Mark 9: 29- And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
I recently completed a fast, and God revealed a lot to me during this period. Yet, he didn’t reveal what I was looking for- a way out of my problems. He has provided what I needed for each situation to enable me to work through and overcome them with Him.
I’ve been fasting as long as I can remember being a Christian. My parents typically did the Daniel Fast when I grew up (fruits, vegetables, nuts, nothing processed), and I remember asking them if I could join. My desire for the Lord was always strong as a child. I remember refraining from TV and removing the meat from a pizza at my friend’s birthday party. As I matured as a Christian, I still fasted, but I found it harder to fast with the right heart and mindset.
When I lived in South Korea, I was in a Bible Study group among peers and I led a lesson on fasting. During the research, I remembered what I had forgotten over the years, fasting is about opening yourself up to God’s will, not getting God to do whatever you want. I remember fasting when my mother was in the hospital. When I first started it was for her healing, but overtime God opened my heart to be receptive to his will.
These are the things that I have learned over the years from reading the Bible and fasting:
1. Fasting is not about losing weight or vain personal gain. As the title states, it’s not a diet, but refraining from food/something to cause you to rely more on and focus on God.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.
2. Fasting requires commitment. While fasting, you must set a side time to pray, read the Bible, and spend time with God. God wants us to seek after him.
Matthew 6: 31-33 So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
3. When fasting, you should not complain or tell everyone about your fast/business. This is just between you and God, unless you’re fasting with someone else.
Matthew 6: 16-18 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
4. Do not give up. My hardest fasts have been when I gave up carbs. One time in college, I did stop the fast. Yet, I’ve learned that if I keep pushing the Lord will sustain me. Jesus fasted for 40 days. Many other people fasted in the Bible, and it’s part of the life of many many Christians today.
Luke 4: 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing; and when they were ended, he afterward.
I encourage you to fast and grow closer to God. If you’d like another post on the specific types fasts or the breakthroughs that I’ve experienced fasting, please let me know.
More info on fasting: http://www.cru.org/train-and-grow/devotional-life/personal-guide-to-fasting.html