Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Does Fasting follow Feasting...

or should Feasting follow Fasting?

Sounds like a trick question doesn't it? Well it isn't. Two years ago, someone asked me:
"What does it mean to live a fasted life?"
When cleaning out my mailbox, I saw our email exchange - so let's start this piece there: 

My response:
For me, living a fasted life is one where we constantly and continuously put our flesh under control and submit to the desires of the God as laid on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Considering that the whole essence of a "physical fast" as we know it is to deny ourselves food so as to subject our bodies to the control of our spirit. A fasted life takes it further i.e. outside the realm of food to ensure that "whatever we do, we do it to the glory of God" i.e. God in total control not food, TV, making money, pleasure or any other such "distraction." What does a fasted life mean to you?

Some interesting things I found on the internet:
http://www.theanswer.org/pastor/fasting.htm
http://www.jentezenfranklin.org/fasting/danielfast.php

Response: I agree with you completely. In addition, a fasted life includes laying down what you as an individual feel that you can't do without. That thing that you think that you must have & that has control over you. It may not necessarily be sinful. For some people, it may be coffee, a particular TV program, Sports whatever tends to becloud your vision of God.

Now that is where feasting comes in...some of us are so attached to to food that we have found a way around fasting. There are people I see who are basically feasting when they claim to be fasting. I remember a funny but sad incident when someone said to me:
"We need to load ourselves since we are fasting."

I was too much in shock to respond. So what does fasting mean to you? Do you think fasting is a one-off thing or can we live self-controlled, or shall I say fasted, lives where we make sure that it is our spirit working with the Holy Spirit that is always in control over the desires of our flesh? In Isaiah 58, God is clear on what fasting should represent...kindness to others in addition to staying away from food. Of course feasting comes in from time to time  as He's promised in verse 11: "And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not." (Amplified)

Ultimately as Christians, we must realize that fasting is an important part of our walk with God - the spiritual and health benefits* abound.  Spiritual and physical detoxification top the list - fasting helps you get rid of toxic things in your body including habits and lifestyles.

*http://www.squidoo.com/fasting-health-benefits

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