Fasting is the rave right now. Doctors, health experts and many weight loss coaches all tell us that fasting is the way to a healthier life and to be honest, they aren’t wrong at all.
But what does fasting mean for us as Christians? Why should you undertake this spiritual exercise? Also, is fasting for everyone? What is fasting? Let’s attempt to answer all of these.
According to Web MD, observing a fast simply means you stop eating completely or almost completely for a stretch of time. A fast usually lasts from 12 to 14 hours but some types continue for days, some, weeks. There’s also abundance of research that shows fasting can improve your blood pressure, regulate your sugar levels and other health issues.
For believers however, fasting is a spiritual exercise that is present many times in the bible. The act of fasting is described regularly in both the old and new testament. The action of denying your body physical food means you probably don’t have a lot of physical energy. The interesting part is that your spirit is more energized; you have more spiritual power, energy, drive and intuition to show the depth of what you desire from God.
Fasting releases an overflow from God as it is a deep hunger from your soul challenging God to move your desires to reality. Denying your body physical food is a sign that you totally rely on God, a sign that your hunger for him surpasses your hunger for anything else.
Fasting helps us imbibe the fruits of the spirit. The absence of physical food means a reduction in physical energy and so, physical stress but on the flip side, we can be more intuitive to show kindness, care, gentleness and other fruits of the spirit.
When fasting, you know you should pray. This naturally improves your prayer life. If you feel a lull in your prayer life, you aren’t praying as much as you should, then it is time to go on a fast. An active prayer life is the one that regularly wards off sin, temptation while also refining your earthly desires. Any fast without prayer isn’t helping your spirit.
Finally, fasting can help you hear from God. Noise from Social media, TV and unnecessary chitchat can drown out your spiritual alertness in some ways. Observing a fast will awaken that spiritual connection. You are more alert to the Holy Spirit and his nudging, you receive clarity and direction on life’s issues and you are more aware to your emotional needs and of those around you.
Overall, fasting has immense benefits for you. However, if you have a medical condition, are on medication or pregnant, It is best to consult your doctor before embarking on a fast. Apart from Church programs or congregational fast, you should take personal fasts regularly. It will keep you in great health spiritually and physically.