Fasting is a vital element of our Christian lives that we need to grow in God. But what if you wanted or needed to fast but don’t know exactly what it is or how to go about it? Are you about to fast for the first time? Well this post is for you, loved one…!
What is fasting?
Fasting is when you take a temporary break away from anything worldly that is pulling us away from God and His voice. Maybe you are idolizing something in your life that is keeping you from spending quality time with Jesus. Maybe it is your job, money, your boyfriend our spouse, your smart phone, or a dream or vision you have in life. We serve a jealous God who hates when we put anything or anyone before Him. It breaks God’s heart when we find something of this sinful world to draw happiness and strength from when we should be looking to Him at all times.
Why must children of God fast?
Fasting is a beautiful thing because we strip ourselves of the things that are holding us back from our spiritual best. We fast to get that ultimate bonding time with God, to hear His voice clearer than ever, and we allow God to elevate us spiritually. When we fast, God speaks to us like crazy because we are paying more attention to Him. God opens our spiritual eyes and ears so we can perceive Him more and learn the direction He wants us to take.
We learn more and more of God’s will for our lives every time we fast.
We also must fast if we desire to experience more of God. Personally when I fast, God gives me prophetic dreams at night. Not saying that this will happen to everyone, but God will reveal prophetic things to you during your fast if it is His will.
Fasting shows believers just how much fulfillment and contentment we can find in God alone. I believe that fasting regularly can deliver one from idolatry. We don’t need that car, that job, that overflowing bank account, or those designer shoes to give us joy and fulfillment. All we need is God and that’s what He teaches us when we fast. God is enough to meet your needs.
How to know when I need to fast?
Is anything distracting you from God? Are you having a hard time hearing His voice? Do you feel spiritually dry as though you’ve lost interest in God? It’s time to fast!
Feeling frustrated and shortsighted? Spending too much time with the world and not enough time with the Holy Spirit? It’s time to fast!
Feeling as though you’re on the verge of backsliding? Do you feel a spiritual stagnation? It’s time to fast!
Struggling to even spend time with God? It’s time to fast! God will help you with your fast.
Is a food fast the only way to go?
Most of us are probably familiar with food fasting, when people temporarily condense their diet down to fruits, vegetables, and water. I’m not a doctor, but: If you choose a food fast, I strongly recommend that you assess your health! You can cut out junk food, meat, dairy, sugary drinks and fast with plant-based foods. This will help cleanse and detoxify your body. Get rid of those impurities!
But is food the only way to fast? Of course not! There is also technological fasting and social media fasting. A technological fast is when we take a break from television, smart devices, secular music, radio, etc. And, of course, social media fasting is when we cut out Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snap…whatever is dictating our time and minds. These types of fasts may seem difficult and they are, but the main goal is to get that ultimate quality time with God and deepen our love and our spiritual walk with Him.
How do I fast?
Now I know you’ve all been waiting on this question. I encourage you to start with prayer. Ask God what type of fast you need do (food fast, techno fast?) and exactly what you need to take a break from to advance spiritually. How long your fast may be is entirely contingent on your spiritual needs. You may fast for a whole day, a weekend, a full week, or even a month. You must not encounter anything that you are fasting from during your fast. For instance, if you are taking a techno fast, don’t turn on the television or the radio and delete those distracting apps! The purpose is to get away from those things and grow closer and more intimate with God.
How often must I fast?
Again, completely dependent on your spiritual needs. Seek God, loved one. Ask for His direction and how often He wants you to fast. You can ask God to curate a fasting plan that meets your spiritual needs and your schedule if it is His will. You may fast once a month, every weekend, or a few times a year, or at the beginning of every year. Just stay led by the Holy Spirit.
Helpful Scriptures on Fasting
- Romans 12:1-2–“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.“
- The Daniel Fast: Daniel 1:12–“Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said.
- Joel 2:12–“That is why the Lord says,
“Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.“
- The book of Job–Job goes through an involuntary fast where he is stripped of absolutely everything. Yet He still gave praises to God, lamented and spoke with Him constantly, grew spiritually, and found joy and contentment in God when he had absolutely nothing. One of the greatest lessons in this book (if not THE greatest) is that God can allow you to be afflicted with great loss so you will seek Him more and allow Him to be your joy, provision, and strength.