When You Fast

Fasting is sacrificial. It is giving up something of value for something of greater value. Technically in Scripture fasting always referred to going without food for a certain period of time. Fasting, by extension, can refer to giving up certain foods, specific comforts, or oft-used technology.

Kinds of Fasting

Normal: abstaining from food, solid or liquid, but not from water (Jesus in Luke 4)
Partial: restriction of diet but not total abstention (Daniel)
Absolute: abstaining from food and water (Esther, Paul’s conversion)
Corporate: public (Day of Atonement); people in sorrow and affliction over their sins; times of distress (2 Chronicles 20:1-4)

Why Fast?

Fasting reveals what controls us. (Psalm 69:10)
Fasting reveals what sustains us. (Matthew 4:4)
Fasting reveals what balances us. (1 Corinthians 6:12, 1 Corinthians 9:27, Psalm 35:13)

Where to Begin

Partial 24-hour fast from food: lunch to lunch
24-hour fast from anything: social media, sugar, etc
Fast with someone else: they will provide strength and accountability

Justin Earley writes, “Fasting is a way to resist the original sin of trying to eat our way to happiness and to force ourselves to look to God for our fullness.” Here’s my encouragement. Choose one of the beginning points above, share your commitment to fast with a good friend or family member, and do it. Fill your fasting time with a focus on God, especially during the time you would normally eat. Sing. Pray. Serve.

Watch God work.