“I was able to hear from God better than ever before because my mind wasn’t cluttered with all the junk of a normal day.”
On Sunday my Pastor quoted Matthew 6:16 where Jesus said “When you fast,” with the emphasis on the word when, not if. He went on to say that biblical fasting has always been a part of Christianity just like prayer. So privately I decided to attempt a fast. Very few people who I talked to had ever fasted before. To be honest I was curious to see what would happen. I could not have imagined the remarkable journey I was about to initiate.
It all started with a six day fast. The first day wasn’t that bad and there were no ill effects. But I could see no gain from it either. The second day was harder, it sounded like there was a war going on in my stomach. I felt tired and had a panicky emotion about me. Towards the end of the third day my hunger pains were gone and that is when I started focusing on Christ and spent 4 hours reading my bible. Also I noticed my energy level had picked up and I really started feeling closer to Christ. On the fifth and sixth days I could feel the presence of God in things that I had never experienced before. I can remember sitting on a large rock out in a field and it was if I could feel His presence even in the very rock. I ended my fast on the seventh day. I was at work but found a place where I could be alone with God. I served myself communion as my way of ending the fast. This first fast was only six days but I learned how fasting builds a relationship with God.
This small six day fast brought about questions. If I had gained so much from six days what would happen if I went further? A few months later my pastor gave me the chance to answer that question when he asked us to join him in a forty day fast. I said yes. I knew what the first week was going to be like but in the weeks that followed neither I nor anyone else in my church knew what to expect.
Here are some of the physical changes that I experienced:
- When you fast parts of your body get a chance to rest. The liver, pancreas, intestines and other parts all but shut down. This allows them to not only rest and detoxify but also healing. During my second long term fast I was healed of diabetes. All the years of garbage that has been building up in my body was gotten rid of from end to end, which resulted in a feeling of better mental and physical health.
- I lost an average of 1/4 to 1 pound a day. I wanted to keep my fast a secret from most people but I didn't want to lie to them either. If you drop 35-40 pounds in a little more than a month people are going to notice. I simple told them I was watching what I ate.
- Somewhere around the end of the second or third week my liver dumped its toxins and was passed in my stool about once a week. It was a very unpleasant smell.
- As body continued to purify itself there was a color change in my urine. This process continued during the length of the fast.
- All of my senses were multiplied. My sense of smell increased beyond belief. I can remember being able to tell one tree from another by its smell. Also things like perfume and deodorant actually became offensive as they were incredibly overpowering.
- My desire to eat went away.
- Noticed a strange odour coming from my breath.
What I gained spiritually was beyond description. You will feel closer to God than you ever have felt in your life. The desire to be alone with God will increase to an insatiable hunger. I was able to hear from God better than ever before because my mind wasn’t cluttered with all the junk of a normal day. I learned to know the presence of God in a way that becomes constant and personal. You will also learn how out of balance your spiritual life can become when it’s centered on the world.
Ending a long term fast can be physically challenging. Because of the great spiritual gain I actually found myself not wanting to eat again. If I learned anything from the fast it was to get alone with God regularly. If you want to boil biblical fasting down in a nutshell, it’s a time to draw near to God.
During your fast you will have periods of great joy and battles of depression. These will teach you things about yourself. These battles aren’t brought about because of your fasting but are made known to you through your fasting. When you end your fast you will notice that these battles are still there but you will have learned that your source of strength and hope comes from Christ alone. There may be pleasure in a jelly filed donut but it often masks something that is missing inside. If you get too many of these false thrills out of life you can start to rely on them for your comfort instead of Christ. Your spirit will grow during a fast but it is up to you to maintain its growth after the fast has ended. Fasting teaches how much junk we have in our lives that we don’t need.
I have heard it said that we must live by faith and not feelings. Easier said than done. Even mature Christians will admit they do not always feel the presence of God. Nonetheless, for those who have never experienced a deep sense of God’s presence, there is a risk of developing an intellectualized faith that is devoid of longing and passion. Biblical faith is full of longing and passion, for how can someone pant after God if they have no memory of His refreshing presence? Both longing and refreshing are vital components to a vibrant faith and vibrant relationship. Randy will never be the same. He has tasted a better wine then what this world has to offer, and he will forever crave more. Real biblical fasting is about developing a deeper hunger for the presence of God.
Related Article: Christian Fasting Testimonies
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