The Fast of the Lord
By Laurette Willis
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens…” (Isaiah 58:6)
The reasons we choose to fast and the reasons the Lord calls us to fast may be two entirely different things. You may choose to fast in order to hear the Lord more clearly, for direction in your life, to help a loved one, or to see a “mountain” moved out of your way. Many of us have also fasted to lose a few pounds (even though the weight usually comes back after the fast).
The Lord can see what is holding you back more clearly than you can. Fasting is one of the ways the Lord has devised to remove the burdens of sin from us. Yes, Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the cross. We must admit, however, that even though our sin nature has been put to death, we still have a tendency to sin (or a sin habit). Fasting helps to destroy that yoke of bondage.
Many have found fasting to be a vital part of overcoming food addictions (sugar, caffeine, and overeating); destroying mental strongholds (negative patterns of thought); defeating the lusts of the flesh; and receiving clear direction from God when unsure what path to take.
Fasting doesn’t “win points” with God or enable Him to hear you better. Fasting DOES quiet your flesh and mind to help you hear from God more clearly. If your carnal nature has been in control, fasting will enable your spirit (the real you) to gain the upper hand.
The Bonds of Wickedness
Bondages are not formed overnight. Over a process of time, habits linked to weaknesses in our human nature can become bondages and addictions (which may be one reason Ephesians 4:27 says, “nor give place to the devil” – don’t give him a foothold to take advantage of you).
The good news is that bondages can be broken. Strongholds of the enemy can be torn down and new fortresses built on righteousness (our right standing with God through our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ) can be erected.
How to Fast – Different Choices
Plan ahead when you will fast. If fasting is new for you, begin by fasting one meal or one day. Devote the time you would ordinarily spend eating your meal to prayer and communion with the Lord. Many like to have a prayer project or particular reason why they’re fasting. During meal times instead of eating, devote that time to praise, prayer and reading the Bible. Keep your journal nearby, and write down your prayers and any revelation you receive.
For those new to fasting, I recommend a fruit and vegetable-juice fast instead of a water-only fast. You can get a good, reasonably priced juicer from your local health food or department store. If you must use store-bought juices at first, get organic juices whenever possible. Fruit juices should be diluted with water due to their high fruit sugar content.
Drink at least two quarts (64 oz.) of pure, clean water every day in addition to the fruit and vegetable juices. Water helps remove toxins from your system.
What is a Daniel Fast?
In Daniel 10:3, the prophet Daniel describes a fast he went on for 21 days. He wrote, “I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth… till three weeks were fulfilled.”
What is “pleasant food”? This usually includes foods containing sugar, high fructose corn syrup and for many it also includes bread, caffeine, soda pop and highly processed foods.
The Daniel Fast also includes abstaining from meat and alcoholic beverages.
When you fast, it is as if you are saying, as Job did, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). Communing with the Lord becomes more important to you than any candy bar. Seeking His face and hearing His voice are of greater value than the “pleasant food” your physical body craves.
God sees your heart, and He will reward you!
Christian Fitness Expert and author Laurette Willis is the Director of PraiseMoves, offering fitness programs, DVDs, books and training for those interested in a Christian alternative to yoga, and fitness for spirit, soul and body at http://praisemoves.com. To follow Laurette on Twitter visit http://twitter.com/Fit4Christ and on FaceBook: http://facebook.com/praisemoves. See the new “Power PraiseMoves” DVD trailer; get the free “Fit Favorites Devotional” and PraiseMoves FitNews http://praisemoves.com. © Laurette Willis 2010