Fasting from Being Useful: Practicalities of Having Faith
My journey to God began with fasting - and not the one you think
"The occult is a religion of the poor," said the famous Christian mystic and theologian some good 400 years ago. When faced with uncertainties and unfavorable circumstances in life, we try to predict and manipulate the future, manifest abundance, attract a soulmate, all with the hope that the sacrifices we would have to make won't outweigh our desired outcomes. Our superstitions lead us to believe that we can obtain something for nothing or for very little, mainly, indulging in simplistic "spiritual" practices or working hard for everything we own.
But God wants all of you.
He asks you to leave behind everything and, in return, embraces you unconditionally, just as you are.
The words I heard from God were clear: the act of sacrifice itself is important, not what you sacrifice.
For me, it was easy. I battled anxiety about my future, obsessively watched the phases of the moon, spread out Tarot cards, and followed the news. I also had build a reputation as a great psychoanalyst and business strategist, calculating 10 steps ahead, virtuoso at avoiding troubles before anyone else would see them.
But God said, simply, "I can change your future, just like that!"
And He proved it.
A year prior, I had fallen into a prolonged existential crisis. I had achieved great success as a mentor and trainer. My clients closed huge deals, I ran two mastermind groups, and had my own school. I looked back at my eight years in business, standing at the top of my game, having achieved everything on my own. Then, out of the blue, a month later, God granted me a million-dollar gift I hadn't asked for or worked towards.
I was faced with the grace of God, but I couldn't accept it.
I thought I was in control. I believed I was in charge. I put in the hours, never gave up, struggled through doubt and disbelief, motivated myself, and stayed focused on my goals. But just like that, the pandemic hit, severely restricting what I could do, and then, just like that, the stock market soared, and I became an overnight millionaire. Granted, the markets went down later, and I lost almost as much as I gained. But at that point, my questions about purpose, identity, and God consumed me, and inquiries about money, fame, or success took a backseat, eventually fading away.
A nagging and stubborn realization overshadowed all my joy: life is utterly unfair, and we must deal with it.
So it took me another year to look outside my window, from the house we bought with all the money we had… it was truly a dream house — with the most stunning ocean view, palm trees in a tropical island setting… it took me that entire year to actually feel it in my heart: "I live in paradise."
Because prior to finding God, in the midst of the lockdowns and mandates, I was experiencing anxiety and depression — two prevailing feelings I noticed many people without faith struggling to manage. I couldn’t give up on my despair and my worries. I started identifying with them.
So, that's why fasting.
One of the books I wrote is a practical manual for quitting addictions, titled "Release 20 Pounds of Pain." At its core, my methodology acknowledges that unresolved trauma drives us to soothe our pain through self-medication. Whether it's drinking, food, weed, work, sex, or unhealthy attachments to certain types of people — typically destructive and harmful — or even our own false and unproductive identity, we can let it go by releasing our emotional baggage and healing our original childhood wounds, one by one.
Now, having God as the Savior is a shortcut — a powerful remedy.
It offers a shift in perspective that provides a new identity. You accept reality as already unfair, ceasing to seek karmic circles with hopes of big rewards for good deeds. You stop retouching and avoiding risks and mistakes. You accept that you are inherently imperfect, a sinner in need of help. You accept authority, simultaneously letting go of the burden of fixing the world or even yourself. You come to see the mercy, blessings, and grace of God freely given to you.
But you must believe.
You must choose to have God above you.
This is where most of us stumble — I know I did.
The atheistic idea of being the sovereign ruler of your own castle, doing whatever you want, achieving your desires, changing and transforming yourself, living a life by your own design — this can really hinder critical thinking.
A simple observation of your own life proves that you have never been in control. God loves you just as you are, with all your failures and imperfections. You can't work your way to heaven. Things in life, including people and circumstances, change miraculously, inexplicably, and suddenly.
Opportunity and chance are always there for you.
Prayer is the best medicine against fear.
Jesus has a purpose for your life.
God is the Creator, and you are His humble child — a concept so immense that it's overwhelming to think He cares about your everyday life, every thought, and every feeling.
He provides guidance, wisdom, and unlimited love for your life.
Don't get me wrong — I believe in energy and the power we can harness by strengthening our focus and directing our attention. But this only reinforces the point: shift your perspective from being the only one who matters to realizing that you matter to God, and you will experience a profound change in your energy, posture, and how you carry yourself in this world.
Having God as your support, knowing that every hair on your head has been counted, is an exhilarating feeling.
Having the authority and righteousness given to you through Jesus Christ, who paid for your sins with His blood — the ultimate sacrifice and the greatest proof of God's personal love for you — transforms you into a different person.
Things will never be the same again. But you need to fast. Restrict yourself, turn away from false idols and gods, and stop seeking salvation or blessings elsewhere.
You can keep your desires and your human nature. There's no need to deny your true feelings or thoughts, detach from harsh reality, or ignore its enormous demands. You can keep all of that, but stop indulging in superiority and pride.
That's a big ask, I thought. How can I ever give up on that?
Since a very young age — I remember, I was six — I was taught to take responsibility. Not just for myself, but for my younger brother as well. In return, I received love and acceptance. I know how to be a "good girl."
I know how to achieve, earn, and work for love, success, and money.
And now, you're telling me to let it all go?
But that's what defines me. It's how I escape my fundamental feeling of inadequacy.
I want to be useful so I can be lovable and loved.
Yes, give it up.
It's hard. Giving up on oneself seems impossible. It's scary to live empty, purposeless, and exposed, even if only for a moment.
In that moment, I accepted Christ. Because it's the only way. It's the most logical, pragmatic, and practical thing to do. Decide that you are a believer.
So my fasting has paid off, as you can see.
Not much has changed on the outside. Maybe I'm a bit more thoughtful and, hopefully, gracious.
I take more time and more space.
But the biggest transformation is happening within me.
Slowly, I am embracing peace. Slowly, I am recognizing the blessings in disguise. And faster than before, I am taking smaller steps in life.
I'm no longer chasing every temptation and then feeling guilty or sabotaging the consequences of my bold, ill-informed decisions.
It's an interesting journey, to say the least.
It can be excruciating at times. Sometimes, I look back at the feeling of "sovereignty" and "control" I thought I had, and I miss it— like you would miss a terrible ex in moments of loneliness. Any memory would do.
But then I remember the promise God made to me: I am a Child of God, and I am not alone.
And whether I admit it or not, just like you, I am grateful for that.
About Lira Kay
Lira Kay is a highly accomplished coach & publisher who has had the privilege of working with numerous celebrities and CEOs to take their work to the next level. In addition to offering corporate workshops and programs, she also provides mentorship to established thought leaders, creators, and entrepreneurs to help them achieve world-class positioning and impact. Her methods have been widely recognized and have earned herseveral awards for their innovative and effective approach to therapy,high performance, and transformational work. Lira Kay is also the founder of the School of Inspired Life, a publishing house and a professional skills training center that specializes in advanced coaching methods and business programs.