As I prepared myself for this series, I asked God to not only allow me to be closer to him but for anyone who desired a closer relationship with him. I remember when I did not even completely understand the biblical principle of fasting. I wanted to share with you all what I have learned over the past few years. I need to hear from God in this point of my life more so now than ever and fasting has allowed me to consecrate my flesh so that I may be able to listen with my spiritual ears, rather than my fleshly being. A person may ask, "Crystal, what exactly is fasting?"
Fasting is primarily an act of willing abstinence or reduction from certain or all food and drinks or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day (24 hours), or several days (Wikipedia). Isaiah 58:6-7 explains the acceptable form of fasting:
I wrote in the last post the fasting is not only about giving up food for the sake of a fast. It is much deeper than going without food. It is about breaking the yokes in your life, developing a closer relationship with God and setting the oppressed free. If you are feeling oppressed in your life, if you feel as if all hope is gone, a fast is something that will aid in your freedom (Mark 9:29). If you ONLY fast to lose weight, it is indeed a fast, however, there will be no spiritual benefits to that fast. I was diagnosed with epilepsy and I completely believe that fasting aided in my healing from God. I will talk more about this on Day 9.
Now I am not saying that fasting and praying should be done to ONLY change an unfortunate circumstance to get a positive outcome. Fasting and praying is a Bible based principle which allows us to experience breakthroughs, gain a better control of our flesh and develop a spiritual connection to God. I am a person that doesn't oppose of fasting to lose weight and lower health risks. Fasting is a great way to aid in a healthier lifestyle, however, again it should not be the only reason. There are many physical benefits of fasting. Studies have shown that fasting:
- Aids in weight loss
- Controls appetite
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Controls blood sugar
- Increased metabolic rate
Of course one should be aware of food allergies and health risks before starting. Which brings me back to the point of fasting not being just to stop eating food (Isaiah 58:6-7) but because the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Once we learn to bring our flesh into submission, we will find a lot of things a little less tempting which would help in our spiritual walk with Christ.
Much Love and God Bless