The first question I’m going to tackle in my quest to resume seeking after God and answering questions I have: why in the world would anyone want to fast?
This comes because my church is starting a 21 day fast beginning this weekend and I plan on taking part in it, I just want to know why.
Let me give you a little background on my personal experience with fasting and why I’ve done it in the past. The very first time I fasted was on my 1 year spiritual birthday. I decided to celebrate with a fast. Now that I think about it, that’s a terrible celebration.
There was no other reason for that fast. The next time I fasted was a year later on my 2nd spiritual birthday. Both fasts (24 hour, water only) were of little spiritual significance for me. At that point in my life, I had heard you were supposed to devote your normal times of eating to prayer, yada, yada, yada.
I did all that, but it was no big deal. Then I took a few year sabbatical from fasting and the next time I fasted was last year during the church’s 21 day fast. I did a week of the Daniel fast, still devoting eating times to prayer, etc, and still not feeling any spiritual benefits.
So then I decided to do a seven day, water only fast which to me is a pretty big deal since I’m a small guy. 5’6″, 115 lbs. I can definitely say I got something spiritual out of that. I had to rely on God and pray continually to maintain the strength to function throughout the day.
Every morning was like waking up with the flu and getting run over by a train the night before. It was a good experience but it still seemed to lack the type of impact Pastor Stovall and others had experienced from fasting. Multiple people have said regular fasting is an integral part in developing intimacy with God. That’s a pretty impressive statement worth checking out.
And then I’ve fasted once a week, water only for a couple of missions trips. Those to me were the times I wondered the most why I was fasting.
Anyway, that’s my current experience with fasting. People ask me why I’m fasting and most of the time I can’t tell them. I just know people did it in the Bible and Jesus said some demons don’t come out unless you pray and fast (Matthew 17:21), so it’s got to be legit somehow.
Tomorrow I’m devoting to looking for that answer. Stay tuned. There are 24 references to the term “fasting” in the NIV. ;)