Something I never heard taught much on or discussed much in Arkansas for some reason was the subject of fasting. When we moved up here on New Year’s weekend, it was announced in the Sunday morning service that the church was going to begin a 21-day fast. I haven’t had someone teaching me about fasting, and getting me pumped about this fast. I show up, and “hey, we’re starting a fast.”
The fast that our church is doing is a progressive 21-day fast, to make it easier for people to participate. The first week (began on Friday the 7th) was a Daniel fast – Vegetables, Fruit, Whole grains, and Water. The second week is juice and water only. The third week (Beginning this Friday for anyone who’d like to join me) is water only.
I’ve done some fasting from time to time with the longest lasting 7 days of water and diluted juice only. I’ve done 3 days of water only, and single days with water only. I’ve done 21 days of a Daniel fast. I’ve never done 14 days without food whatsoever. This has been by far easier than ever. It hasn’t been effortless, however. My second night of juice and water, I thought I’d just give up – I ate a snack. The conviction that came over me after I ate was overwhelming! I felt as if I had committed a huge sin or something.
Let me share with you why I’m fasting, and what the purpose of fasting is.
- the 21-day fast is a fast of breakthrough. Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days then received his answer.
- I don’t fast to get God’s attention or to get God to do something for me; I fast so God can get my attention, so I can do what He wants me to do. It’s all about posturing myself to hear from God clearer than ever before.
- My body hungering reminds me of how much my spirit is hungry for God, His Word, and more prayer time.
- When I am hungry during this fast, I’m reminded often of people who go without eating all the time – and not by their own choice.
- Something changes as you fast – you become more aware of God’s presence in your life. Ideas flow, answers come, and there is more clarity than ever.
- Fasting is also actually good for your body. Doing a water only fast for 3 days is medically known to help clean out the toxins from your body. This is why you have a headache for the first 2-3 days. After the “detox” period, the fast gets easier.
- I’ve never done a 21-day water only fast, but I hear there are three milestones: the first day, the third day, and the 10th day. I am told that after 10 days of water only, your body’s metabolism changes, and you can go long-haul if you’d like.
A quick disclaimer: If you have health conditions that will be aggravated by fasting, don’t do a water only fast. A Daniel fast is more suited to you. Consult your doctor if you desire to go on a fast if you have health trouble!
So why am I fasting? At first it was because everyone else was. Now it’s because I want to draw closer to the Lord and hear His direction for the year.
What’s your thoughts on fasting? I’d love to hear some testimonies from some of you who have fasted and what the result of your fast was.