The What And How Of Fasting

ENGLISH

In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. — Daniel 10:2-3

So right before Daniel gets his last vision, we discover he's been engaging in a common spiritual practice called fasting. Fasting is the most un-American thing you ever do. It is the practice of abstaining from food for spiritual reasons. This text reveals that Daniel abstains from certain foods for three whole weeks.

But why? Why does he fast? And why should we consider doing it?

So if you back up to the first pages of the Bible, we discover that sin entered the world through eating — which I think is interesting. It was eating a fruit that was forbidden that led to the first sin. And I believe God chose food because we tend to rely upon natural provision over spiritual provision. In addition, I know it doesn't hurt us to occasionally deny our physical appetites to incline our desires to the things of God. And this is why we fast. We fast to abstain from something for a period of time to reorient ourselves to the desires of God.

Now there are a lot of things you could fast from. For example, you could fast from social media or network news which might be good for some of you. But the most common fast in the Bible was abstaining from food. All the great men of the Bible did this at some point. Men like Moses, David, Daniel, Paul, and even Jesus fasted. Which means it would be good for us to do it as well.

So I am going to challenge you to a simple one-day fast. The easiest way would be to start after your evening meal and then not eat for one full day breaking the fast the following evening. So if we begin at 7:00 pm today, we would break fast at 7:01 pm the next day. For this one day, you can eat a few crackers to curb your hunger, and you should drink water. I would encourage you to bring a small bag of crackers and a bottle of water with you throughout your day. And then, as you are fasting, you will feel the pain of hunger. As you feel this pain, let it drive you from physical provision to spiritual provision, and consider just one question: What does God want to show me?

I hope you take me up on this because there is never a time that I have fasted that I have not seen something that God wanted to show me. I believe if you have never done it, God will show you something incredible. Which is precisely what he's about to do for Daniel.

ASK THIS: What day this week are you going to fast?

DO THIS: Schedule it and see what God wants to show you.

PRAY THIS: God, may my decision to fast be a holy moment between you and me.

PLAY THIS:  I Will Follow.

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8 thoughts on “The What And How Of Fasting

  1. Cory D says:

    Picked an ironic day for this topic as I’m on a cruise ship! Next week my friend I will fast. But Lord remind this is for spiritual reasons. Amen!

  2. George Beach says:

    Thanks for this clarity on fasting. It has been on my heart to fast to help me clear my mind and seek God’s healing, but I didn’t know where to start. This is very helpful.

  3. Paul L says:

    Thank you for explaining so simply the objective of fasting. When I was a practicing Catholic my fasting was driven by the goal of just surviving and a sort of, “Oh, poor me!” It was a SELF thing! Thank you for taking the ME out of this practice and putting the HIM in it. I get it now!

  4. Tom F. Sr. says:

    I’m ALL in with you for this fast Pastor Vince; beginning this evening! Thank you for challenging me to challenge myself, by placing my behavior in line with who I say I am in Christ. It’s fruit that Jesus is looking for NOT pious words and intentions. 💪👆🙌

  5. Trent says:

    It took me a while to mature enough to benefit from fasting. To really understand the purpose and so realize that it is not just one of those “old testament” oddities. I think you have laid it out well here and I also encourage others to give it a try. Just don’t forget the PRAYER part of it. So much more to fasting than just abstaining from food. Thanks for what you do , Vince. Keep them coming. These devos start my day every day.

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