Do you completely lose control when it comes to food choices? I absolutely do. If you have been here before, you know I’m a food addict. So many of us struggle with healthy choices but my recent fascination with fasting has brought a newfound hope.
Please note: I’m not a medical professional. This is based on my personal experience and research. You may need to consult your doctor before starting a fast of any kind.
Learning about Intermittent Fasting last year sparked an interest for me in this hot topic of going without food for a period, something I’d never imagined trying in the past considering my intense love of food. I decided to take my research in the direction of biblical fasting, starting with the book A Hunger For God. Thanks to a recommendation from Kristi in one of the comment sections of my recent fasting discussions, I just finished another fantastic book on this topic, Fasting by Jentezen Franklin.
After trying Intermittent Fasting, even with all of the positive benefits it brought, including wonderful improvements in mood and cravings, I knew something was missing.
“Stated simply, biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose… As expressed by the impassioned plea of David in Psalm 42, fasting brings one into a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord.”
My purpose was off. I focused too deeply on the health benefits instead of the far greater purpose of fasting, becoming more intimate with God. Being a fairly new Christian, I didn’t understand the basic duties we are responsible for.
Pastor Franklin shares the three duties he believes to be a normal part of Christian life: giving, praying, and fasting. He backs up this claim with the words of Jesus in Matthew 6: “When you give…” and “When you pray…” and “When you fast.” Jesus clearly states when, not if, setting each as an expectation.
Giving and praying came easy to me. Fasting, not so much. Letting go of my precious food will be a harder task, but I know it’s time. Choosing God over food is a life-changing decision affecting every part of us: body, mind, and soul.
Although I’ve often discussed choosing God over food around here, tying it to the necessity of fasting hasn’t received the coverage it should. I think this immensely significant correlation makes all the difference in finally abiding by this meaningful choice.
We don’t even have to completely give up all types of food for a long period in order to grow in this important discipline. One of the most popular biblical fasts today is the Daniel fast.
“It is one of the personal fasts recorded in the Bible that brought with it great favor from the Lord. For twenty-one days, you eat only vegetables and fruits and drink only water. No colas, burgers, Twinkies, meats, sweets, or bread.” (Fasting, p.194)
Although I believe the Daniel fast to be an excellent choice, I’m starting back on the Intermittent Fasting plan that the holidays unfortunately took away from me. It allows 5 days of reasonable food choices and 2 fasting days containing one healthy meal totaling 500 calories.
My mistake of not spending enough time with God on those 2 most important days will be rectified by extra time in prayer, especially during the breakfast and dinner hours usually spent eating. I personally found lunchtime to be the best choice for the daily meal, but you can choose what works best for you.
I truly believe anything we allow to become an idol in our lives will eventually destroy us. Food has been my idol for far too long. I’m looking forward to showing God how much more He means to me than anything else, even birthday cake…
Have you tried fasting in the past? Is it a part of your Christian walk? I would love for you to join me on this journey in our new Facebook community. I’m planning some fun ways to support each other in that space very soon.
This is the first completed book of my to be read pile for 2016. You can find the rest of my reading list for the year here: