The past 10 days my husband and I did a Daniel fast. This is basically like going vegan plus no caffeine. We both felt God had put it on our hearts to do this and so we started it together thinking we’d go for 21 days. We were fasting, praying and excited about hearing God speak to us. Then something happened. I hit day 5 and something just snapped in my brain. By three o’clock every day my brain and body just started to shut down. I couldn’t answer questions, I couldn’t lift up the kids and all I wanted to do was sleep. Patience, long-suffering and self-control were completely out of the picture.
Feeling called by God to do this temporary partial fast seemed completely doable and totally worth the sacrifice but then my husband saw me struggling and told me I needed to stop. I eventually gave in on day 10 and went out and ate a big piece of steak. I felt energy sinking into my bones and was instantly happy again. That night I felt like a huge failure. How could I give up so easily all for a piece of steak???
I felt embarrassed and spiritually deflated. How could God speak to me now?? My mind was slipping. But was this a spiritual attack? No, this was a lack of nutrition. My body was lacking, not my spirit. This is what God showed me.
Sometimes we can feel unmotivated, unambitious, lethargic and even moody. We can think it’s just the way we are. This is who we are and we’ve just got to do the best with what we’ve got. But I’ve discovered that our bodies need to be taken care of in the same way we take care of our spirits. And we need to discipline our bodies so that they can submit to the spirit. I remember thinking, “How can I have the mind of Christ when my mind is broken?” I thought I was a spiritual failure and that God couldn’t use me.
But that’s not the truth. We all have to renew our minds AND our bodies. We have to nurture, discipline and exercise our spirits and our bodies. This is a daily thing. We can’t run a marathon one day and then never run again and think we’ll be fit for the rest of our lives. Neither can we attend Bible college for a year and think we’ll walk with God for the rest of our lives. We have to train in order to sustain.