Battle · Fasting · Spiritual Discipline

an observation about fasting…

Struggling to enter a day of fasting… led to an observation…

On my treadmill… while reading about Christ revealed in Zephaniah

Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save; 
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:14-17 ESV

…a memory came to mind… how often… and how easily… I used to fast…

In my youth… late teens… early twenties… I was a borderline practicing anorexic… going three days… without any significant food… for the sake of my flesh… and how it would look in a bikini… a pre-beach routine… which was almost a weekly event in summer months…

In contrast… this call… to fast for Him… for the sake of His Church… and my spirit… involved a real battle…

And I see… how the enemy loved when I fasted for my flesh… feeding what leads to death and corruption…

For the one who sows to his own flesh 
will from the flesh reap corruption…
Galatians 6:8 ESV

But to fast for the Spirit… sow to eternal life… the enemy tempts… taunts… confuses…

Yes… fasting for Him can be a struggle… but I chose to suffer in the flesh… and follow Him…

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,
arm yourselves with the same way of thinking,
for whoever has suffered in the flesh
has ceased from sin, so as to live for 
the rest of the time in the flesh
no longer for human passions
but for the will of God.
1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV

He is in my midst… I will not grow weak… I choose His rejoicing… over my flesh…

And… He will not allow me to be tempted… beyond what I can bear…

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted
beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also
provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
How about you?
Are there spiritual disciplines you are called to… similar to a secular discipline (i.e. studying, serving, etc.)…? When you do it for Him… is it more difficult than doing it for self…?
Do you allow the enemy to win the battle…?

Lord Jesus… continue to open my eyes to the magnitude of the gospel… and what it means to me and the world… Remind me of Your presence with me… provide the strength and the vision… to serve You alone… and not flesh…

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