40 Day Challenge
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Part 2 - Fasting from “Wants”
As we enter part 2 of our Fasting Challenge, Days 11-20, we are going to be fasting from “wants”. We are moving from what we simply enjoy, to dealing with our wants, desires and cravings. It might be something you eat/drink (like not eating out, that specialty coffee, that candybar or donut), binge-watching Netflix or playing video games, wanting praise or material things, being first, being right or harming others. The list is endless.
Since “wants” are person specific and individual, you could fast the same ‘want’ for all 10 days or choose a different “fast” every day. There is a suggestion for a fast each day. The goal is that every time you lay aside something you “want”, you remember our Savior, what he did for you, and his mission.
Matthew 26:39 (NIV)
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus, just before he was delivered up to be crucified, spent time with his Father, wrestling between his wants and his Father’s will. Knowing the cross was ahead, he wanted to avoid it. But, he laid aside what he wanted for the will of his Father, and for his mission, to pay the penalty for our sin so that we could be saved.
- Spend a few minutes thinking about how your wants conflict with what Jesuswants for your life.
- Thank Jesus for choosing God’s will over his own desires.
- As the Holy Spirit begins to make you aware of your “wants” and their impact on your life, remember what Jesus did for you.
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 1 – Fast from a conflicting desire
- Today I invite you to fast from something you want to do that conflicts with what God may want you to do
- We all have battles during the day over doing what God wants (loving and serving God and people) versus what we want like getting on our devices, eating unhealthy food, being too busy for God…
- Today, you will set your mind on doing God’s will and not your will.
- Simply focus on surrendering to God’s will the way that Jesus did.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Spend a few minutes thinking about the material things you want and seek out: money, clothes, cars, furniture, electronics…
- How does the pursuit of those things distract you from the pursuit of God and his mission?
- Thank Jesus for the treasures you have..
- Walk with Jesus in surrender this week, “Your will, not mine.”
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 2 – Fast from shopping
- Today I invite you fast from shopping or searching for things to buy online.
- Shopping can tempt us to want more than we need or can afford.
- Today, you will set your mind on eternal treasures (God, his Word, & people) rather than earthly ones.
- Simply focus on storing up treasures in heaven today.
Galatians 5:16-17 (NLT)
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
We all struggle with the cravings of our sinful natures. The good news is that Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us through this battle and empower us to say “no” to sinful cravings and ‘yes’ to what pleases God.
- Spend a few thinking about your struggles with the sinful cravings of your flesh.
- Thank Jesus for the Holy Spirit and his help in your battle against your sinful desires.
- Confess any sin that may be hindering your relationships with Jesus (1 John 1:9).
- Ask the Spirit to convict you when a sinful desire comes into your mind and to empower you to do what pleases God instead.
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 3 – Fast from a sinful desire
- Today, I invite you to fast from a sinful desire that you struggle with.
- The battle in our hearts is real. The cravings are real.
- Today you will set your mind on what the Spirit desires.
- Simply focus on letting the Holy Spirit guide your life.
Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pastures. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
As we mature in our walk with the Lord, Jesus transforms our hearts. As our hearts are transformed, our desires are transformed.
- Spend some time thinking about how Jesus has transformed your heart.
- How have your desires (what you want) changed?
- Thank Jesus for saving you and continuing to transform your heart.
- Trust God’s plan for your life.
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 4 – Fast from streaming videos/shows
- Today I invite you to fast from streaming videos/shows.
- The hours we spend watching videos rob us of time to delight in the Lord and his Word.
- Today, you will set your mind on delighting in the Lord.
- Simply focus on trusting the Lord, doing good, enjoying God’s presence..
Psalm 103:2-5 (NIV)
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
- Spend a few minutes meditating and thanking God for all the benefits of your relationship with Jesus.
- Ask God to show you the good things he wants to use to satisfy your desires.
- Ask Jesus to show you who you can show love and compassion today and do it.
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 5 – Fast from news
- Today, I invite you to fast from all forms of news.
- Watching the news is negative and depressing. It fills our minds with “bad” things.
- Today, you will set your minds on all the benefits of your relationship with Jesus and how Jesus desires to satisfy your desires with good things.
- Simply focus on God. He heals, forgives, redeems and crowns you with love and compassion.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NASB)
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
- Ask God to show you where you struggle with being content?
- What are you pursuing that you don’t really need? Why?
- How would your life be different if you were simply content with what you had?
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 6 – Fast from Advertisements
- Today I invite you to fast from everything that has advertisements.
- Advertisements convince us that we want things that we don’t really need. The time pursuing those things takes us away from our God, our families and pursuing God’s calling.
- Today, you will set your mind on being content with what you have. Eat all your meals at home. Don’t go shopping…
- Simply focus on being content, pursuing Jesus and his calling on your life.
1 Peter 2:1-2 (NASB)
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
Some of our most harmful “desires” are those that come from our hearts to hurt other people. Our lives will be transformed when we lay those desires aside and desire God’s Word instead.
- Look up the meaning of each of the characteristics Peter tells us to put aside.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you which ones you struggle with.
- Confess your struggle to Jesus and ask him to give you a longing for his Word.
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 7 – Fast from TV and streaming shows
- Today, I invite you to fast from all TV and streaming shows.
- We tend to do what we see modeled. When we watch all the unhealthy ways people act on TV, we tend to pick up those unhealthy behaviors.
- Today, you will set your mind on longing for God’s Word so that you can grow and become like Jesus.
- Simply focus on desiring the Word of God.
Psalm 23:1-3 (NASB)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
A shepherd’s job is to take care of the sheep – to feed them, to protect them, to give them shelter, to guide them and to bring back the strays. In the care of the shepherd, the sheep are not in want of anything.
- Spend some time thinking about the condition of your soul. Is it peaceful? In need of restoration? In need of redirection?
- What desires keep you from fully entrusting your soul and care to our Shepherd?
- Surrender to the Shepherd’s care today.
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 8 – Fast from busyness
- Today, I invite you to fast from busyness and eliminate everything that is not necessary from your schedule.
- We tend to fill every minute of our day with activities, leaving us with little or no time to spend with God and to allow him to care for us.
- Today, you will set your mind on God as your Shepherd.
- Simply focus on how God wants to care for you and to guide you.
Mark 9:35 (NASB)
They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
- Spend some time thinking about times you want to be first, to be greatest, to put your will and desires first before those of others, How does that affect your relationships?
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a heart like Jesus, a heart that serves others and isn’t concerned about power, prestige and position.
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 9 – Fast from your need to be first
- Today I invite you to fast from your need to be first, to be important, to be powerful, to be important.
- When we are focused on being first, we aren’t putting God or others first.
- Today, you will set your mind on being the servant of all.
- Simply focus on serving God and the people God brings across your path today.
1 Tim 2:1-4 (NASB)
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Everything Jesus did was related to accomplishing his mission. He desired for everyone to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
- Thank Jesus for sticking to his mission.
- God has a purpose for you as well. Ask him to help you to fulfill your purpose.
- Pray for three people you know who need to be saved or come back into a relationship with Jesus.
FASTING CHALLENGE: Day 10 – Fast from all entertainment
- Today I invite you to fast from all entertainment.
- Entertainment can distract us from the mission God has for us to do.
- Today, you will set your mind on how Jesus desired for all to be saved and how he wants to use us to accomplish this goal.
- Simply focus on Jesus and his desire for everyone to be saved.