Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Discipline of Fasting

Fasted Lifestyle Lesson #3

Oh how I love to fast! I remember the first time I did a water only fast.
I had just gotten saved, radically. Actually, I had been going to church, prayed the "sinner's" prayer, done all the right things, but I was still really struggling with sin.

It was at age 19, I was helping our youth group and we were having a youth band worship practice. Before practice we gathered in a circle to pray, and we were visited by Holy Spirit in a way I had never experienced. I think there was about eight or ten of us. Two hours or so later, we were still on the floor. There was singing in tongues, praying in tongues, crying, weeping, groaning, snot covered faces, the whole nine yards. It was the most significant prayer meeting of my life thus far.

That night I met God. I will forever be changed. I was not the same girl that walked into that room when I left that night. I found out that there was more of God than I knew the day before and I wanted more- in fact I wanted ALL I could possibly get, but what was available to me?

When I heard about fasting, I jumped on board! I thought, "Wooooo Hooooo! I'm gonna get more of God, its gonna be supernatural!!!" I had no idea fasting meant "weak" and not "powerful". This was a big shock!

I took lots of time to read every book I could on fasting. I even watched "VHS's" on Fasting- remember those? I began to develop a method for fasting to sustain me so I could be successful at gaining closeness to God.

There are many reasons to fast, and many types of fasts. I want to briefly talk about the regular weekly fasting for the purpose of drawing near to God.

I have a personal conviction over fasting food regularly for the purpose of groaning for my Jesus. In my weak state I can truly come to grips with the truth that I am not all that. That apart from Him I can do nothing. The truth is I am a pretty good person on the outside and can do a lot in my flesh that pleases both God and Man, but it the inner man that needs to look a little better... (1 Samuel 16:7)

In the Gospel of Mark, chapter two, when questioned about the disciples fasting, Jesus responded:

“How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast." Mark 2:19-20

Jesus basically was saying that while He was with them as a physical presence they should be enjoying Him, His presence, feasting. Because a time was coming when His presence would be removed and they would be groaning and missing Him. That would be the time to fast, to weep, and to mourn. It's not mourning a death as if He will never be back, but it is mourning a longing for the day He returns.

When you are fasting and you are weak, physically, it reminds you of your need for Him to sustain you, and your longing for His presence to be greater. Oh, I love this- right about the end of my third day of fasting on an extended fast I feel this high in my weakness, I can't describe it, but its the "good kind of hurt".

When I do a one-two day weekly fast I really look forward to my fasting days, in fact it causes me to posture my heart and my physical lifestyle differently to accommodate the sacredness of this time. But more on that in Practics of Keeping a Weekly Fast...

*Great Video Resource- Teaching By Wes Martin- click on "The Great Exchange"


  1. Fasting gives a healthy body and peaceful mind, fasting makes god with near us. Great post, Thanks to share with us.
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  2. Like your approach on fasting. We long for him, yes! And He longs for communion with us - at a much deeper level. Fasting and Prayer satisfy both. Thanks for the Post.

  3. Greg, YES! but we are never "satisfied" are we? Oh how He keeps us aching for more! He is so good!