Friday, January 28, 2011
Practics of Regular Weekly Fasting
Fasted Lifestyle Lesson #4
(I am not a doctor nor do I claim to have a medical education. This post is based on personal experience only.)
After trying lots of fasts over the years I have learned a few things about my body and how to fast. As I mentioned in my previous post on The Discipline of Fasting there are many types of fasts. I need to cover two things in this post... first and briefly, since we are coming off of a 21 day fast lets look at...
Going on and off of longer fasts...
When I am going to be fasting three days or more, I begin days or a week or more ahead cutting our complex, hard-to-digest foods. For me, I cut out sweets, meats, breads, pasta, and processed foods. Next I cut out dairy (except the Activia I eat daily), and then I will start a fast with Fruits, Veges, and grains (oats, nuts, and rice). I usually can go straight to Juice or Water from there. I will do the same thing coming off a fast. I will add back in grains, then bread, then dairy, etc.
*tip* Avacadoes are VERY good for coming off a water fast. This fat is good for the digestive system to work on and get oiled up again.
Grace...Whenever you fast you must stay in tune with the Spirit. If there is not grace, don't go harder on your fast. Use wisdom. Sometimes I have much grace and sometimes I dont. Look for ways to be radical that don't hurt your body. With that said, lets talk about the importance of...
Regular Weekly Fasting...I started regular weekly fasting three or so years ago. Before that, I fasted often one to three days a month but not consistently. Here's what happens when you commit yourself to consistent fasting. For example, if you are going for a water only fast one day a week, remember what I stated above about preparing your body, you will need to watch what you are eating the day before and the day after. This very well could effect your entire diet. I am not going to state the personal choices I have made in permanent diet changes, because it is still in process of becoming better and better, but that is all in effort to give my body to the Lord.
Some may not want to hear this, but eating unto the Lord is as important as fasting unto the Lord. I will say this, I have made a decision to moderate what I eat as a life-fast to the Lord, lest food become my God. Just like you do 21 day fasts or 40 day fasts on occasion, this is how I have chosen to eat things I consider "indulgences".
Lets also look at fasting other things than food...
I will confess I have had seasons of being addicted to watching television shows, mostly when I am sick in bed I. What happens for me is I slowly lose my spiritual appetite and become dull. Now, maybe you are a great person of discipline and you have supernatural encounters and balance a media life, I'll speak to everyone else... If you are going to fast regularly, you need to keep your heart alive. This is the opposite of "dull". This means you would need to make some life choices regarding TV and internet usage.
We went for a season without internet in our home. We figured, if we needed to go online, the inconvenience of having to do it while we are at the church would help us to only be online doing what is truly necessary. Maybe that would be helpful for some of you as well.
One Last Thought...
Recently we were given some Little House on the Prairie DVDs. I never watched that show as a kids, so it was all brand new to me. I have really been getting rocked by the simplicity of life they led in those days. In one episode, Pa, Michael Landon, was sitting up at night after the kids all went to bed in his chair, and the only book in their house was the Bible. He picked it up and started reading it, and then set it down and turned in.
I was really impressed by that. No television, no radio, his entertainment was family, the Bible, and his fiddle. Many people need this picture in mind to truly understand what this term, "fasted lifestyle" really means. Regular weekly fasting will truly help you to change your 24/7 life, I guarantee it.
Here's a Good Resource for Breaking A Fast