Why I Want To
In Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13 and Luke 4:1-13, Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. There, He fasts for 40 days and 40 nights before being tempted by the devil.
Every time I’d read those verses, I thought that had to be a supernatural feat. What human body can go that long without food and water? Just going without food that long can be detrimental, right? Only Jesus could fast that long. Miraculous.
I also knew, though, that His followers fasted. Were expected to fast. In Matthew 6:16, Jesus said ‘when’ not ‘if’ you fast. That tells me that it’s expected.
I’ve been struggling with some things lately, feeling a little distant from God, among other things. I do NOT like that feeling. At all. With the weather being what it is I haven’t been able to walk consistently, which is when I pray and fellowship with God. So I need to find a different way to connect with Him again. Fasting popped into my head, so I did some reading about how to fast correctly. Well, I was so wrong! You DO drink water AND you drink fresh fruit juice. I was right about the body needing hydration and nourishment. I always thought fasting was just a 2 or 3-day thing at the most because of that. A fast, done properly, absolutely can be a week or longer. 40 days for someone used to it is very doable.
I found a lot of sites full of advice but two really stood out to me.
The first one I really like is https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/fasting-for-beginners written August of 2015 by David Mathis, Executive Editor. The thing that moved me from curious to serious was this: “Fasting is for this world, for stretching our hearts to get fresh air beyond the pain and trouble around us. And it is for the battle against the sin and weakness inside us. We express our discontent with our sinful selves and our longing for more of Christ.” (emphasis mine)
I urge you to take a look at the whole article. It’s an informative description of why we should, and has some really insightful points about the reasons most American’s DON’T fast.
The other article I really liked and intend to use as guideline is https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/fasting/7-steps-to-fasting.2.html by Dr. Bill Bright. He lists all the specifics. It’s a step by step guide to fasting. How to prepare oneself spiritually and physically, what to put into your body and when, when to pray, to meditate, etc. It’s all there.
Bottom line, I’m going to sit down and make a real plan for this. But I won’t be telling anyone when I’m doing it. After all, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:16-18 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” The only reward I’m really after, though, is just getting closer to Him.