I'm fasting. I've decided to just do it after two long years of pregnancy and no-end-in-sight nursing. I thought the baby would be weaned by now so I could go ahead, but it doesn't look like she is even close to ever weaning, so I'm just going to do it. I highly doubt it will affect my milk, because I eat way more than I need to anyway.
Fasting is such a neglected spiritual discipline and exercise. Since my conversion, I am amazed at how few Christians regularly fast, and even at how many have never fasted. Tony sometimes asks other Christians if they fast, and more often than not they say, "No..." and trail off as they stare out into space, or, "I can't do that! I need to eat!". Like, "Are you crazy or something?".
I wonder what Bible they read...
Want to know God more? Want to see His hand in your life, in others' lives, and at work in the world?
I read that Esther fasted (Esther 4:16). I read that David fasted (2 Sam. 12:23). I read that Jesus fasted (Mat. 4:2). I read His first coming was marked by fasting (Luke 2:37). I also read him talk as if He expected and just assumed his disciples would fast (Mat. 6:16, Luke 5:35, Acts 13:2).
I heard someone say once that you shouldn't fast just to get something from God, but should only "seek His Face". To this day I'm not sure what that means... but, I can be dense. But isn't that what we often read in the Bible: fasting to obtain something or a certain outcome (see above Scripture)? Jesus himself told his disciples that they could not "cure" the demon-possessed boy (Mat. 17:21) because "this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting". I remember before Tony's conversion when he shared with me that he was seeing shadows and hearing voices, that he felt like there was someone inside him telling him to do bad things, that there was someone with him all the time, someone bad. He felt like there was someone riding in the back seat of his car and breathing down his neck. After totally freaking out, I went into prayer and fasting overdrive. And enlisted others to fast for him, too!
Guess who loves Jesus now?
I'm just saying... God uses fasting.
There are many different kinds of fasts. Some say you can fast TV, or Starbucks, or your computer, but I read in my Bible that fasting is always about food and drink. But, that's my interpretation and this post in only my opinion, I'm not trying to teach the Bible or doctrine here. Just telling you what I read and what I do. That's all.
There are fasts where you can totally abstain from food and water like Jesus and Moses did (I have never done this, and for the record, would never tell anyone to do this). There are fasts where you can abstain from only food, and drink water. I read once that fasting means going off coffee, too. I do not do this, but include coffee as one of my liquids (big smile). There are fasts where you can abstain from food, but drink juice, tea, and water. You can fast for one meal, one day, three days (someone fasted six days for my conversion:)). You can fast Burger King, and eat only vegetables like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I don't know. I guess it's not a science, do what God is speaking to you to do.
I usually fast for a specific reason, specific time frame, and in a specific way (full, partial, juice/no juice, one meal only, all meals in a day, one day, or more than one day) . This time I have 2-3 years worth of things building up on my mind and on my heart that I have no idea what I'm doing this time, or for how long. I trust that the LORD will guide me as I walk this one out, and give me peace when I am done interceding for all these things!
So, I won't tell you what it's for (I want the Lord to reward me openly and I want my reward in heaven:)), but I will tell you that I started two days ago. Fasted solid food for breakfast (but I forgot and cheated with milk in the coffee), and fasted what I REALLY wanted for lunch, and just had a healthy, light, and cleansing salad. Blah. I know it's good for me, but I just wanted real food lol! This time I am eating a full dinner because I am still breast-feeding.
I have to confess that my motives this time are not 100% spiritual. I don't think God will not answer my prayers because of it, I've already confessed what I am thinking. I don't think it's EVER possible to have 100% pure motives ever, as long as I live in this body in this fallen world. The Bible tells me that my heart is deceitful above ALL things. So I accept that and thank the LORD He already knows that and accepts me anyway. I find grace here. I read and am sure He wants me to take care of the temple of His Holy Spirit, which is the body of the believer. So there you have it: I also need to detox and lose 5 pounds. A spiritual and physical cleanse this time. Is that so wrong?? Daniel and his three friends were glowing after their vegetable fast...
I also have another reason for fasting. I want to know and understand what hunger feels like. But I want to be more than just thankful that I have enough to eat: lifting my hands, praising God, and that's it. I'm tired of just being thankful and not doing anything that shows my gratitude to the Lord. I'm tired of being selfish, complacent, lazy, and completely useless for the Lord who gave me two hands and two feet. Maybe reading this, this, and this will help you understand what I mean. I hope it has the same effect on you as it has on me.
One thing I've learned over the years is to be prepared for the spiritual backlash. Fasting is powerful, and we have an enemy who hates us and doesn't give up easily. We are indeed soldiers in a battle. When you storm the gates of Hell, you can expect resistance and onslaught. I have learned to be extra vigilent when I am fasting and try not to fall into those traps the enemy seems to set for me. Fear is a big one that seems to come at me. Fighting, short tempers, discord, and impatience seem to flare up, too. Cars can break down, bills seem to flood in, even the kids have said they are scared to go in their rooms alone at high noon because "there's someone in there"... okay, creepy! Word of caution.
But is it worth it? Oh, yes! Just ask Tony!