What Does it Mean to “Fast?”

There’re a few ways to fast. If you run in Christian circles you’ve probably heard of fasting as it applies to your spiritual health. Usually this is incorporated with food fasting. These are both great practices as long as they are done correctly and don’t become another idol. As long as they don’t inadvertently substitute God’s presence, grace, and authority for something obligatory with a goal of being a better, healthier person.  

Many years ago, I heard about a couple who fasted by taking the solid food they normally chewed and emulsified it in a blender. First of all—yuck! Most importantly, what’s the point!?

Fasting is a great disciplinary practice. It’s about the denial of self, the shifting of priorities, and the acknowledgment of what it means to hunger, not just for food, but for the life-transforming presence of God. It should be a resolution motivated by His spirit, not by our will. No matter what your reasoning, fasting should accompany intense prayer.

If you are going on a food fast be cautious. If you have certain medical conditions consult your doctor before you start a fast. Fasting in this manner has many proven benefits as long as you keep the swings in your blood sugars relatively level and you don’t deprive yourself of food for more than three days. After that, your body turns cannibalistic and it starts eating your muscle as fuel and storing fat as it goes into survival mode.  The latest studies show that fasting one day a week is great for your overall health. Again, check with your doctor.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”

Matthew 6:25

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