I decided to give up fried food for lent, wanting to go the route of denying self in the aspect of exercising self-control. I had never attempted giving up any kind of food during a fast and decided it was a good starting point. About a week in, I became aware of how inconvenient it would really be by learning just how many foods are fried, namely every appetizer in America. As simple as the fast seemed initially, I found it to be a good exercise in self-control. It drastically limited what I could eat and made eating at restaurants with others a sometimes-painful experience (watching everyone eat chips and cheese at Poncho Villa). By the grace of God, I didn’t give in a single time during the fast. Albeit a simple exercise, I found it to be very important. I first saw God in this fast in that I feel He was using this to refine me and build in me the spiritual muscle of denying self, almost like an introduction to long-term deliberate fasts. I secondly saw God in the contemplation of the why behind the fast. Why was I doing this and taking it so seriously? I understood that my personal conviction stemmed from refusing to be mastered by anything other than the Spirit. This was the principal concept that God was drawing me to and what I felt was the most important to share. Third, I saw God in the conversations he led me to while undertaking the fast. There were multiple conversations I was blessed to be a part of regarding God and His goodness with those that don’t believe simply because they asked me why I was fasting. Fourth and finally, I saw God in that He used something as simple as a commitment to stop eating a certain food for His glory by providing a platform to share the good news with others. I already understood that God can and will use even the smallest thing to glorify His name, but now I feel I have a much deeper understanding of this truth. Now, at the end of the fast, I am excited to see what more God will do with our congregation at Riverwood as we seek him in prayer.
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