“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection” 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV).
Welcome to Fasting Friday! You might wonder why I chose this name for today. First of all, I want to teach you how to fast, but I also want to encourage you to fast. If you look at my article from yesterday, there were several reasons in the Bible why people chose to fast. They would fast to humble themselves, pray for the nation of Israel, repent or just to get God’s attention. I believe that America has slipped to a state where it is going to take much prayer and fasting to see any changes. I hope that some of you will choose to fast for America. Sometimes I fast one meal a week and other times I choose to do a long term fast. I actually prefer the long term fast because it will helps me feel especially close to God and filled with the Holy Spirit. The longest fast that I have done was a Daniel Fast for 40 days. It is amazing how God will change you during such a fast. If you are only fasting to receive an answer to a prayer, then you are missing the point of fasting. Fasting is more about surrendering your whole being to the Lord. When you can discipline your body to eat only when and what you want it to eat, then you can discipline your entire life. I am naturally a disorganized person, but when I do a long term fast I am amazingly organized and calm. The apostle Paul says, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection” 1 Cor 9:27 (NKJV). To me, this is the entire point of fasting and is the ultimate in dying to self. Paul also says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” Gal 2:20 (NKJV). Today I am going to tell you about my favorite fast. Many people would not call this a fast, but a diet. I have heard people say that a diet can’t be a fast. Perhaps they say this because they have never tried it. I call my fast a “diet fast” and it works for me on a multi-level basis. I lose weight, I learn to submit to God and my body learns to submit to me.
I would like to lose a few pounds, but it seems that when I lose these pounds they find me again. These unwanted pounds are like your best friend. You keep telling them to go and abuse them, but they are so loyal that they keep coming back. Don’t you wish all your friends were that loyal? In order for me to diet, I have to have a lot of willpower. In my own power I cannot successfully stay on a diet long enough to lose the amount of weight I want to lose. Trust me when I say, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is week”. When I try to diet, all I can think about as food and all the sweets in the pantry call out my name when I walk by. I know they say to get rid of all this stuff, but the rest of my family doesn’t need to diet. They can eat the entire pizza and the box of donuts without gaining weight. I decided a while back that if I was going to be successful at dieting then I was going to have to do it as a fast. When I did the 40 day Daniel Fast, I had absolutely no trouble staying on the fast. If I started to eat the wrong food, the Holy Spirit would whisper in my ear, “Your on a fast”. I never once ate a forbidden food. I decided to try this with my diet, which I am actually doing right now. I am using the “My Fitness Pal” phone app to keep track of my calories. Since I have been doing this fast, I have been successful at losing weight, my life is better organized than ever before and my spirit is soaring. If you have ever desired to know what it is like to be filled with the spirit, then I recommend working through my Sin List from A-Z, confessing all known sin, then submitting your diet and body over to the Lord as a living sacrifice. You will be amazed at what you can get done and the closeness that you feel to the Lord. The length of your fast is determined by how much weight you want to lose. So you are in this fast for the long term. If you read about the Daniel Fast in Daniel 10, you will notice that Daniel did not set out to do a 21 day fast. Rather, he set out to fast until he received an answer. It took 21 days for the answer to come. So let God determine how long your fast will be. You might be amazed that one day out of the blue, God will whisper in your ear, “You are done”. When your fast is over and you have truly submitted to God during this time, your closeness will fade after a few days, at least, this happens to me. I am always reminded of how Moses had to cover his face after he came down from Mount Sinai because of the glow on his face from being in the presence of the Lord, but the glow faded over time. The only way to regain the closeness is through another long term fast. You will actually be sad when the fast is over.
I actually prefer this fast over a Daniel Fast, because a Daniel Fast requires me to alter my eating style too much. In my busy life, it is difficult to find time to do the research and find recipes. The diet fast is much easier, because there are no food restrictions, but only calorie restrictions. Now you won’t be able to eat an entire pizza and cake, but you don’t have to abstain from them either. This is learning how to eat in moderation. The “My Fitness Pal” app even tells you what nutrients you ate for the day. What if you don’t have a smartphone or iPhone? You can also use the online version of “My Fitness Pal”. You don’t have to use this app at all. I have also used “Lose It” app in the past, but I like the nutrient info from “My Fitness Pal”. You might prefer to use Weight Watchers, Atkins, Sonoma Diet or whatever diet you choose. If you don’t need to lose weight, then use the maintenance portion of any diet. This is all about training your body to submit to you and dying to self.
Happy Fasting! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.