Knowing God Through Fasting
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If in doubt consult your doctor. Fasting is not a means of manipulating God to do our will. We humble ourselves and surrender our desires to Him to find and submit to His will for us. Fasting also is not a way to earn brownie points with God. The only thing that gives us merit before God is the sacrifice of Jesus. Fasting is not a diet. Our motivation is not one of losing weight, even though this is a side effect. We are all at different places in our walk with God.
Knowing God Through Fasting
Likewise our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demands on our energy. While preparing for your fast, it is important to choose ahead of time what type or combination of fasting you will pursue. This will help you position yourself to finish strong. As you prepare to fast, it is important to choose a fasting plan that works for you. While this section provides some general information about different types of fasts, as well as some suggestions on how to create your own fasting plan, it is important to mention that there is nothing more inherently spiritual about one type of fast as opposed to another.
A water only fast is the normal fast referred to in the Bible. This is how Jesus and the New Testament church fasted. A water fast requires that no food or drink other than water is consumed. Periodic water fasts can be very beneficial, but extreme precautions should be taken. For some people it is hard to perform effectively at their jobs and have energy for their families while drinking only water. We recommend consulting your physician first and water fasting only for a day or two unless you can get away or your job allows you to really disconnect so you can give your best energy to the fast.
Remember, when Jesus went on His forty day fast He went by Himself out into the wilderness. The foundation of the Daniel fast is fruits and vegetables. Some starchy vegetables and dairy could be included, depending on the individual. The Daniel fast is a great model and can be extremely effective for spiritual focus, bodily discipline, and purification of the body and soul.
In the book of Daniel we find two different times wherethe prophet Daniel fasted. In Daniel he only ate vegetables and water and in Daniel 10, while the passage does not give a specific list of foods that Daniel ate,it does state that he ate no rich or choice foods, as well as no meat or wine. Based on these two verses we can see that either type of fast or a combination of the two constitutes a Daniel fast.
In this type of fast you omit a specific item s from your meal plans. For example, you may choose to eliminate all red meat, processed or fast foods, or sweets. Most people can incorporate this type of fast relatively easily. It can also be a great solution for people with specific dietary needs or medical conditions that create certain limitations.
A juice fast is simply consuming vegetable and fruit juices and water instead of solid food. Many people include whey protein in their liquid plan as well. This is one of the most popular and effective fasts. Even if you choose not to make your entire fast liquids only, substituting one or two meals for liquids is a great alternative. While fasting typically refers to refraining from specific food items you may also find it extremely beneficial to fast from a regular activity or habit. This might include things such as television, social media, and the like.
Prayer and fasting are not just about connecting to God but also about disconnecting from the world. Try to tune out some of the regular distractions of your day as much as possible.
10 Things You Should Know about Fasting
Replace that time with things that will nourish you spiritually. Strict fasting while pregnant or nursing also is not recommended. If you are in this incredible season of life but would like to participate in the 21 day plan, here are some great options for you to consider with the approval of your physician:. Children should NOT fast food as their bodies are growing and they need the nutrients. If they desire to join, let them abstain from fast-foods, sweets or Television. Care should be taken when breaking your fast.
Generally we should take as long to break the fast as the period we fasted for.
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Start by taking a thin slice of apple the first day, the second day, ad a bite of banana, the third ad one bite of toast, etc. It is better to read a little every day than to try and knock out two hours of Bible reading or devotions in one sitting. It is so important to digest the Word in absorbable chunks. The key is to keep this simple and make it sustainable. Reading prayerfully is making space and time to talk to God and giving Him time and space to talk to you.
He may lay people on your heart that are not on your list. Pray for them when the Holy Spirit quickens you. He wants to give you wisdom, knowledge, revelation and the power to overcome the enemy. It will encourage you when you look back and see what God is doing and has done in your life. Let the enemy be defeated through your complete surrender to God through His Son Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Alfalfa tablets can help control bad breath and cleanse the system. Two tablets at a time can be taken several times a day. In my desire to be absolutely faithful to my first day fast, I stopped taking my usual vitamins and minerals.
However during subsequent fasts, I have felt strongly impressed to continue my vitamin and herbal therapy and also using psyllium. During your fast, you may have your struggles, discomforts, spiritual victories, and failures. In the morning you may feel like you are on top of the world, but by evening you may be wrestling with the flesh-sorely tempted to raid the refrigerator and counting how many more days are left in your fast.
This is especially true if you are new at fasting. To counteract temptations like these, take extra time with the Lord to spend with God. Step outside for fresh air and a moderate walk of a mile or two, and talk to the Lord as you walk along. And in the process always keep on sipping water or juice frequently during your waking hours. While your body is in the resting mode, your stomach shrinks and your intestines become idle, so solid food must be re-introduced very slowly to avoid kidney failure or digestive distress. In fact, after a day fast, you should make a careful transition for at least three days before returning to eating meats or fats or normal foods.
Further, if you end your fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will linger for days.
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But if you rush into solid foods, you may lose much of your deep sense of peace and experience physical problems such as diarrhea, sickness, fainting, and frankly even death in some cases, due to shock! Paul Bragg and his daughter Patricia have conducted fasting clinics for many years.
Knowing God Through Fasting - eBook: Elmer L. Towns: - kykolycafaho.ml
Their book, The Miracle of Fasting, gives a specific daily food plan for breaking a 7-day fast that could be adapted and stretched out over several more days for a day fast. Most experts agree that breaking a fast with vegetables, either steamed or raw, is best. Your stomach is smaller now, so eat lightly. Stop before you feel full. Also avoid meats, dairy products, and any fats or oils for a week or more. Introduce them very slowly and in small amounts. Extended fasts are not the only fasts which need to be ended with caution.
Even a 3-day fast requires reasonable precautions. It is wise to start with a little soup — something thin and nourishing such as vegetable broth made from onion, celery, potatoes, and carrots — and fresh fruits such as watermelon and cantaloupe. In terms of resuming any sort of exercise routine, the advice is the same. Start out slowly, allowing time for your body to re-adjust to its usual regime. In this series, you will learn: Why you should fast How to fast safely How long and what type of fast is right for you How to prepare yourself spiritually and physically How to manage your schedule while fasting How to deal with the responses of friends and loved ones How to make your spiritual experience the best it can be How to maintain nutritional balance and health from beginning to end including specific juice and broth recipes What physical benefits to expect How to finish your fast and return to your normal schedule in a HEALTHY way I want to be of help to you so I will be speaking to you from these pages at various points in the study.
Why You Should Fast If you do not already know of the power and importance of fasting, here are some very important facts: Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras. For example, Moses fasted at least two recorded forty-day periods. Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God Psalm ; Ezra The Holy Spirit will quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you!
Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience. Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life—and make you a channel of revival to others. How to Fast Safely As you begin your fast, you may hear from concerned loved ones and friends who urge you to protect your health.
For example: Persons who are physically too thin or emaciated. Persons who are prone to anorexia, bulimia, or other behavioral disorders. Those who suffer weakness or anemia. Persons who have tumors, bleeding ulcers, cancer, blood diseases, or who have heart disease. Those who suffer chronic problems with kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, or other important organs.
Individuals who take insulin for diabetes, or suffer any other blood sugar problem such as hyperglycemia. Women who are pregnant or nursing. How to Prepare Yourself Spiritually and Physically Spiritual Preparation In preparation for this special time with God, I strongly urge you to examine your heart, and detect any unconfessed sin. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! Physical Preparation Although fasting is primarily a spiritual discipline, it begins in the physical realm.
How to Manage Your Schedule While Fasting How long you fast, the kind of fast you undertake, and how you adjust your work schedule depends mostly on your occupation. Reasons for schedule adjustments, especially during an extended fast, are two-fold… The first is physical. Dealing with the Responses of Friends and Loved Ones Many people are reluctant to tell others that they are fasting so they will avoid the sin of the Pharisees: fasting just to gain recognition for themselves.
How to Maintain Nutritional Balance and Health from Beginning to End I know the prospect of going without food for an extended period of time may be of concern to some. The lemon juice adds flavor and vitamin C, the maple syrup provides energy, and the cayenne pepper — an herb — acts to open small blood vessels which, I believe, helps the body as it cleanses itself of stored toxins. A word of caution: although I use this formula with no ill effects, cayenne pepper could cause severe physical reactions in persons with a specific allergy to this herb.
Most knowledgeable nutritionists recommend: Watermelon — just put it in the blender without adding water Fresh apple juice Green juice — blend celery, romaine lettuce, and carrots in equal proportions. Vegetable juices like this one are important, for they supply the electrolytes necessary for proper heart function! You may find their recipes helpful: Boil sliced potatoes, carrots, and celery in water. Do not add salt. After about a half-hour, drain off the water and drink. Gently boil three carrots, two stalks of celery, one turnip, two beats, a half head of cabbage, a quarter of a bunch of parsley, a quarter of an onion, and a half clove of garlic Drain off the broth and drink up to two or three times daily.
Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended, diluted in 50 percent distilled water if the fruit is acid. Orange, apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, grape, peach or other fruits are good.
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Herb tea with a drop of honey. Make sure that it is not black tea or tea with a stimulant. Broth from boiled potatoes, celery, and carrots no salt. What Physical Effects to Expect Although fasting can be an indescribable blessing, it is not always easy for everyone. Suggested Relief Psyllium Bulk: Help eliminate hunger pangs and also aids in cleansing the body. Physical Effect Coldness, bad breath and heightened body odor, changes in elimination constipation or diarrhea , light-headedness, changes in sleeping and dreaming patterns, aches and pains. Also expect to go the the bathroom often you will be drinking lots of water!
Suggested Relief After the first two weeks of an extended fast, many of these symptoms subside. Physical Effect Headaches or stomachaches may be a result of salt, sugar, or caffeine withdrawal. Suggested Relief Eliminating those items from your diet prior to fasting is the best way to avoid these pains. Physical Effect Lower back pain may indicate that you are dehydrating Suggested Relief Drink more fluids Physical Effect Dizziness may be caused by a sudden change in position, such as rising suddenly from a chair.
Suggested Relief Stop for a second or two, then recover. Physical Effect Minor fasting discomfort Suggested Relief Take one teaspoon of psyllium seed powder morning and evening. When they are cool enough to eat, have as many as you desire. Morning of the 8th day Salad of grated carrots and grated cabbage, with half an orange squeezed over it. Bowl of steamed greens and pealed tomatoes spinach, Swiss chard, or mustard greens. Bring the greens to a boil, then turn off the heat. As I have stated, this first food should be in the morning. During the day, you may have all the distilled water you wish to drink.
For dinner, you may have a salad of grated carrots, chopped celery and cabbage, with orange juice for dressing. This will be followed by two cooked vegetables, one such as spinach, kale, shard, or mustard greens, and one such as string beans, carrots, steamed celery, okra, or squash. He is ever-constant, while we—we are not. But that is not the only thing we learn about ourselves during this month.
We also learn what we can do. We learn that during this month we can push away things that normally would be difficult. We realize that we can be nice even when we just want to be mean and rude. We realize that we do have that extra buck to spare for someone who actually needs it. And when we realize this we have to realize why , suddenly, in Ramadan we have figured that out. It is not because we become superheroes during this month. It is not because we make a conscious, active decision that we would do this for a month even though it may sometimes seem that way.
It is because God sends down blessings during this month in a nafaha divine breeze , and makes things easier for us to do acts of worship and good deeds. And knowing this, we also know that the Lord of Ramadan is the Lord of all the other months. And so if we want our actions, outside of Ramadan, to be just as filled with blessings, we have that option.
All we have to do, is ask. Ask the Lord of Ramadan to make all our days like our Ramadan days.
And have certainty that He is capable of all things. And this is just a brief snapshot of the school that this month actually is. Take a moment every day to think about what you learned about yourself during this day, and then take it a step further. Think about this knowledge you have of yourself, and then get to know your Lord.