Fasting has a cumulative effect over time. Don’t just try fasting once and expect to become “Faith Man.” Step by step it decreases the pull your flesh has over your life. It allows the faith that you have to exert a greater influence.
You need to know your body’s limitations. There are some people who need to take a cautious approach. These are people who are on certain medications or have medical conditions (such as diabetes) that require you to have food at regular intervals. If you are one such person, then you need to consult with your doctor before starting a fast. Tell them that you desire to fast for spiritual reasons and ask if there is a way to do so safely.
Remember that fasting is not a religious exercise, but a spiritual encounter. God, who knows your heart, will release His power in you. If you have to eat something with your medication, then look at the food as a part of your medicine. It will not detract from your fast because your faith is in Christ.
There are side effects from caffeine. If you are addicted to caffeine (which means that you regularly drink coffee, tea, or soda with caffeine in it) it’s possible that you will get moderate to severe headaches during your fast. These headaches are the symptom of withdrawal from caffeine. This can be avoided if you continue to drink something with caffeine in it on your fasting day.
There are side effects from sugar. If sugar is a regular part of your diet, then you will experience hunger pains. That’s your body’s normal reaction to a withdrawal from sugar. Just be aware of that and let it run its course.
Drink large amounts of water while you’re fasting. In this way you will get some health benefits as well as the spiritual.
Just make the decision and start fasting. I believe that every Christian should be fasting at least one day a week with some kind of extended fast once a year. You might ask, “Can’t I just use more self-control over the flesh to keep it down?” Sure you can; it is possible. It’s also possible to build a house without the use of any power tools, but there are not many people who would want to do it that way.
God has given us some supernatural “power tools” to strengthen us spiritually. We’re being foolish if we ignore them.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Here is a good example of fasting at work. The church leaders were in the midst of a time of fasting and prayer. They were able to hear the voice of the Lord and obey quickly. I believe that this is one of the secrets to the power that the early church possessed, and that we need in our generation.
Questions: If you fast regularly, how often do you fast? If not, has this series encouraged you to try it?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013