Fasting: Day 8 – Inward Focus

By: Ron Lagerquist

Physical Side

The juice from one large cantaloupe.  (As soon as I cut into this beauty I knew by the sweet smell I was in for a treat). Two glasses of veggie juice with a large stock of broccoli added, stem and all. And one glass of Welsh’s grape juice to pull me through those busy spots in my day. 

This morning my tongue and mouth was coated and I had fuzzy teeth, a sure sign of some serious detox during the night. No matter how clean the diet, we still live in this world, absorbing toxins, and—ok—to be honest, if I were to take all the fun-food I have eaten since my last fast, and pile it on the kitchen table, it would be quit the sight. I do treat myself from time to time, even visiting childhood memories with a beloved Big Mac, all the while knowing that I will be doing my yearly or by-yearly fast. So this morning, waking up with a Big Mac aftertaste, the first thing I do is brush my teeth, tongue, and mouth with the strongest mint toothpaste money can buy. 

Spiritual Side

Fasting puts things in their proper perspective. Things that were so important only days ago fade and are replaced by deeper realities. Fasting takes your focus off the unhealthy branches in search for the bad root. This kind of going deep is what I was hoping for. Find and uproot bad motives and desires so that the whole tree may be healthy again. Until this fast, I was only trimming away at leaves and branches. 

Only 8 days it took for some fresh clarity, and I know this is only the beginning. But with clarity often comes painful realities, like compromise, hypocrisy, and desensitization. I must not look away. There can be no freedom without truth. 
Here is what I have begun to see. What starts with the joy of pure vision can over the years, turn into the cold calculation of the business bottom line: profit. It’s so gradual there doesn’t seem to be any decision involved at all. Creating content simply to improve Google listings. Trying to broaden the message to reach a larger audience, to the point of diluting the message of Jesus. This is not to say that opening the message up to seekers is not noble, as long as you have clear sight of your own motive.

I think the easiest trap to fall into as a ministry/business grows is the people who make the important decisions on overall direction, become too busy. Too busy to stop and pray. And not just shotgun prayers between the To-Do’s, but hours of quiet time alone with God. 

Over the last 8 days I am surprised at how hard it has been to fight the compulsion of working on my To-Does. It has been a real challenge to do nothing but pray and seek the Lord. The fact that it is this hard to fast and pray is a clear sign that I have lost my way. I will be sitting on my couch trying to meditate and pray, but my mind will dart from one job to another, like a hummingbird from flower to flower. As the days have progressed it has become easier, but this is a great example of why fasting is an effective spiritual maintenance program. I know that as each day passes my mind will become more still and I will find a deeper spiritual focus. I also know that when that happens, that all-important clarity will come, which will provide the insight I need to align Freedomyou’s business goals to God’s will. 

When my long list of To-Do’s clamor for my attention, I remind myself that I have the rest of the year to work hard. But over the next days of this fast, it will be getting the foundation true, solid and strong, because, “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Ps. 127:1” I hate the feeling of vain labor!

Next Article: Fasting: Day 9 – Ambushed by Euphoria
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