January 9th – 29th
You can choose to fast complete meals or certain foods or drinks that you love but are willing to give up temporarily, such as meat, sweets, caffeine, soft drinks, alcohol, etc. Other fasts besides food can include abstaining from certain recreational activities, social media, technology, television, etc.
Your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body and your options and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do. Choose from one of these types of fast below.
Biblical fasting, frequently practiced in the Old and New Testaments, especially by the early church, is a voluntary abstinence from eating or drinking certain foods for a specific period of time. When someone fasts, they intentionally stop something in their diet or restrict their diet as a way of humbling themselves, revealing a complete dependency upon God.
We are inviting the CedarCreek Church family to come and unite in a season of fasting together.
Fasting increases our spiritual alertness and provides an opportunity to seek God for specific things individually and as a church. Fasting turns attention from ourselves and focuses on God. When we make God our priority over food and drink or other things that we desire, it gets His attention!
We are asking each participant to consider fasting, to change something in your eating rhythm. This can be complete meals or certain foods or drinks that you love but are willing to give up temporarily such as meat, sweets, caffeine, soft drinks, alcohol, etc
If you have a medical condition that prevents you from altering your eating habits, then consider the other fasts that aren’t food-related.
This can include abstaining from an area of entertainment. The majority of people consume a lot of entertainment, so by restricting some of our entertainment options or the amount of time we spend on entertainment, we can replace that by intentionally connecting with God.
This can include certain recreational activities, social media, technology, television, etc.
Find a partner or a group to fast with. If you are part of a household and have roommates or family members, there’s value in fasting at the same time so that you can encourage and support each other (lessen the temptation!) and pray and seek God together.
(From Fasting for Beginners by David Mathis)
1. Start small
Don’t go from no fasting to attempting a weeklong. Start with one meal; maybe fast one meal a week for the first week. Then try two meals, and work your way up to a daylong fast. Perhaps eventually try a two-day juice fast.
A juice fast means abstaining from all food and beverage, except for juice and water. Allowing yourself juice provides nutrients and sugar for the body to keep you operating, while also still feeling the effects from going without solid food. It’s not recommended that you abstain from water during a fast of any length.
2. Plan what you’ll do instead of eating.
Fasting isn’t merely an act of self-deprivation, but a spiritual discipline for seeking more of God’s fullness. Which means we should have a plan for what positive pursuit to undertake in the time it normally takes to eat. We spend a good portion of our day with food in front of us. One significant part of fasting is the time it creates for prayer and meditation on God’s word or some act of love for others.
Before diving headlong into a fast, craft a simple plan. Connect it to your purpose for the fast. Each fast should have a specific spiritual purpose. Identify what that is and design a focus to replace the time you would have spent eating. Without a purpose and plan, it’s not Christian fasting; it’s just going hungry.
3. Consider how it will affect others.
Fasting is no license to be unloving. It would be sad to lack concern and care for others around us because of this expression of heightened focus on God. Love for God and for neighbor go together. If anything, others should even feel more loved and cared for when we’re fasting.
So, as you plan your fast, consider how it will affect others. If you have regular lunches with colleagues or dinners with family or roommates, assess how your abstaining will affect them, and let them know ahead of time, instead of just being a no-show, or springing it on them in the moment that you will not be eating.
4. Fast from something other than food.
Fasting from food is not necessarily for everyone. Some health conditions keep even the most devout from the traditional course. However, fasting is not limited to abstaining from food. As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.”
If the better part of wisdom for you, in your health condition, is not to go without food, consider fasting from television, computer, social media, or some other regular enjoyment that would bend your heart toward greater enjoyment of Jesus. Check out these types of fast that might be the right fit for you.
5. Don’t think of white elephants.
When your empty stomach starts to growl and begins sending your brain every “feed me” signal it can, don’t be content to let your mind dwell on the fact that you haven’t eaten. If you make it through with an iron will that says no to your stomach, but doesn’t turn your mind’s eye elsewhere, it says more about your love for food than your love for God.
Christian fasting turns its attention to Jesus or some great cause of his in the world. Christian fasting seeks to take the pains of hunger and transpose them into the key of some eternal anthem, whether it’s fighting against some sin, or pleading for someone’s salvation, or for the cause of the unborn, or longing for a greater taste of Jesus.