How to fast effectively
by Bibi Babatunde-Ikotun
Thursday, 23 January 2020
Hi everyone, welcome back to my blog. I’m super excited that you clicked this link. I see you’re interested in fasting. Maybe you don’t get the point of doing this religious activity or you want to know how to make your fast more meaningful or you’re just curious, whichever your reason for being here today, you are welcome. Let’s get right into it.
Why do we fast?
Honestly, as a child, I did not quite get the full reason why we fast. I mean are we trying to suffer so God can have mercy on us? For many people, they believe starving *coughs* fasting changes God’s mind about a situation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in the power of fasting. But let’s clear one thing first:
Fasting does not change God, it changes us
You must be thinking “Is this true”? Yes, it is and I’m here to tell you that your change is the real motive behind fasting. First of all, God isn’t moved by anything we do or offer Him. He has moved in our favour because of the sacrifice of Jesus. When we fast, it helps us align with the move God has made. How does this happen?
Fasting helps you to discipline the desires of your flesh
So remember my blog post on key identities of believers that stated we are one with Christ? Yes, we are indeed one with Him spiritually but we have a lot of forces trying to contend with our being in-tune with God. Man is a tripartite being. We are Spirit (fully plugged in and connected to God), who lives in a body (weak, frail flesh that sometimes prevents us from connecting with the spirit of God) and who has a soul/mind (The seat of all thoughts which we believers have received the mind of Christ as stated in 1 Corinthians 2:16). Understanding the tripartite nature of man helps us to understand the essence of fasting, stay with me.
When we fast, we become more connected to God’s spirit. We are able to discern His plans, His ways and His thoughts. Which brings me to another thing about fasting.
Fasting is not always about food
You probably knew it already but let’s keep talking. Fasting is not all about food consumption or lack thereof. Some of us “fast” but in the true sense are doing hunger strikes because we think it is just a time to stay away from food. There is more to this spiritual activity called fasting that is beyond staying away from food.
If you look at Isaiah 58, the scripture which details what fasting is all about you’d see that food wasn’t mentioned. It was more about a time of consecration for fellowshipping with God. What does it mean to be consecrated? It means to be dedicated. A period of fasting is for dedication to your fellowship with God. Your body and spirit have needs. You can be healthy physically and malnourished spiritual, there’s always a battle between the spirit, mind and body. Fasting is simply an act of denying your body (flesh) the things that give you pleasure you so you can feed your spirit.
Fasting helps us in tune with God’s
desires for us
When we ask God for blessings, are we indeed ready for those blessings? Sometimes we feel like God is not listening to our prayers but if He gave you want you wanted how well can you steward the blessing? This is where fasting comes in. The period of fast can help to train you and prepare you for the things you’re asking for. Ideally, your fast period should be dedicated to prayers, reading the bible, listening to edifying sermons and music and other spirit-filled activities way more than your regular routine. These activities help to grow your spiritual capacity. The more time you spend in the word the more you enjoy your time with the word. When your capacity to stay with the word and in prayers enlarges, you experience spiritual growth and can hear from God clearer.
It doesn’t matter how long you decide to skip meals; the main thing is that fasting is an intentional act of dedication to your time with God. It’s an intentional act not driven by crowd mentality. Okay now that I have given you the full gist about fasting, I won’t leave you without practical tips for fasting on an adult schedule.
How to fast effectively no matter your schedule:
- Listen to sermons, gospel music, audio bible on your commute to and from work
- Listen to sermons, gospel music, audio bible on your desk as you work
- Use your lunch break to do some pray (in tongues and in your understanding), you don’t have food to eat anyways. You can do a prayer walk, a prayer drive or just excuse yourself to somewhere you can say some prayers
- Be at peace with your co-workers no matter how bad a situation might be. Remember, the reason why you’re fasting
How to avoid halitosis (bad breathe) during fast
- Brush more than once daily with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss regularly to avoid the accumulation of bacteria
- Use mouth wash for every time you feel like your breath stinks
- Use a tongue scraper to get rid of the white residue that coats the tongue
- If you break with foods like fish or milk, brush immediately after eating
- Avoid foods rich in onions and garlic to reduce the risk of bad breath
- Check your breath regularly using the wrist test
- Chew sugar or sweetener-free gum before bed
- Hydrate as often
“Fasting is subjecting the body and its desires by the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit to achieve a more focused period of cordial interaction (fellowship) with Jesus.” – lifegiva.com