A Simple Way to Break Your Scripture Fast
Have you ever done a juice fast? I remember the first time my husband and I did. It was 2012 and we stumbled upon the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix. We were motivated after watching it! The first thing the next morning we drove everywhere looking for a juicer and we started that afternoon.
Day one we were doing great! The juice was yummy, we drank as much as we wanted and our bodies were still thriving off the energy stores it had.
Day two was a little harder. I had (at the time) 5 children I had to prepare real food for while mommy and daddy drank juiced kale and other scrumptious fruits and veggies. Their food looked very tempting. As the day went on my brain began to lose its sharpness. I wasn’t moving as quickly as I wanted. And those 5 little monkeys had lots of needs combined with lots of sin.
Day three the effects of not having protein and fat began to set in. I wasn’t a happy momma. I was easily irritated and honestly had no energy to serve my family.
My husband quickly saw that I needed protein and convinced me to eat a hardboiled egg. Real food! Something to sink my teeth into. It was lovely and my body and mind rejoiced.
When I think about my juice fast experience I can easily see the parallels to times when I have gone on a spiritual fast. Just like my juice fast was an intentional action, when I have gone days without feeding on the Word of God I have intentionally made that decision.
A Fast Always Starts Somewhere
Fasting from God’s Word has devastating effects on the mind and body. We start off feeling just fine. Day one is always easy. We can even feel a bit prideful of the “energy stores” we have built up.
My day two usually looks something like this: I wake up and within minutes something has gone wrong. A baby took off their dirty diaper, a toddler drew on the wall, the coffee pot breaks, I burn the breakfast or perhaps I gracefully trip over a toy on the floor resulting in an embarrassing fall. My response is less than Christ-like. Those are little things but in just two days without feeding on Scripture I am so much more susceptible to walking right into a sinful reaction.
Fast forward to day ten of no Bible and suddenly you are looking at your children (or spouse or co-workers) like they are major annoyances that need to get their act together. You now see everyone’s faults immediately and assume a hidden motive behind every conversation.
We can all relate to these scenarios in some way. It’s not that each one of us, as believers in Jesus Christ, don’t know what is best. Knowing what to do isn’t the problem, being disciplined to do it is the tricky part.
Skipping a day or two of Bible reading isn’t necessarily a fast. But, a fast always starts somewhere. One day turns into three which quickly turns into ten and you see where this is going.
Depleting Energy Stores
We should have “energy stores” built up from weeks, months or years of feeding on God’s Word. But, what happens when life is really hard. I mean intensely difficult, to the point you just don’t know why this is all happening or how it will all work out. How quickly are those pockets of energy going to last? A half a day, maybe?
The thing is, none of us know when the next trial will hit. Feeding on God’s Word regularly is the only way to keep the tank full and prepared.
No matter what is going on in your life (or not going on -- sometimes complacency is the reason for our fasting) be in God’s Word. It’s not about being ‘legalistic’ or a slave to the check list. It’s about FEEDING your soul, mind, and body.
How to Jump Back Into the Word
Here’s an easy way to jump right back into the Word:
Take 10 minutes, read a Psalm. Read it again. Then ask yourself these questions:
- What is the psalmist saying?
- Do you see God’s goodness in the Psalm?
- What does the Psalm move your heart to do? Repent? Give praise? Weep?
Our Father gave us a precious gift, His Word. It is always available to us no matter what season of life we are in. Even in that ‘dry season’. He is the Water we are thirsting for.
Scripture is all-sufficient ALL the time. It is humbling to consider that a holy and perfect God breathed-out words that would carry us through everything in life.
David beautifully describes this in Psalm 19. (I’ve bolded the effects of God’s Word on the believer.)
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned;
In keeping them there is great reward.
There are times in your life when a fast from food, technology or something else may be necessary. But don’t fast from the bread of life. It is through Scripture that we hear God’s voice, that we are spiritually nourished and that we receive the wisdom to navigate life as God has planned for us.
Have you been nourished today? If not, go now and be restored by His perfect Word.