Taming Our Desires


There is only one surefire way to dismantle a desire, craving, or appetite—you have to starve it to death. One powerful way to accomplish this is through fasting.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 NIV

Once fears or desires have been aroused, they are hard to quiet. And there is a reason for this: our desires were never meant to be awakened and then neglected. So if we awaken the wrong desires, what can we do?

The truth is, we develop our own appetites and desires. We can increase or diminish their power over us according to the importance we assign them. We can control their influence by limiting our intake of the things on which they thrive.

There is only one surefire way to dismantle a desire, craving, or appetite—you have to starve it to death. You must destroy it and render it powerless by cutting off its food supply. One powerful way to accomplish this is through fasting.

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6 NIV

God’s chosen fast accomplishes the following: it breaks the chains of injustice, unties the cords that hold the yoke in place, frees the oppressed, and then breaks every yoke—not just the easy ones. As we put on garments of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness, we will begin to feel some relief. God will give us His strength so we can face off with any yoke and break free!

…Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…

Hebrews 12:1 NKJV

Fasting is life’s ultimate weight reduction. It is a stripping away from the body and soul of the things that hold us down and tether us to this earth. When we fast, our loads are lightened and our spirits are set free!

Fasting is the ultimate example and expression of submission to God. And when we submit to God, we are no longer running in terror. We are running with purpose, and the enemy flees!

Have you been dominated by the wrong desires? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you if there is anything He would have you fast. Let this be a time of consecration and communion with Him as you replace what has become unhealthy or unbalanced with prayer, worship, and meditation on God’s Word. There is great strength and victory for you in His presence!

Adapted from Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry: Why Women Lose When They Give In (Thomas Nelson, 2002).

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