I’m doing a 40 day fast from sugar and carbohydrates.
Please understand that I don’t share this to elevate myself at all… Jesus specifically instructed us in Matthew 6:16-18 to let our fasting be done privately and in humility. My hope is that by sharing, others will feel led to answer the Holy Spirit’s prompting (if it is there), especially knowing an “ordinary” person like me does it.
You may be wondering… Why fast?
GREAT question!! I ask myself that often because it’s hard!!! But I know when I do, it is God-ordained. I truly feel this fast is a step towards another level in my relationship with God.
During this fast, I am denying the natural desires of the “flesh” and instead feeding the “Spirit.”
Fasting is a good exercise because it requires that we show self-control and discipline. It’s intentional. The purpose is to take our minds and desires off the physical things of this world and instead intensely concentrate on God. The end result being spiritual clarity… it allows us to hear God more clearly.
In theory, our hunger should change from “earthly” wants to “heavenly” wants.
It draws us closer to God. You know what else it does? It demonstrates a profound need for God’s help and guidance through complete dependence upon him, because to be honest… I’m not sure I could do this without Him. I love my frapp’s, you know… and they are not on the menu.
Fasting must be important to God because He provides so many examples of it in scripture. From the Old Testament…
- Moses fasted 40 days on behalf of Israel’s sin: Deuteronomy 9:9, 18, 25-29; 10:10.
- David fasted and mourned the death of his child: 2 Samuel 12:16.
- Elijah fasted 40 days after fleeing from Jezebel: 1 Kings 19:7-18.
- Ahab fasted and humbled himself before God: 1 Kings 21:27-29.
- Darius fasted in concern for Daniel: Daniel 6:18-24.
- Daniel fasted regarding a mysterious vision from God: Daniel 10:3-13.
- Esther fasted on behalf of her people: Esther 4:13-16.
- Ezra fasted and wept for the sins of the returning remnant: Ezra 10:6-17.
- Nehemiah fasted and mourned over the broken walls of Jerusalem: Nehemiah 1:4-2:10.
- The people of Ninevah fasted after hearing the message of Jonah: Jonah 3.
Shall I go on? Yes? Ok…. from the New Testament.
- Anna fasted for the redemption of Jerusalem through the coming Messiah: Luke 2:37.
- Jesus fasted 40 days before his temptation and the beginning of his ministry: Matthew 4:1-11.
- The disciples of John the Baptist fasted: Matthew 9:14-15.
- The elders in Antioch fasted before sending off Paul and Barnabas: Acts 13:1-5.
- Paul fasted for three days after his Damascus Road encounter: Acts 9:9.
Here is what fasting is NOT:
- It’s not a way to earn God’s favor or try to manipulate Him to give us what we want.
- Should never be on public display. (I received Godly council with the okay to share this… again not in any effort to elevate)
- While Old Testament fasting was a sign of mourning, we should practice fasting with a cheerful attitude.
- It is never for the purpose of punishing or harming the body.
Are you needing answers or looking for spiritual clarity on a situation? Consider fasting as a way to get your mind set on the things of God.