Fasting – What is it and why should I do it?

There’s a powerful, ancient biblical practice called fasting, and when I say powerful, I mean POWERFUL.

I’m not really sure about the rest of the world, but here in my neck of the woods, fasting isn’t a common practice anymore. Well if it is, it’s not really being talked about. I’m here to share my experience with fasting and what I’ve learned in the past couple of years

A couple of years ago, well maybe about a year and half ago (I’m awful about exact times), my church was in a time of revival and there was a visiting preacher who spoke of this man he knew. This man had a very powerful prayer life. The kind that only comes from an extremely close walk with God. The kind that only comes from being continually filled with the Holy Spirit.

I DESPERATELY wanted that kind of relationship but I didn’t know how to get it.

A few month later, I was at one of my favorite places on earth, a used bookstore called McKay’s Used Books and I ran across this book called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. I had heard some pretty amazing things about this book so I got it. I also ran across this book called The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory and it looked interesting so I grabbed it too.

One of the things Mark talks about in The Circle Maker is having a powerful prayer life and praying circles around our needs, but he also brought up the power of fasting. Y’all I had never fasted a day in my life. As a matter of fact, at that point in time, I didn’t even know anyone who had. 

I had some pretty big “it’s” in my life at the time (still do actually) and I decided if it would draw me closer to the Lord, I was game for it. I remembered that I had also purchased The Daniel Fast so as soon as I finished The Circle Maker, I began The Daniel Fast. The Daniel Fast is based on the way Daniel ate during times of spiritual trial and need in Babylon. 

There are 3 different kinds of fasts and for legal purposes, I am letting you know that aside from the Bible, the reference I am using for this is The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory. Consider this my citation.

The first type is an absolute fast. This is the type of fast Moses went through on Mount Sinai. During this type of fast, you abstain from both food and beverages including water. If you are thinking about this type of fast, you BETTER BE CERTAIN IT IS HOLY SPIRIT INSPIRED. This type of fast can only happen safely if God is in it. You cannot safely do this in your own strength.

The second type is a normal fast. This is where you can drink water but not eat. Again, if you intend to do this type of fast for any length of time, make sure you are Spirit led because a fast should never hurt your body.

The third type is a partial fast. This type is a restriction of food or certain types of food. Even though you are allowed to eat, it is no less powerful. This is what The Daniel Fast is. This is the one I use most often. I have done a normal fast for short periods of time but if I know I’m going to be fast for an extended period of time, this is the one I choose unless God tells me otherwise.

I want to stress that the purpose of any fast is to put our flesh in subjection to the Holy Spirit, experience spiritual growth, personal revival, destruction of strongholds, and true freedom. . This is NOT a diet even though you may lose some weight and it is NOT a way to get God to do what you want. 

Fasting makes absolutely no sense to our natural minds. There is no exact scientific formula for it. No mathematical equation. But, I can tell you this, God honors it when the purpose of it is to deny the desires of our flesh and draw closer to him!!! This is a power that can’t be explained, only experienced. I am closer to God now than I’ve ever been in my life (even though I’m not as close as I want to be) and it is because of fasting, prayer, and obedience. 

Every. Single. Time. I have fasted with the purpose of having a stronger relationship with the Lord and overcoming sinful behavior, amazing things have happened. My most amazing testimony to date happened during a fast. I quit smoking. You can read that amazing story here. I wasn’t seeking to quit smoking during that time but God blessed me beyond measure with the destruction of a very powerful stronghold. I mean complete destruction. Yoke cut. Gone. Demolished. Obliterated. Never to be worn again. And I love to tell the story. I love to tell of the power of God. 

Here’s somethings you need to make know before you start a fast:

1. Check your motive – do your desires line up with the Word of God? Are you seeking less of you but more of Him in your life? Are you willing to exchange food for prayer? Are you doing this for God’s glory or your own? Make sure this is for the express purpose of drawing closer to the Lord and being renewed. 

2. Expect spiritual warfare – I STRONGLY suggest that you become familiar with the 6th chapter of Ephesians and make sure you are suited up during this time because I can promise you that enemy forces will launch a full-on attack during this time. I am telling you now so you can make sure you are battle ready. The attacks can come on the flesh but most of the time, they come in our thoughts. Keep 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 on hand too. 

3. Don’t talk about it – And if you do, make sure it is with humility. If there is even a hint of pride when you talk about it, even a hint of wanting recognition for, keep your mouth shut. You are defeating the purpose. It is one thing to tell certain people to pray for you during this time or to let people know on an as needed basis so they don’t question why you aren’t eating or aren’t eating certain food, but it is quite another to brag about it. Don’t tell people you are fasting just so you can seem super spiritual, uber religious, and get a pat on the back. If you do this, all you’re gonna get is a pat on the back from people who really can’t do much for you instead of a HUGE blessing from a loving God who can do all things. Read Matthew 6:16-18, Isaiah 58:3-7, and Luke 18:9-14 for the do’s and don’t of fasting. Don’t be a Pharisee. Guys, I know I sound harsh right now, but I promise you, it is out of pure love for you and because I DO NOT want you to forfeit your real reward due to pride. You won’t be rewarded if your draw attention your fast.

4. Immerse yourself in prayer and scripture – I read a book by Beth Moore once called Praying God’s Word. In this book, she talks about how the strongholds in our lives are like medieval strongholds. We can beat them with sticks, yell at them, throw rocks at them and they are still going to be there. Not because we haven’t tried but because we didn’t use the right ammunition. She tells us we need something like…dynamite. She tells us that what is more powerful than one stick of dynamite is two sticks of dynamite strapped together!!! That is prayer and God’s word combined. After reading that, I realized three sticks of dynamite would be really explosive!!! That third stick is fasting. When you fast and pray while STUDYING the word of God and praying his work back to him, you will experience God in a way you never have before and it will blow your mind. I have experienced God’s power in greater ways during these times than even the night I got saved!!! 

5. Make sure you are drawing on the power of God – Guys, fasting done outside the power of God, His Word, and prayer is nothing more than a diet. Seriously. You have to want to draw closer to God and draw on his power during this time. Expect this. Even Jesus was tempted. He was the one that said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. He was the Son of God and perfect so he resisted but we are puny little dust people (thank you Anne Graham Lotz lol) so our flesh tends to win. If you seek to draw on the power of God, He will supply it.

Finally, I am including scriptures that speak of fasting and others that are good to draw on during this time and also links to the books I have mentioned in case you would like to check them out and any others I think may help.

Ephesians 6:10-18
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
2 Samuel 1:12
Acts 13:2
Acts 14:23
Daniel 10:3
Ester 4:16
Exodus 34:28
Joel 2:12-13
Luke 2:37
Nehemiah 1:4
Psalm 69:10
Psalm 35:13-14
Acts 13:3-4
Daniel 9:3-5
2 Samuel 12:15-17
1 Kings 21:25-27
Luke 4:2-4
Ezra 8:21-23
Jonah 3:5-9

Guys, I am sharing this because I believe in it, I have experienced wondrous things during fasts, because I was asked to, and because I love you and want us all to walk in the fullness of God. Here are some links to additional resources

Love Always,
Heather

About Heather

Hey y’all, I’m Heather!!! I’m a sassy, southern Jesus lover who is on a journey of faith and wellness. I love nature, mason jars, sackcloth quilts, flannel, and coffee. I love to make wooden signs, read, and decorate. I workout because I have to. My hashtag should be #iwouldratherbesleeping.

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