Lent Day 12 - Dealing With Failure

It’s less than two weeks into Lent, and I’ve already broken my fast.

I experienced the typical cycle: determination (I will complete my fast), disappointment (I failed), and now decision (what next?).

This devotional is my answer to that question. When we mess up, we have a decision to make. We can rely on ourselves and WORK harder, trying to make ourselves righteous by undoing whatever it is that we messed up to begin with. Or, we can look to God and His GRACE to re-establish our identity.

Hear me say this: I’m not discouraging fasting, so long as it’s done with the right motive/heart. There are only two ways we can fast. For ourselves, or for Christ. When we fast for ourselves (as has become clear to myself that I was doing), we grow further from the Lord instead of closer to Him. We deepen the well of self-work, instead of drawing from the well of Christ’s work. Any fast that leads us to make more of ourselves is not Christ-centered at all. But when we fast for Christ, we deepen our understanding that we are His, bought, redeemed, set free, and empowered by His Holy Spirit to live grace-filled lives, rooted in our identity in Him! (I am thankful that God set me free from my self-centered fast.)

David said in Psalm 51:16,17, “You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.”

Who are you fasting for today?

“Dear Lord, I pray that our fasting would lead us to broken spirits and humbled hearts. May we not think more of ourselves during this season, but more of You. Amen!”

By Matt Altman