The day I turned 25 wasn’t just another average birthday filled with gifts and cake. It was the day that God radically changed my life. You see, before I knew Jesus, I craved all the wrong things, thinking they could fill a void that only God has the power and authority to fill. I didn’t know who I was because I had placed my identity in men, partying, and friends. So naturally, when all of those things had let me down I found myself at rock bottom. But that’s when God stepped in. His desire wasn’t to just give me a new life, but a new way to live.
Shortly after I gave my life to Jesus, the group of friends that I used to surround myself with started to see a change in me. They saw the outward expression of what Jesus had done in my heart, and because of that they mocked me behind my back, saying that it was just a phase and that it wouldn’t last. One night after work, a co-worker asked if I wanted to go to the bar with her to get a drink. I explained that I no longer felt comfortable doing that since it brought back past memories and pain. She then explained how her other Christian friend went for drinks all the time and that there’s nothing wrong with it. But I knew that God was telling me to leave that life behind. My cravings had shifted and I was spiritually starving.
The enemy did the same thing to Jesus when He was in the wilderness. In Matthew 4, as Jesus was fasting, the devil came and tempted him. The enemy distorted the word of God and used food and power in an effort to make Jesus sin, but it was no match for Him! After all three attempts, Jesus used God’s word to combat the enemy, and in the end, the devil left and the angels took care of Jesus.
You may feel like you’re in the wilderness, but trust that God has you right where He wants you. As we continue to fast for this upcoming year, don’t lose focus. Fasting realigns our cravings, feeds our spiritual nature, and detoxes our mind, body and soul. We live in a world of quick fixes and instant pleasures. But the Bible says not to love the world or the things it offers you (1 John 2:15). Remember the why and don’t allow the enemy to steal it from you. As you press in this week, allow yourself to get closer to God. Yield to Him as He replaces your old cravings with new ones.
Learn to identify and resist the cravings that are not from God:
Physical pleasure – having zero self-control, always wanting your way
Wanting everything you see – lust of the eyes, driven by comparison
Pride in our achievements and possessions – these things are temporary
We all have old cravings. I did. I used to indulge in them daily and then wonder why I felt empty and dissatisfied. Our souls are starving for righteousness, yet we are so quick to consume garbage. Giving in to old cravings will never unlock new blessings. We were created to move forward; not turn back.
Five months after my 25th birthday, I took part in my first two weeks of prayer and fasting. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but my heart was hungry for God. I failed at so many Daniel-fast recipes, and ate corn chips not realizing they were fried, but my heart was surrendered to Him. It wasn’t the food that held my breakthrough or determined my righteousness, it was my heart towards God. It was me finally putting God first in my life, letting go of all I was, and embracing all that I was meant to be. As I ran from my old life and into the arms of our Father, He transformed me into who I am today. I will never look back. And you don’t have to either.