Our church has declared a 21 day fast to seek God as we approach our revival week 2017 and our country’s(Kenya) elections. This of course made me want to write about fasting this week so as to gather my thoughts on the whole matter and help encourage someone who needs to embark on a fast as well. Fasting is something that is infinitely hard to accomplish it seems. Fasting involves giving up something, usually food or drink, in order to seek God. I’ve been on a 2 week diet and done a three day cleanse but a fast, that is hard. Every time I fast,I struggle more so. I came to learn it is because it is a spiritual and a physical battle. You’re fighting spirits and your body.
I like to think of fasting as a soul cleanse and a spirit diet. You see,cleanses are supposed to be exactly that, cleansing. It’s basically flooding your body with nutrients and vitamins and inducing it to get rid of all the toxins, excess fat and sugars. A fast cleanses your soul because you break down before God, you put aside self and just let Him do the working and talking. It is an act of faith, desperation and vulnerability. You empty yourself, and get rid of all that is in you and let God fill you. Basically, you get rid of the toxins like ego, vices, addictions, time-stealers, achievements and even issues and lay them down at the feet of Jesus. anything that has kept you from seeking God, or has distracted you before is removed and you only partake of that which will nourish your soul like worship music, scripture, good conversations and enriching reading.
And as a diet, well, the most popular form of fasting is denying oneself food so yeah. But there is also the aspect of denying yourself that which you really love, for what you know will benefit you in the long run. Denying yourself that time on IG for some time talking to God, or that lunch for some scripture reading. Yet also, it may seem like a diet because you technically do the same thing over and over for several days/weeks and sometimes you see major results, other times it’s like you’re moving backwards rather than forwards; just like in a diet. The pre- planned meals are always the same; same.ingredients, at the same time, same amount. It gets frustrating but yet you stick it out for your own health. So yeah, in a fast, you pray, you cry, you read the bible and there are times you feel God move and you feel His hand and even see physical results and there are others when you just feel physically weak, spiritually drained and want to just give up and move on with your life and yet something is moving and God is working.
Fasting is not a religious act, but a personal one. It is basically you as a person saying, this is me, I need to experience God in a new way, I need my mum to be healed, I need to kick this habit/addiction, I need to move forward with my life or whatever else you need and deciding that it is you and God. You don’t fast to be holier, to be noticed, to be thought of or to fulfill some sought of religious obligation. You don’t fast because someone told you so. You have to feel the need deep in your spirit; a need like:
Grief/mourning: 2 Samuel 1:12, Nehemiah 1:4
Guidance on decisions: Acts 13:2 and 14:23
Answers to specific requests: Daniel 10:3
Wisdom and courage on how to approach something: Esther 4:16
Repentance: Joel 2:12-13, Daniel 9:3-5, 2 Samuel 12:15-17,Jonah 3:5-9
Healing: Psalms 35:13-14
Just to be in God’s presence: Luke 4:2-4, Exodus 34:28.
When you’re fasting remember it is you and God, no one else. Take some time to sit back and mediate on His word and His voice. Get your spirit in tune with His and the get your body in tune with your spirit. Make your body your slave, take it captive for Jesus and submit it to the power and will of God. Meditation is such a key part of fasting, of everyday in fact. I try to meditate on God’s word once a day and it is phenomenal. You basically drown out everything and everyone else, play some calm worship or instrumental in the background and then sit down and just focus on the stillness. Let God speak to you as opposed to you speaking to Him. Lay prostate if you must or kneel just put your physical body in a position of surrender let your spirit follow suit.
Fasting doesn’t have to be about praying constantly; when you have no words, sing, listen to worship music, lay down on the floor, cry, lift up your hands, take a walk, talk to some friends, laugh with your family. It isn’t about punishing yourself. God says, come as you are. So you do just that. Go as you are to the feet of Jesus and I know He will meet you at your point of need. So take sometime and fast, mediate on God’s word and His infinite power, pray and spend time worshiping, it is a life-changing experience. It can be for a day, a meal,a week or several weeks as your feel God guiding you but trust me, it is definitely worth it.