The Importance of Fasting

What does it mean to fast?

So, fasting is not just about starving yourself and making yourself miserable. Fasting is a way to say, “Lord, I surrender myself to you.” During your season of fasting, you understand that your way, your thoughts, your opinions, your perspectives mean nothing. You desire to do things God’s way. You desire to have his hand and guidance on your life and circumstances. So, you can fast from literally anything. I believe that the Holy Spirit leads us to fast form certain things. Maybe you spend too much time on Facebook. Think about all the things you can become exposed to on social media. Think about how that affects you? Do you become insecure by comparing yourself to other people on social media? Do you find yourself looking at lust-provoking pictures? It may be helpful to one, purge your account, two, logout for a season. Use the time you would normally use for Facebook to either pray or get into God’s word. You can use this same method for anything else you want to fast from. If you want to fast from food, you can use the time you would normally eat lunch to pray or get into God’s word. The time you use to watch certain shows, watch a sermon instead. The time you would use to listen to certain songs, listen to gospel music. Fasting is really about replacing the time you spend to please your flesh to spend time with God. It disciplines your flesh.

Detox your Spirit

The purpose of fasting is to deny your flesh and detox your spirit in order to get closer to Christ. We can become so easily distracted by everyday life. Our time is consumed with social media, work, school, family, friends and everything else we have going on. Everything we see, the music we listen to, the conversations we have all have the potential to influence our spirit. It’s so important to fade out unnecessary voices and detox our spirit.

Deny Your Flesh

The war between our spirit man and our flesh is a constant battle that we have to fight on a daily basis. Our flesh wants to do everything our spirit doesn’t want to. If your spirit says, “Stop!” Your flesh says, “Go!” “But I say, walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” {Galatians 5:16-17} When it seems like you’re bombarded with awful thoughts, you become really short and impatient with people, you no longer have a genuine desire to do the things of God—it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate yourself. Where is most of your time being spent? What does your prayer life look like? How often do you get into God’s word?  It may be time to go on a fast.

How is fasting a benefit to you?

You can read on several accounts where people in the bible went on a fast before making an important decision. When your spirit is cluttered by the things of the world, it becomes almost impossible to see and hear clearly from God. Fasting removes the blindfolds of lust from your eyes and allows you to see what God wants you to see. It has the power to drown out irrelevant voices and opinions concerning your life and circumstances. Fasting can give you fresh perspective concerning your life and the circumstances you may be up against. It has the power to break strongholds and chains. If you desire to see the power of God rest on your life, fasting must become a normal part of your spiritual regimen. It doesn’t have to be extreme, it doesn’t have to be every day and you don’t have to make a public announcement when you decide to do it.

 

Here’s a list of bible verses that emphasize the importance of fasting:

Isaiah 58:3-7

Matthew 6:16-18

Joel 2:12-13

[Disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive list of scriptures that supports the idea of fasting. You are encouraged to research and allow God to speak to your heart concerning this topic.]

Fast from Social Media/Music/TV Shows

It’s important to walk into your season of fasting with expectancy. What are you hoping to gain from the Lord by fasting from this certain item? Is it a healthier self-image? Is it to remove lust-provoking images from your mind? Is it to remove any jealousy or bitterness that may have creeped into your heart from comparing yourself to others on social media? Is it to learn how to be more productive with your time? Is it all of the above?

Log out of all social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Snap chat, Instagram, ect)

Delete certain music stations from your Pandora

Look into Gospel/Christian music that speaks to your heart

Find sermons online that speak to your heart

Have the urge to scroll through Facebook? Scroll through your bible instead. What’s an area that you currently struggle with? Is it self-image? Look up what God says about your image and allow his word to renew your mind and change your perspective.

Have the urge to be “nosey” and see what others are doing on Snapchat? Get into God’s presence if you can. What is God saying in this season of your life? Where does he want your focus?

Maybe you have a desire to get into the heart of worship? This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn how to engage into the Spirit. This is also an opportunity for you to flow within your gifts whether it be through singing, dancing, writing, drawing, ect. God will teach you how to allow his Spirit to flow your gifts.

Don’t set yourself up for failure. You may have to change the notifications on your phone to make sure you don’t accidentally click on any apps. You may have to delete the entire app for a season to make sure that it doesn’t happen at all.

At the end of the day, ask yourself: What did I learn? What did I gain?

Be reflective.

 

Fast from food

There are different ways you can fast from food. You can either fast in a way that you eliminate certain food groups or you can fast by missing meals. Have a lack of self-control when it comes to food? Need God to give you a different perspective on your health and body image? Consider fasting from certain food items with the intentions of gaining a Godly perspective.

It’s important to be prepared when fasting from food. It may be helpful to plan out your meals and make sure you have groceries on hand that will accommodate your fast. For example, if you decide to fast from processed foods then make sure you meal prep ahead of time so it’s easier for you to stay faithful to your fast.

Look up different recipes as well as scriptures that can help you gain this new perspective.

If you decide to fast during certain meal times, use that time you would usually use to eat and spend time with God. For example, read your word during your lunch break or spend time in prayer.

 

How to tell people you’re on a fast

Of course, you don’t have to make a public service announcement about your plans to fast. However, you find yourself in a situation where you have to relay that message to someone. Understand this, saying “I’m on a fast,” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s really about the intentions of your heart. This is only something you share with people to set boundaries and not gain attention.

 

In case you mess up…

Understand this, people make mistakes. I make them, you make them, we all make them. But, when you make a mistake the point is to not quit. Don’t give up on your fast because you accidentally ate a donut. Keep pushing. One way to not mess up is to AVOID focusing on what you have to lose but, focus on what you have to gain. If I say to myself, “Okay, I have 3 hours, 17 minutes and 34 seconds until I can eat again.” That makes it harder for me to focus on what God is saying or doing during my season of fasting. Shift your focus on Christ. Don’t allow the enemy to discourage you and don’t beat yourself up over this.

 

Continue..

Lastly, continue to grow and develop on what you learn during your fast. Don’t allow what you learned to slip in one ear and out of the other. Don’t allow 7 days be the end of your urgency to seek God. Keep seeking, keep trusting and keep fighting.

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