Fasting, a word that most people don’t like to hear, let alone actually do. I still remember when my pastor announced right before the New Year that our church would be participating in a corporate fast. He asked the entire church to spend time in fasting and prayer the first week of January dedicating the whole next year to God. My pastor was going to do a three day fast of only water and some juice and he had encouraged those who physically could, to do the same. I remember thinking there was no way I could actually go three days without eating. The thought scared me to death frankly! I really wanted my food, but I realized I really wanted to seek God more. So I decided to go for it. This three day fast would be a turning point in my life and in my walk with God. Seven years later I’m still fasting at the beginning of every year and throughout. When I am on a fast I find myself in some of the most intimate and treasured times with God that I have ever experienced. Fasting helps move other distractions out of the way so that you can really focus on seeking God and his will for you and your family’s life. Not to mention it does wonders for your physical health.
Don’t get me wrong…fasting is certainly not easy. You do get hungry, feel sick, have headaches; all the physical symptoms you would expect of going without food. It’s certainly not a walk in the park, but in this physical state you realize how much you really do need God. Scripture tells us in Isaiah 58 what a true and acceptable fast will bring into our lives. God really does respond to our sacrificing food for the purpose of seeking him. Please understand that just going without food for a period of time doesn’t constitute a real biblical fast. Fasting involves us spending the extra time in prayer and study. Also understand that fasting in not just for leaders and “super Christians”. Scripture encourages everyone to fast as a spiritual discipline. Many miracles happened in scripture while God’s people were fasting. God has been so faithful to meet me every time I fast. It was on a fast that I was called into ministry, found my husband, had physical healing in my body, broke off bad habits and addictions, True Identity Ministries was born, and most of all fell head over heels forever in true love with Jesus. I have learned to never make a big decision in my life without first spending time in fasting and prayer.
Although the physical part of fasting can be a challenge I desperately look forward to the precious times with God each time I fast. There is such a clear feeling of his presence and his voice. I would encourage you this year to do a fast of your own. Whether you are looking for a deeper intimacy with God, needing an answered prayer, looking for direction, or you just want to dedicate the coming year to God; take the time at the beginning of this year to fast and pray. Just do whatever God leads you to do. It could be fasting a meal, a day, three days, or more. You could also fast certain foods or activities. But make sure it’s what God has laid on your heart. He may call you to do something that you would think is impossible, but he will help you. The results will astound you and you will never be the same again. Remember that it is the attitude of a heart sincerely seeking Him to which God responds with blessing. May He greatly bless you as you fast!
Scriptures on fasting:
Matthew 6:16-18, Matthew 9:14-15, Luke 18:9-14, Isaiah 58
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