Do you ever end up in the same place you’ve been a hundred times? You kick yourself because you feel like you should have learned? You condemn yourself because you shouldn’t be here yet again?
For me, that place is a place of uncertainty, indecision, anxiety and fear. I want to figure life out, for God to give me a detailed blueprint of His specific plans for me. I want a formula. But all He wants from me is faith. Why is faith so hard?
Walking with the Lord isn’t about believing once and calling it good. It’s initial belief and continued day by day, moment by moment belief. And, well, I hate how terrible I still am at this faith walk.
About two years ago I was in that same familiar place of anxiety and uncertainty, draped over the side of my bed, calling out to the Lord for even a speck of direction, an ounce of certainty. I felt lost. I felt abandoned.
It was in that moment that God answered me in an unexpected way. The Holy Spirit stirred in my soul and implanted these words in my mind: Fast from all input but Me.
This may sound odd to you, but I knew exactly what He meant. You see, I am an information hoarder. Some people collect coins, or figurines, or antiques. My collection is less tangible. I love to collect ideas. I get a thrill from learning something new and enlightening. With that also comes the propensity to stray from what is True to what is mentally tantalizing. I get curious about what experts have to say about topics I’m interested in. I begin to look for advice and wisdom from people rather than God.
So when the Lord gave me the gift of these words – fast from all input except Me – I knew He wasn’t answering my questions, He was instead questioning my answers. It was as if He was saying, “You want direction? Then you need to start looking my direction. Stop looking around; look up.”
From this challenge and conviction came a personal practice that continues to transform my mind and heart. It is the peace amidst my anxiety, the rest against my striving, the clarity in the cloud of uncertainty.
I call this practice my Input Fast. Once a week, I commit to saying NO to all input (think TV, social media, books, etc…) and say YES only to input from the Lord (Scripture, prayer, time with His people). It has been more of a challenge than I’d like to admit to say NO to the input of the world. BUT, through this practice I have tasted a joy and peace that I wouldn’t trade for a million likes on Instagram. I’ve experienced a fullness that comes only from the Bread of Life. I almost crave my Input Fast days now.
Practicing my Input Fast has been such a life-giving endeavor for me that I want to share it with you. I know many of you feel that anxiety or uncertainty that I struggle with. I wish I could wave a wand and take it all away for us all. But that wouldn’t allow for growth. It wouldn’t allow for an ever deepening faith. So, I want to offer you something else instead.
I have created an Input Fast Guide that I am excited to share with you! I want to offer you a taste of what has been changing my life. In this guide you will find:
~ A brief overview of what Scripture has to say about fasting
~ A preparatory worksheet
~ A four week reflection and contemplation guide
For those of you who might still be vacillating about if and what to give up for the Lent season this year, give the Input Fast a try! If Lent isn’t part of your tradition, give the Input Fast a try! This is for anyone longing to connect more intimately with the Lord and experience His peace more fully. Who knows? After four weeks, you may decide to make it a year round practice like I have. Whatever you decide, I pray the Lord will bless your commitment to draw nearer to Him.
To receive your free printable Input Fast Guide, click HERE.
I wait expectantly to hear how God uses this practice in your life to grow your faith, bring you peace, and provide clarity of mind.
“Like stillness, fasting reveals to us how much time and thought is taken up by transitory matters. Fasting can involve much more that food. We can fast from television, radio, movies, or certain types of food, desserts, meats, and the like … To make sure these things aren’t controlling us, we may need to give them up for a short period of time.”