. Truthfully, I did it because everyone else was doing it. As I grew older, my choices of Lenten fasts gained momentum in difficulty, but all failed terribly.

We fast from these little things, like dessert or caffeine, and we struggle and crave. Lent teaches us about sacrifice and we think it to be so hard, and while it is, because we are human and frail, our small giving-up is nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice. Harder than the fast, is the turning the eyes inward, the sifting of filth that settles in the heart, in my heart.
Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

The reasons they all failed? They were all about me. And not in the turning my eyes inward type of way…

But I’ve been blessed to witness fasting in many forms. The intentional fasting while my parents sought God’s guidance; the fasting of others who really understood the significance of the sacrifice. When I realized I needed to seek out my intentions around fasting, I had formulated basic principles to the task:

  • Fasting is a faith practice. Not a food practice.
  • Fasting requires sacrifice — you becoming less. Not more.
  • Fasting should draw you closer eternally. Not temporarily.
  • You have to want the outcome. Not dread it.

“Remember your heart behind the fast is what matters, not the fast itself.”
Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

Last year, during my first true Lent, I asked God what He wanted me to sacrifice. And I struggled with what I felt He was saying, because I wasn’t hearing a thing. A food. An activity. A tangible item I could forego. No. What I was feeling was He wanted me. He wanted me to clear the clutter in my own heart so He could fill it with more of Him. {Read More Here}

He wanted me to fast from myself.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done to date.
And the most rewarding.

We find fasting difficult because we have grown unaccustomed to the hollow feeling in our bellies. We fill our empty with various things, food or otherwise — anything to mute the pangs that rise up and remind us of our unworthiness, our incompleteness apart from the Father.
Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

I didn’t realize how consumed I was with myself — I don’t consider myself selfish. Oh, but I am. The fast taught me as much and so much more.

Friends, I don’t care if you fast during Lent. But I sure hope and pray you opt to become less so He can be more. The most effective way I’ve found? Fasting. Any time, any place, any way, any form.

Because when we neglect a comfort — and let’s face it, we have many comforts — we search and grasp for something, anything to fill that hole. And friends, Jehovah Shammah is always right there. Willing. The challenge lies in accepting His offer over the easier option.

Jesus knew this temptation well. We all know what He faced in the desert — the very reason the Lenten fast began. What many of us don’t know all that well, is what happens when we make the same choice Jesus did. When we choose to put our relationship with God first. Foremost. Over all. Especially that thing we crave immensely when it’s not in front of us. Friend, do you know what it feels like to put Him before that thing?

Let me be very clear here:
God’s not after your coffee, your television, your sugar or your social media.
No. Friend, He’s after you.
He loves you so much He wants all of you. Your heart of hearts. Your very soul.

This is why the Lord says,
“Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.”
Joel 2:12

And whether you offer just that this Lent or another season is up to you. Because it’s you who has to be ready to give up more than the one thing you choose to symbolize the task with.

  • Is it hard? Oh my yes.
  • Does it hurt? In more ways than one.
  • Is it worth it? A thousand times over.

What do you say…Will you join me in the challenge? Will you find what’s standing in the way of Him filling you up and get rid of it? Will you live out Matthew 4:4 with me? We won’t be sorry. I’ll bet my life on it.

NOTE: This is a part of my Lenten series based on my experience through Lent last year and my reading Holey, Wholly, Holy by Kris Camealy this year. You may check out the entire series HERE. I’ll be back next Wednesday as we talk about dying to self.

If you do not have this book yet, Kris is giving away FREE PDF COPIES HERE for a limited time! Or you may purchase a kindle or hard copy (highly recommend) HERE.

How about you, friend? What has your experience been with fasting? How has it changed you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

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16 thoughts on “Faithful Fasting {How to Become Less So He Can Fill More}

  1. Oh, Nikki……..

    I had this big, beautiful plan for Lent this year. It included several studies (including Kris’ book) and each week of lent focused on different areas of my life that I would sacrifice so that I could draw closer to God. I’ve been discouraged this week as MY big plan hasn’t brought me closer to MY goal. Somehow I’ve made it all about me. All about MY plan. It really is all about giving up all of me and giving up all of my plans to HIM. How can I hear Him when I’m to busy with the fast?

    Thank you, friend, for the reminder. I’m taking my eyes off of my Lenten checklist today so that my eyes with be on my Creator!

  2. I love your beautiful heart. And what a gift to be able to convey your thoughts with such a grace and beauty. I love this. I do, however feel as though my life with Him has been on continual long fast of self. A life surrendered, so much more than a blog name.

    • It’s a perfect blog name and life we are all called to live, Michele. YES! That is exactly how we should all feel! I wish I could say the same. but, clearly, I have selfish seasons I’m trying to eliminate… Thank you for sharing with me, friend! Love your beautiful heart…

  3. Oh, so many things that I could say on this subject. I love this line- God’s not after your coffee, your television, your sugar or your social media.
    No. Friend, He’s after you.
    So good, Nikki! I am loving Kris’s book and the way it is challenging me- and I am loving your words and the way the Lord has used these lessons in your life.
    I didn’t “give up” anything for this Lenten season. Rather, I have been seeking to be filled by truth and by my great God. It has been a different perspective for me, but time that I might have spent elsewhere, I have devoted to praying and reading. It has been rattling me to the core- and I am so thankful. Less of me, more of Him is a beautiful way to say it.
    Love you, Nikki!

    • What a perfect direction to go, Becky. To seek His truth this Lenten season. I love it! It naturally makes us less, don’t you think?
      Thank you for sharing this road with me, friend! What an encouragement you are!
      All for Him with hugs to you, girl (and baby!) 🙂

  4. Well said, Nikki!! God is after us, all of us! So many times I have pondered the “What are you giving up for Lent?” routine, & thought, what do any of these things have to do with our relationship with God? Who is it benefiting if I give up dessert? God isn’t looking forward to me losing a few pounds, I am. So it would have never been for Him in the first place. How many of our fasts have ulterior motives? How many are just our selfish way to make ourselves feel holier to ease our guilt? I so appreciate your thoughts and voice on this commonly misunderstood topic. Blessings, Friend!

    • Oh those ulterior motives. yes. I’m good at those ::SIGH:: which is precisely why He called me on it and simply told ME to come…just come…
      So blessed to share this journey with you, friend. LOVED your post today, BTW. and for the record, Lauren. Your HTML is welcome here any time. I’d love it if people would hope over and meet you!

  5. “He wanted me.” So thankful that he always wants me, but praying for the desire to always want Him back. I’m so encouraged each time you write on Kris’ book, Nikki. Such edifying words. (Take THAT, chocolate!) 😉

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