Help, I’ve fallen off my fast!
Do you find fasting to be a challenging commitment? I
most definitely have. Our church facilitates an annual 40-day church-wide fast.
I’m usually excited to get started. I’ve learned fasting is an external
expression of communicating with God when we need more of Him. It is an
opportunity to become spiritually stronger. During these moments, we crave
Godly intimacy and willingly refuse natural comforts for more of His spirit.
Fasting has taught me that I’m a good starter and good
finisher — it’s the middle I struggle with. It seems somewhere around day ten,
I dream about cake. One year, one of my friends was celebrating her birthday at
work. Well, how could I be rude and refuse to have a sweet slice of cake?
Besides, who’s looking, right? God understands. These were my justifications
and a dream come true. I was dreaming about cake. Well, just as I was enjoying
that slice, another friend and member of my church entered the office and saw
me. She was shocked, and so was I. I got caught, cake in hand!
The truth is, I messed up. There’s no denying that.
Failing is no reason to give up. I had to go back to the heart of why I was
fasting. I needed more of God. Just like in any situation where I’ve fallen
short of His glory, I needed to ask His forgiveness and remember my personal
relationship with Him was and is worth it.
Here are some things I’ve found helpful during an
1) First things first…I begin my day with prayer and
Bible reading. Our pastor leads us in a prayer call at 6:33 am Monday –
Saturday. This sets the direction for my day.
2) Having accountability partners. I wonder if my friend
had not found me eating cake if I would have continued justifying loopholes.
Now my co-workers and lunch partners know when I’m fasting. Even when they are
not fasting, they know my limits and are careful to remind me.
3) If you work from home and do not have accountability
partners, modern-day technology works as a great reminder. Setting reminder
alerts with encouraging Bible verses in my phone or an assistant app are great
tools and help me regain my focus.
We must remember fasting is about intimacy — growing
closer and stronger in our Father. It’s about turning the volume down on daily
distractions. Therefore, food should not be the only item we limit as we seek
Him. Just as we build muscle in the natural, by way of physical resistance, the
same principle applies in the spiritual. Strive not to lose your focus;
however, if you do, remember His grace is sufficient for you.
#fasting, #Spiritualawareness, #spiritualgrowth
The Bible defines fasting as giving up food and/or drink
for a certain amount of time for spiritual purposes. When I think of the word fasting,
what comes to mind is giving up food and only drinking water for a few hours.
This is what some would say is normal fasting. I participated in a normal fast
for school. It was around the final exam week; my grandmother and I would turn
down our plates and only drink liquids for twelve hours. We did it for about
four days. When we finished fasting, I did well on my exams and passing the
The Daniel fast (Daniel 1:5-21 NIV) lasted for ten days.
Daniel and three other people were given nothing but vegetables to eat and
water to drink. When the ten days were up, Daniel and friends looked healthier
and better nourished. Verse 17 says that God gave them knowledge and
understanding of all kinds of literature and learning, and Daniel could
understand visions and dreams of all kinds. This way of fasting is called
partial fast. Partial fasting is only eating certain food/drinks or abstaining
from certain kinds of foods (e.g., no meat or sweets, fruits, and vegetables,
Another type of fast and the one you should cautious of
is an absolute fast. An absolute fast is not taking in any food or water. You
should only participate for about three days and if you have a clear command
from the Lord while you are in good health.
Koinonia is participating in a corporate fast where the
church has been called by God to fast together during a certain length of time.
Packets have been prepared to provide guidelines for the fast and devotionals
to guide our spiritual walk with God.
Before the fast:
- Think about the purpose behind why you are
fasting. There are plenty of reasons people fast: seeking God’s favor,
repentance, spiritual strength, demonstration of our love for Jesus, etc.
- Think about what food(s) and/or activities you
are planning to give up and for how long.
- Slowly start to cut down on the food(s) and/or
activities you choose to give up. Be mindful that your body reacts when you
remove particular foods from your diet.
During the fast:
- Set aside time to worship and commune with God.
- Keep a journal and write down any ideas,
insights, instructions, or directions that He places on your mind and heart.
- Remember to fellowship with God and listen.
I will be participating in my first corporate fast with Koinonia. I am uneasy because I do not know what to expect. However, I have made goals of the things I want clarification on and help with my direction after I graduate.
Contributor: T. Dozier-Grady