A year later and nothing has changed. I still hate fasting.
But this year I’m trying something different.
What’s the purpose of fasting? To me, there’s two components of a fast.
- Denying your physical needs/temptations so that you can . . .
- Be more intentional about seeking God.
The problem I’ve experienced with myself over the past seven years of fasting is that I spend an overwhelming amount of time focused on #1.
What type of fast am I going to do? Daniel, liquids, water-only? Full, partial? Am I going to incorporate a non-food fast like social media? And then 99% of my fast is focused on trying to find fast-approved recipes, avoiding social media and honoring the fast I’ve chosen.
But what’s the missing piece?
There’s a lot of intentionality about the type of fast, but none when it came to how I’m going to seek God more. How do I always lose sight of that? I have no idea, but it’s so easy to let what you’re fasting completely overshadow why you’re fasting.
The hope is that what you’re fasting provides more margin in your life to seek God. Whether that be an extra meal during the day or time saved not on social media or watching TV. But, more than I care to admit, God doesn’t generally get that extra time.
Which is why I’m reverse fasting this year.
What’s a reverse fast?
Instead of focusing on #1 first, I’m going to focus on #2. Reverse the priorities. Instead of figuring out what I’m not going to eat, I’m going to figure out how to seek God more. How can I give him more of my day?
So this year, I’ve decided to do the following:
- Morning (15 minutes): Read a devotional from My Utmost For His Highest. Marinate on it.
- Lunch (30 minutes): Come home for lunch (no eating out). Before eating, spend this time praying for people in my life.
- After Work (30 minutes): 15 minutes of personal prayer/worship. 15 minutes of listening for God’s voice.
- Before Bed (15 minutes): Read from my chronological reading plan.
And I won’t be doing any type of food-related fast.
Instead, I’ve looked at my normal daily routine and identified areas that waste time. So instead of food, I’ll be fasting from these time wasting activities. Time I can then give to God.
- Hitting the snooze button. Seriously, I waste 30 minutes a morning.
- Watching TV shows on Netflix before bed. Easily saves 1 to 1.5 hours.
So there you have it. My reverse fast. I feel this change puts the priority and focus back on the right thing (God).
How about you? What’s been your experience with fasting? How do you structure yours?