What is the deal with Fasting?
The best way to consider fasting is: it does not take us closer to God as much as it takes us farther from the enemy. Fasting kills the fleshly nature talked about in yesterday’s blog. When we go without something that we are used to or “can’t live without”, it disrupts our schedule, our rut, and our thinking. While fasting, you will thinking about your relationship with God throughout the day. You have constant reminders with every hunger pang why you are fasting and how much your relationship with Jesus means. In a normal day, there are sinful activities that we subconsciously partake in. While you are fasting, there a red flag is risen when those same instances arise. You can no longer live a life of sin and fast at the same time. That is the point. Seperating yourself from a sinful nature which will in turn prepare you to hear from God much more easily. Fasting starves the sinful nature. When your sinful nature is starved, then you are in a condition and position to hear clearly from God. Once you hear clearly from God you are able to operate completely in His will.
Jesus’ disciples tried to free a man from demons and were unable to do it. Then, Jesus delivered the man. These verses followed.
Mark 9:28And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
Here is another place in scripture where Jesus says we will fast.
Luke 5:33And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? 34And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
How do you fast?
The most common and scriptural fasting is from food. However, you can fast from food, drink, TV, Facebook, social circles, internet, or anything else that is of gratification to you. (Check out 1 Corinthians 7 for a very interesting fast). The level of sacrifice in your fasting is not the most important part. The most important area of fasting is your obedience. Simply, picking a fast and sticking with it. It must be something that challenges you and makes you feel uncomfortable. It must take you out of our comfort zone.
- Daily Fast from all food – Wake up and don’t eat until supper (after 3pm). You can choose what drinks you will drink during the day. Make sure to make a plan and stick with it.
- Extended Fast from all food – Extended fasts last from 2 days to 40+ days. These are great for your spirit and body. It is the natural detox process for body, soul, and spirit. It is highly recommended to seek doctors’ council before launching an extended fast. Make sure to include fresh juices and possibly supplements.
- Fast from some foods – Some fast from sweets, caffeine, bread, etc. These should be extended fasts that last the entire 30 days or at least multiple weeks.
- Fast from Culture and other desires – Get away from the elements that give you earthly pleasures. To some that is following/watching sports, to others it is internet surfing/myspace, facebook, etc. Any activity that takes your time and you take pleasure from it.
Fasting must always be mixed with prayer. If you are not focusing on God in your fast, then you are simply suffering for no reason. While you fast, you will be faced with challenges and temptations. When we read the story of Jesus’ 40 day fast, we find that satan tempted him at the end when Jesus was the weakest. You will be spiritually weak at times, but you will overcome.
There is never a convenient time to fast. You will always have something planned or someone will ask you to lunch. You will simply have to plan around the fast and say ‘no’ to invitations while on the fast. That is part of the reason you fast. You are saying ‘no’ to everything and yes to God.
Fasting Disclaimer: 🙂
If you ever feel physically unstable, please consult your doctor. Some people that are pregnant or with physical conditions such as diabetes or other diet related illness must consult your DR before starting a fast. (that is why there are non-food related fasts)