Live Fast, Die Strong [Living a Fasted Life Pt. 4]
Here we are, the end of a wonderful 4-parter that has been fun to research and to write. If you’re just joining, I’d recommend you start at part 1 and work your way through the blogs so you don’t miss anything.
Having looked at these various reasons why it is important for us to fast and the benefits that God has laid in store for us should we choose to accept this challenge, I realise a few things must come to mind: is this a one and done thing? Now that I know the benefits, should they drive my desire? What about the physical benefits?
I’d like to answer these, and a few other questions you may/not have.
Firstly, your fasting is between you and God. It may sound obvious but what I mean to say is that if you choose to follow these guidelines just because they’re there (aka religiously), you’ll still get nothing out of it. It genuinely requires you to connect with The Word – just like anything else in The Bible.
Secondly, there’s nothing wrong with fasting because we DESIRE (read: WANT) these benefits. When I was younger [in the faith], I used to be sold lies that the right thing must be done without any motivation or agenda.
That’s simply not true (most of the time). Faking as though you’re doing everything out of some legendary status of sainthood won’t help you – it’ll hurt you. You want the blessings? Do the work! Done the work? You’ll get the blessings!
God knows you – in case you didn’t know, He created you – He also knows that you work well when are incentivized. Look at the description of Jesus’ attitude in Hebrews 12:2 (I’ll let you go read that yourself): is he not incentivized to endure the cross? Don’t beat yourself up about that – just put the effort in to get yourself aligned.
The funniest part of this, for those of you into dieting, is that you know that fasting has great physical benefits – weight loss, detox, self-control, etc. These are all great side effects. Nothing wrong with that as long as they stay as exactly that side effects.
Should you find yourself fasting for dieting sake and then trying to pass it off as a fast, there’s a simple solution – don’t do it. That’s called a hunger strike(!)
It’s the 28th January, 2015 and me and my church family ended our 21-day fast 3 days ago – you’d think the fasting period is done right? You’d be wrong. Which pretty much brings me to the purpose of this entire series…
What does it mean to “live a fasted life” (no it’s not a perpetual fast – hold your food, God doesn’t want it)?
It’s quite simple when you break it down:
• Be conscious of the fact that God wants to employ you! He wants you to be His agent.
• God wants you externally facing, always – He’s always got somebody He wants to reach through you. My/Your job is to be best prepared to find out who
• We are not an island so let’s not pretend like we are. Simple things like belonging (and committing yourself) to a church isn’t a suggestion. You, your spouse, your children & pets all together when there are saints gathered elsewhere won’t cut it
• In your continuous prayers, bear up your brothers & sisters in The Lord and also those you care about. Prioritise those you don’t care about
One of the things I love about this perspective of fasting is that there is no ambiguity – nothing to be reasoned out or squabbled over to make sense of it. God is very clear in this. I also love the fact that it is easy to execute and very easy to judge when you are not measuring up!
If we can learn to live a life that is focused on these 7 things:
1) Breaking strongholds
2) Delivering from habits
3) Freeing the oppressed
4) Liberating the burdened
5) Sharing The Word
7) Reconciling with one another
We’ll be not only productive as Christians but that seemingly elusive opener to The Lord’s Prayer “thy Kingdom come…” becomes a lot more tangible in every aspect of our lives. There is so much blessing to be had and so much that God really wants to place into your hands.
I would, sincerely, encourage you to take this on as a challenge from me to you. Try it for the 28 days of February. If you need the first 7 days to get your spirit aligned then I would recommend abstaining from food to do so. Once you get to that point, living a fasted life should be a part of your daily, weekly, monthly and annual routine.
I know a few people who fast once a week – not for any great need but as a way of living a lifestyle that reminds them that if they live fast, they will die strong in spirit.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away through the comments section. If this has blessed you then please do share with 2 other people.
Remember, God is rooting for you and waiting to help you – He wants you to win!!