I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy
and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with
confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Rom. 15:13 NLT)
It’s been said that if motivation were an equation,
it would look something like this…
MOTIVATION + SUCCESS + CONFIDENCE = MORE MOTIVATION
The problem with our motivation (I’m speaking personally, here!) is that it comes in fits and starts and is easily influenced by external and internal factors. It’s what some might call a “vicious circle!” We become ill, have a change in our schedules for some reason or another, lose a loved one (God forbid)…then out go our efforts to eat right. Our schedules fluctuate, sometimes with little control on our part, or we suffer some sort of minor injury…then out go our efforts to exercise. Our hormones fluctuate and we can’t seem to get one good night’s sleep…then out go our efforts to do ANYTHING RIGHT! I hear ya’! Of course, there’s no shortage of advice out there on how to deal with it all. A lot of worldly brainpower, time, and energy has been invested in convincing (and selling) us ways in which to keep us inspired to stay on track!
About three years ago, I had really lost my way and was very overweight and distraught about my health. Through a series of events, (which you may read about in my testimony) I made the decision, and actually signed a formal covenant, to begin a season of God-centered “fasting” off of certain foods (sugar, white flour, white rice, white everything!:). What initially began as a 30-day commitment, soon turned into more…much more. More time to make a difference in my health and, most importantly, more time with the Lord—you see, we were in this together. Just me and Him. And it was changing my life! I no longer ate for MY satisfaction or gave into MY cravings. It was HIM I didn’t want to disappoint. So, TWO YEARS and 40 pounds later, I ended my time of fasting. When my friends began asking me how I had accomplished my weight loss, I shared my fasting experience with them and they jumped right on board with it, too! Many had great success, both physically and spiritually, and, like myself, still use a time of fasting whenever feelings of getting off track emerge. It was a wonderful time of bonding for us and we still speak of that initial time of fasting together with great fondness.
So, you might ask, what was our secret to sticking with it? Well, our motivation wasn’t self-centered–it was God-centered! We prayed our hearts out each and every day, we shared healthy recipes, we ate meals together and met together regularly. We knew our weaknesses, so our dependence wasn’t on inner-strength, it was on His strength!
While fasting is certainly personal…between you and the Lord…He can also use others to help you gain encouragement, experience, and information. Do you have to go on a multi-year-length fast? N.O.P.E. Absolutely not! Thirty days of fasting works wonders in changing addictive behaviors and habits.
If you would like to embark upon a time of fasting and challenge, you may sign up for the Fueled for GOD CONFIDENT HOPE CHALLENGE.
You might also wish to consider following these steps to get you going:
1. Read the TESTIMONY (if you haven’t already) to help you gain some motivation and history.
2. Print and sign the FASTING COVENANT. While fasting is between you and the Lord, there is a space for a “witness” to sign as well, but feel free to skip that part of the process if you like. Also, if the fasting list is more than you can handle right now, then simply make it your own by marking through the items you are going to continue eating. For example, if all you want to fast off of is sugar, then mark off the other items on the list and leave the sugar content.
3. Delve a little deeper into God’s Word as it regards fasting, and read the STUDY available for download.
4. Read the post entitled, BREAKING THE SUGAR HABIT, for a few tips on how to handle the sugar detox of your fasting journey.
5. Download the SCRIPTURE CARDS and carry them in your purse, tape them to your bathroom mirror, commit them to memory, etc
6. Once you have signed up for the challenge, you will be sent the Fueled for GOD CONFIDENT HOPE materials which include instructions for following your plan, recipes, menu plans, shopping lists, devotional materials, etc.
You might also wish to join the Confident Hope Facebook Group for extra support.