I finally get the opportunity to begin my long awaited series on fasting. My journey with fasting began in 2007. Before that, I had several failed fasting attempts. I came up with every excuse in the world to end my fast early. Well, they worked. I didn’t even have enough self-control to complete one day of fasting. By the first afternoon, I’d be gorging on everything in sight.
Not only did I feel physically sick from overeating but the guilt from lack of will power was overwhelming. My heart was in the right place, but trying to fast without a purpose is futile.
The purpose of fasting is to bring you closer to Yah (God) through prayer. Bringing your body (flesh) under submission while the spirit elevates and strengthens to champion an issue or problem that has built-up a stronghold in your life. There are many spiritual and physical benefits to fasting. I am going to share a few that I’ve personally experienced.
Physical and Spiritual Cleansing
Sometimes we forget the connection between physical and spiritual bodies. As the body detoxifies, so does the soul, which I’ll discuss in depth in another post. Your body will eliminate toxins and excess waste. Depending on how long you fast, specifically, longer than three days, your body will enter into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process that your body goes through when it doesn’t have enough glucose to burn for energy. Instead, it burns stored fat. After 3 to 4 days of fasting, the body will usually go into ketosis. However, it could take up to 7 days.
Training Your Faith
Just like we go to the gym to build muscle and gain strength, our faith works the same way. When you fast, you’re sacrificing your fleshly desires for food in expectation that your request will be heard by Yah. I pray all the time, but when I want Yah to pay special attention to an issue, I fast.
Destroying the Ego
Fasting brings your ego under submission through physical sacrifice, repentance, praise, and worship. Your ego is in a direct relationship with your soul. Fasting quiets the ego and focuses all your energy on the power of Yah and not selfish desires, other people, or problems. It’s a great time to strengthen your prayer life.
Now that we’ve touched on some of the benefits of fasting, let’s talk about the types of fasts. There are several types of fasts that I’ve identified as Regular, Daniel, Complete, Partial and Soul. You can establish the number of days that you fast. Personally, I choose spiritual completion numbers to determine the length of my fasts like three, seven, ten, fourteen, twenty-one, and forty-one. What are completion numbers? They represent divinity, spiritual completion, and perfection.
Refraining from eating all food. Most people still have water or juice during this period of fasting.
A very popular fast. The Daniel fast is very similar to an elimination diet. You’re eliminating meat, animal by-products (dairy), bread, and sweets. You can have vegetables, fruits, water, and juice.
A complete fast is having no food, water, or juice.
If you take medication, a partial and Daniel fast have the least harmful effects. During a partial fast, you refrain from eating food from sunrise to sunset. Or, you can fast from the time you rise until Noon. You and The Creator establish the best times and fasting type for you to complete. If you are on medication, and want to fast, always consult a physician to see if you are physically capable. Fasting is extremely stressful to the body, so it’s best to take the necessary precautions.
Giving up bad habits to help yourself overcome negative, harmful behaviors such as sexual deviance, smoking, drinking, drugs, food items, electronics etc. You’re re-establishing your self-control and will-power over whatever things have taken over your life. In the past, I’ve done an electronics fast because I was getting too comfortable looking at gossip sites. More recently, I refrained from consuming salt/sodium for 30 days. My entire world turned gray. I love salt. Can’t live without it. This fast literally brought me to tears. The first week or two, I ate very little. I didn’t see the point. As time went on, my taste buds adjusted, and I actually tasted food for what it was. What led me to this fast, was edema. My legs, feet, and ankles were swelling out of control. My stomach was so bloated, I looked pregnant, as you can see in the photo below.
I will end the first installment on fasting here. There is so much more information that I will be sharing, so I don’t want to give you too much too soon. Until next time, BE WELL!