Today is day 1 of our beginning of the year fast. Fasting is difficult for nearly all of us, however, the benefits far outweigh the struggles. As I was thinking of our fast, I was reminded of something I wrote some time ago, about fasting. It is taken from my book Thoughts For The Journey. It is relevant to what many of us will feel the next three days.
“What is it like when you try to fast?
As the death angel loomed over my bed, I could sense the end of my short life drawing near. My head wracked with pain and feeling nauseated, I pled with God to take me home. I then drifted off to sleep and awoke in the morning, to my surprise. What happened to me? Why was the death angel at my door? It is called fasting. Though I exaggerated a great deal, I did experience a lot of hardship. After all, crucifying the flesh is not easy.
For all of you super spirituals out there who can fast without it even affecting you, you might not want to read this. For those of us that it does affect, take cheer; it is natural. Fasting is helping to subject your flesh in order to give God more control. Do not get this confused with punishment.
A fast is where you decide you are going to give up food, in order to draw closer to God and seek Him. It is not an easy doing. It was always easy for me to fast two meals, but to go for three, it was like pulling teeth with no anesthetic. I LOVE TO EAT and so does my body, however, by fasting you show God you mean business. Now I don’t suggest to anyone fasting a whole day until you can fast a meal. Likewise don’t go on a forty day fast unless directed by God Almighty. This is serious business. As I awoke that morning after the fast, somewhat refreshed but weak, I wondered why did it affect me like this?
My conclusion is that we are so used to food and all the preservatives, caffeine, and much more, that our body has withdrawals. The more you fast the more your body will become adapted to doing without those things. It should never become easy lest it lose its meaning. It should get to the place that it can be more spiritual. It is tough for me to pray with a migraine and hunger pains. I pray better when I have eaten. We should never fast out of ritual but always with a goal of what we want to see accomplished. Do not fast just to fast. Fast for a deeper knowledge of God. For all of you who can sympathize with these same traits of fasting, can I get an AMEN?”
If you are fasting food, you might feel like this by Wednesday. If you are fasting others things, you will have some type of withdrawals. Or at least we should. If we fast something that we won’t miss, is it really fasting?
I am believing God to move in our church and in your lives as we fast and pray. Let’s expect great things from the One who is Great!