Nothing is going to change.I opened the pantry door and stared at a beautiful jar of peanut butter - Peter Pan, creamy (for you peanut butter fans you know what I'm talking about). I pulled it out and set it on the counter. I was ready to open that jar and dig in with my fingers when a thought entered my head to ask God for a new Word. There was a part of me that didn't want to ask - I wanted what I wanted! But His prompt was stronger, and as I asked my Father God for a new Word to stand on, a peace overcame me. The desire for that peanut butter left as fast as it came, and I heard God whisper to me "Give Me your very best Joey." Again, my words here can not do justice to how my spirit was renewed and my resolve strengthened - in an instant everything changed. In a breath I was renewed in my core and I felt invincible. Then the scene from Facing the Giants played through my mind where the coach blindfolded Brock for the "death crawl" and asked Brock to give him his very best. If you haven't seen the movie or at least that scene, click here .
Why are you wasting your time?
God didn't ask you to do this, you made this all up in your head, and NOTHING is going to change.
You don't deserve this punishment.
Look how far you've gone, be proud of yourself.
This is long enough.
"because he loves Me, says the Lord, I will rescue him. I will protect him for he acknowledges My name. When he calls on Me, I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him; with long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."
I was now seeing from a new perspective, a different altitude - everything had changed, and the next 6 days flew by. My eyes and my heart were on the finish line, with a fresh Word to carry me through! On day 36 I left to serve on a men's event with Fellowship of the Sword called Quest. It is 5 and a half days with God on a beautiful 500 acre ranch in the hill country of Texas, and I was part of the volunteer staff that cooked and supported the men on the event. I first went on this event back in January of 2008 and it took my walk with Him to a whole new level. I had never had such frequent encounters with God, nor heard Him so easily as I did over those 5 days. Now I love to go back and serve and witness others having their own encounters. God arranging me to finish the fast on this event is another miracle and blessing in itself. He knew what I would need and arranged it. He put the desire in my heart and took care of the details. No electronics, incredible praise and worship, and a lot of time with Father God - can you think of a better way to end a 40 day fast? Another mind-blowing "coincidence" I have failed to mention so far is that another friend of mine (Scott) had also been called to a 40 day fast of only eating certain foods. His fast started EXACTLY when mine did, and he was serving on this event as well! So we would both be ending our 40 day fasts at the exact time, together, over 300 miles from home. You can't make stuff up this good - who would believe it?
Those last 5 days He downloaded a lot of revelation that I am still processing to this day, but the last day of the fast is practically a story in itself. I woke up that morning at 5am full of energy and excitement. It had been 39 days since I had eaten, and at 6pm that day it would be over! I went outside to spend my last morning quiet time with Him while on the fast, and the emotions were overwhelming. I felt His love in such an amazing way and I know it will be something I will remember forever. I asked Him for a scripture for me, and I heard Him whisper in my heart Psalm 84. I looked it up and wept. I cried out with all my heart, "let it be unto me as You have said - I receive Your blessing Dad!"
The day surprisingly went easily and quickly, fortunately there is always a lot to keep you busy on these events. Scott and I felt He wanted us to take communion as our first meal, and to dedicate back to Him the first meal sure seemed to line up with His ways, so as 6pm drew near I got a tortilla and a small smoothie my friend Norm had made me and headed outside. To my amazement, Jeff, my friend who sent me an encouraging text EVERY day of my fast was waiting there. He had driven 5 plus hours to be there when we finished the fast - I was blown away again! As he prayed over us we broke fast. I know most of you would not rank tortillas as incredibly flavorful, but I can tell you I tasted flavors I never remember being in a tortilla. Texture, and even the simple act of chewing brought incredible pleasure. I took very small bites, and chewed them for what seemed like minutes in utter joy. I had felt led to ask God a couple days earlier to begin to wake up my digestive system, and unlike what happened the previous time I took communion (without His permission), this one went easy causing no problems.:-)
After we went back inside I noticed a friend of mine in a lot of pain due to his back, he said it had caused him problems for years. I felt compelled to pray for healing and to tell the pain to go away. When I obeyed God's prompting, the miraculous happened - all his pain went away! Thank You Lord! He told me years ago He would heal His kids through me, I've just always struggled believing it. Not anymore! I now realize it has NOTHING to do with me EXCEPT Obedience! When He prompts, I'll say yes. And when I obey the miracles follow. I don't know how to explain what happened the rest of the night because it doesn't make sense in the natural. Within a couple of hours of eating, an overwhelming sadness came over me, and I just wanted to be alone. I could not figure out where it was coming from until I asked the Father. I heard Him whisper it's okay, your spirit is mourning this season coming to an end, it has to happen, let it. With that I sat there and cried on and off for about an hour remembering the last 40 days. What an incredible journey He just walked me through! Then He whispered, your next season has already begun...
For you nutritionists out there, just as God carried me through the fast, He also carried me through coming off the fast, and it was effortless. Mostly juices, soups and soft foods for the first week, then it was back to normal. I had lost a total of 45 pounds, and now it was time to start putting it back on, and in the right proportion! God had taken me to my foundations both spiritually and physically, and the journey of re-building was about to begin.
I want to acknowledge and thank my incredible wife Shari for everything she did and persevered through during this fast. She covered me in prayer, spoke life and truth into me, and handled issues that came up without me evening knowing. There were so many times I had to retreat to prayer and she must have felt like a single parent, yet I never heard her complain. Her faith and trust in God's goodness and faithfulness is like a 300 year old redwood with a giant sycamore canopy. The unity we had during the fast and have today stems from her burning desire to obey our Father God. Thank you Shari, what an incredible wife and mom you are! I love you so much! One day she might share what this experience looked like from her side - closet eating and all :-).