Today is Day 2 of the 40-Day Sugar Fast and those of you who have joined are probably feeling some withdrawal effects and battling cravings. Our first thought may be to choose an alternative or choose a distraction. While both may be necessary throughout the duration of the fast, the most important One we can turn to to satisfy us is Jesus.
A fast is spiritual in nature and while there will be some physical benefits of fasting, the focus is really the spiritual. The focus is Jesus and running to Him in our desperation. An addiction is not easily broken, but God can carry us when we remain focused on Him and the purpose of the fast.
I'm reminded of the story of Jesus walking on water in the Gospel of Matthew. Jesus called to Peter to come out on the water. He began to walk to Jesus with His eyes fixed on Him and he did walk on water! Just like Jesus!
But as soon as his eyes left Jesus and he focused on the wind and how fierce it was, he grew afraid. His eyes left Jesus and fear and doubt crept in, and he began to sink.
I believe the same is true for us during this fast. We have purposely set out to seek more of Jesus and be filled with more of Him and know Him by giving up something we run to more than Him.
The storms will no doubt rage around us and Satan for sure doesn't want us to succeed so he will be amplifying everything to make it look enormous in our minds and our flesh. Impossible. He'll remind us over and over again that we can't do it. But he's only partially right. We can't do it alone.
But with Jesus we can.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Maybe you have tried giving up sugar before; time and time again and have failed. Consider what you did then and do something different this time. Only when we change our process can we change the outcome.
The only way we can have a successful fast is by fixing our eyes on Jesus alone. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, He will guide us and give us what we need.
Not focusing on alternative sweeteners (even though it may be necessary in some instances). Not focusing on weight loss. Not focusing [merely] on other foods that can satisfy our craving. But focusing on Jesus.
True, we need a bit of a plan so we can eat something so yes, alternatives are necessary. But don't become so fixated on them that you forget the purpose of the fast. More of Jesus.
If you haven't joined the Facebook group yet, you are still welcome to. There we are sharing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas with no added sugar. We've also created a playlist on Spotify to help you conquer the cravings with praise and worship. There are also scripture cards you can print out and a prayer thread you can write your prayer requests on.
For some of you the first few days may be easy and the battle won't hit until the 2nd or 3rd week. Be prepared by praying now! Do not grow complacent believing that you can handle it because that's when the storms will rage around you. And if you're doing this alone, may I recommend joining the Facebook group for support? You need to know you're not alone and people are going through the same things you are.
So far I have experienced headaches, moodiness, fatigue, and some spiritual warfare. The cravings aren't super strong, but the spiritual battle is. The withdrawals are. I have found myself craving more time with Jesus because I gave up sugar to rely solely on Him. While I do pray for strength throughout the day, I am still struggling to set everything aside to just go to Him.
So this week I will be focusing on just that. Nothing is more important than me going to Him. Everything else can wait. The most important goal of this fast is not will power or weight loss but worship.
The only way to be successful in this fast is to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.