“Feed your fears and your faith will starve. Feed your faith, and your fears will.” – Max Lucado
My 10-year-old son recently fasted from video games.
Now, he didn’t come up with this idea on his own… nor was I the one who suggested it. But at the urging of someone he trusted, Sam decided to fast from gaming for 4 full days.
Why? As an experiment.
For the past few weeks, he’d been having nightmares and feeling more anxious than usual. Tears and frustration were sitting right under the surface. He found himself scared to be in his room at night.
Sam was dealing with the spirit of FEAR.
And while it’s not a new struggle, it was getting out of hand. So the idea of fasting from video games was the perfect opportunity to see if they were the catalyst for Sam’s worries.
Knowing our son’s battle with fear, we are mindful in what he’s exposed to. His game time is strictly regulated and we have stringent standards for which video games he can play. Movies and television shows are closely monitored and we stay away from books that talk about monsters and evil.
But something was feeding that fearful spirit… and we needed to determine exactly what it was.
“Sam, if video games are somehow causing this fear and anxiety… then a fast from playing will starve them to death. The fear will simply go away.”
The landscape of those four days looked different.
We played Monopoly… a lot. He built countless Lego creations. We sat and talked as a family about what God was revealing to Sam through this time. The kids put on “shows” for me and my husband. Our basement got cleaned out.
But more importantly, we discovered that we did indeed starve that fear.
During the fast, he didn’t have any bad dreams. He was more courageous to stand up to his fearful thoughts and speak truth in response to the lies. Sam was calmer and not as close to tears.
The spirit of fear starved because we removed its food source.
What is causing fear in your life?
• Fear of saying “yes” to what God is asking?
• Fear of being abandoned in your relationships?
• Fear of walking away from that addiction?
• Fear of financial ruin because of mounting bills?
When you allow that fear to fester untouched, you are continuing to feed it.
When you feed it, you are permitting it to grow.
And when you let it grow, it begins to overtake your thoughts and actions.
That’s not God’s design.
“For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
The spirit of fear isn’t from God. As a matter of fact, He gave us all we need to overcome it.
And part of that is the ability to starve it.
Sam still plays video games from time to time, but they’re not as important as they used to be. They’ve been exposed as a potential fear trigger. And at a moment’s notice, they will find themselves benched if need be.
What fears do you need to starve?