The type of discipline I’m referring to is to train oneself to do something. I am learning that this life requires great discipline to achieve the results that you want out of it. I have tried many things and failed, not until I achieved proper discipline did I achieve my goal. My biggest feat has always been my eating habits, I have tried every diet in the world. None of them worked, some were temporarily good, but then the habits didn’t stick and I was back to square one. However, I have tried something that changed my life in this arena, I did a Daniel’s fast with the girls in my family in the beginning of 2015. When I had desires to quit, I remembered that I was doing this to learn from God and when it came to letting myself down, I was okay with that, but I didn’t want to let God down, so I persevered for 21 days. When we fasted, we all had certain things that we were praying about(some were the same and some were different), the idea was to give something up that we loved too much and use that new free time to pray, learn and hear from God.
I learned so much through that fast, looking back now I see that all of the things that I was spending time in prayer about during that fast have now come to fruition. They have all been answered! That is so amazing to me, we all live in an immediate world and when we pray, we want our prayers answered the moment they are mentioned. However, for the most part that just does not happen. God has impeccable timing, He knows best and has our best interest at heart even when we can’t see that. So, reflection is very important to look back and see His faithfulness in times that you just couldn’t understand.
During the fast that we did, I learned a lot about self discipline, I learned I didn’t need a meat and three every time that I sat down to eat. I made salsa, whole chips and oranges a meal. I felt so good, my body was so clean. That was 2 years ago, I have kept a lot of the habits that I formed during that time. I would be lying if I didn’t say I have gone a few benders, ha! However, I always come back to the things that I know and learned from this time. I think it is important for us to take an inventory of ourselves from time to time, what is the most important in your life. Maybe, it’s not even that important, but it is sucking all of your time. Currently, mine sadly is Facebook, I get sucked into that too easily. I get on my phone to check the weather and see that little red circle, the next thing I know I have been scrolling for 10 minutes. I have fasted from it before, it was so good. For the first few days, I didn’t know what to do with myself when I had my phone in hand. I quickly found many things to replace that time, I played with my kids!!
In John 15:1-2 Jesus says, “I am the vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that I will be even more fruitful.”
Sometimes, we need to be pruned to be able to bear good fruit. What is taking up your time? What can you give up? 21 days actually flies by, well some days will feel like weeks, but the lessons that you will learn can change your life forever. I am challenging you to think about this, what can you give up for 21 days, maybe you want to do the whole Daniel’s fast, it is the cleanest you can possibly eat, the internet has a lot of recipes and ideas. Pinterest will be your lifeline. Maybe it is social media, maybe its smoking, it’s up to you and God. Seriously, spend some time in prayer about what you worship, see where you need to improve and grow.
My friend Rachael reached out to me yesterday with this idea, I quickly said I would do it with her. She is giving up sugar, and currently that is also a weakness for me. So starting on March 1st I am going to give up sugar and take Facebook off of my phone. I do like sharing my blogs on Facebook, so I will continue that, but to log on I will have to intentionally log in to a computer. This will kill 2 birds with one stone, Allen will love this idea, he definitely holds be accountable for being on my phone too much 😉
So, in what way do you need to be pruned?
I hope you will take this opportunity seriously, God could literally change your life through this time. Learning good discipline and forming new habits have changed my life, I incorporate discipline into every aspect of my life. My tongue, my patience, my every step; let God enforce discipline in the areas of your life where you need it most. You have everything to gain and really nothing to lose, especially if it is a damaging habit.
Please share what you are going to fast from, I think it will be fun to do this together. We can hold each other accountable and watch God work in each of our lives as we go through this process together.