Fasting is an interesting thing to do. Most people believe fasting is something you do when the doctor orders it before a physical. Others believe fasting is something that is a fad or a diet. But what is fasting and what is the point of it?
I remember the first time I did a fast. I was twelve years old and our church was doing a 40 day fast. 40 days! Think about that for a moment. Now, think about being twelve years old and the looming idea of no food for 40 days. Yikes, that’s scary! My stomach hurt for days. It felt as if my whole body was cramping up because of the lack of food.
I didn’t have only water to drink. The fast my parents encouraged me on was a Daniel Fast (click the link to read more about it). This type of fast is one that helps take care of the cramps and still allows our body to detox. But what do we do to prepare for our fast?
Is it me or is it the Lord?
When we make the decision to fast, we have to make the determination is it us or the Lord who is calling the fast. In Christ’s day, the Pharisees fasted only so that people could see how spiritual they were. Matthew 6:16-19
Fasting is a way for us to put aside our flesh and focus our spirit and mind on Christ. Fasting allows us to apply faith into the impossible with the expectancy that God is going to move.
I want to give you three thoughts to help prepare you for fasting.
- When we decide to fast; we must begin by preparing our spirit.
What is God’s direction? What are we fasting for and why? Are we fasting for a family member to come to Christ? Are we fasting that God would give us direction in our life for the coming year? It’s amazing, when we make the decision to fast, the enemy will do everything he can to distract us. Life gets in the way. But what are we going to do when it does?
- When we decide to fast; we must begin by preparing our body.
It’s amazing what happens to our body when we are not eating like we had been. If you’re on a sugar fast, you’ll begin to notice your blood sugar drop noticeably. That’s normal. If you’re on a caffeine fast, you’ll notice headaches and pressure behind your eyes. That’s normal.
The best thing we can do to prepare for our fast is to take baby steps. Remember watching a little one begin to walk for the first time? They stumble. They fall. But they always get back up. The same goes for fasting. When we begin to prepare. Take the initiative and begin backing off the foods you’re going to be fasting from. This will allow your body to prepare for the time you’re setting aside for the fast. Cut back on the foods and it will go well with you.
- When you decide to fast; we must pray.
Prayer is powerful. The bible says that when we pray with faith God will move mountains. What are you praying for? What is it your longing for in this fast? Right now I’m fasting from, I know it will sound strange, pizza and candy. These two are my go to’s. But because I’m fasting these, I’m using the time to fast for our church, because our church has called a 21 day fast.
The funny thing is, I packed in my lunch pizza-flavored crackers. Being the good person I am, I decided not to eat them. The whole goal of fasting is to make sure that we take time to pray. Pray for what it is your fasting for. Jesus said we should not be like the Pharisees and fast for attention. It is a spiritual matter between you and God. Don’t allow something or someone else dictate why you’re fasting. Fast because you believe this is what God is calling you to do.