This year Yom Kippur begins on the eve of Sunday, September 27 and ends at night on Monday, September 28*. On this eve of the Jewish Yom Kippur I believe it’s a good time to reflect on how the Lord has enabled me and led me to build a lifestyle of fasting, with the goal of wanting to be Jesus-focus and know God more.
Back before building a fasting lifestyle (a spiritual lifestyle) in 2009, the minute anyone suggested fasting to me, I would have an automatic reaction that it could not be for me as I did not have the stomach for it. It seemed to me that food was so important. Many people like me could come up with a lot of reasons why they could not fast, e.g. Feeling weak and dizzy and even fainting, having gastritis, love for food etc. But I was led to read a Book on fasting, and it definitely assured me and gave me hope. Yes, I too could fast! I wanted to go deeper into Biblical living and living in the Spirit.
You too can fast (excerpts from a fasting book)
The enemy will use all tactics and suggest all excuses to prevent you from fasting. He knows what fasting can do for you. Isaiah 58:6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?”
It is not whether you can or cannot fast. It is whether you want to or not, a matter of choice. Will you still allow the flesh to dictate to you, or will you learn to subdue the flesh, allow your spirit man to rise and eventually, learn to live by the Spirit?
(In the same chapter, the Pastor described how she set a condition for her Bible College student to fast three days before they are awarded with distinctions. A number made the usual excuses but they went through the fast and came out in top forms. There were testimonies of gastritis, backache, arthritis and migraine healed! )
No one can give any excuse. Nehemiah could have made a good excuse for not fasting. His job demanded that he taste the king’s food and wine to test if they were poisoned. Moreover he was expected to be cheerful before the king. But Nehemiah took the burden of the Lord upon himself. He wept and mourned, fasted and prayed for many days for Jerusalem. (Neh. 1:4) God intervened and moved the king’s heart to release Nehemiah from his post as cupbearer and made him governor of Judah for 12 years! Despite opposition, conspiracy and great difficulties, Nehemiah completed rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem within 52 days.
Some people are afraid to fast because they are afraid their bodies would be affected. Little do they realize that the body can actually go without food and water for three days. It can go for 40 days without food but not without water unless divinely led of the Holy Spirit. Moses neither ate nor drank for 40 days twice, in the presence of God and God is life. We can do without food but cannot do without God.
Fasting appears difficult because eating is a natural habit. Some people eat to live but others live to eat. In fact, the first sin against God involved eating. Esau lost his birthright because of eating. The Israelites were fed angels’ food from heaven yet they craved for food from Egypt than for God’s divine supply. Every Christian must learn how to discipline the body through fasting.
Start by fasting one meal, then two meals, then the whole day. This will give you more time to spend with God. You can then subdue your flesh and begin to feed your spirit man. Read the Bible, pray and worship God. Listen to worship and sermon tapes. Begin to tune yourself to God. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Cor. 2:14)
Jesus redeemed us and made our spirit alive unto God. Man could once again resume relationship with God. By the power of God man is once again to live by the Spirit, filled, empowered and led by Him. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”(I Cor. 15:50) Fasting sets us free from our past bondage.
Back then in 2009 I became thus convinced to start a fasting lifestyle. When I first started to fast I tried to skip one main meal a day on alternate day. However, I drank liquid (water, fruit and vegetable juice, milk) as substitute. I also scheduled my fast to a number of hours, e.g. from 4pm to midnight or from 10am to 6pm.
There was no hard and fast rule. On this current fasting and prayer drive, I could choose from a long list of choices: 1. the number of days (7, 14, 21, 40) 2. the number of meals (1, 2, all ) 3. vegetables/fruits 4. water/liquid
I chose to fast 14 days, one meal (fasting from 1pm to next morning 7am) a day on alternate day. I knew my limit. Unless led by the Holy Spirit I would not attempt more than the level I was committed to do. I hoped to progress to whole day (24 hours) fasting (from solid food), drinking water only during the weekend, i.e. fast from 6am Saturday to 6am Sunday.
In the Pastor’s testimony, the “best fast” (for discipline and major breakthrough) was three days at a stretch without food and water. A lot of great things happened when such fasts were carried out in the Bible. I will account this in the next post.
The above was originally posted on 2009-09-08
Looking back over a decade of fasting lifestyle and how much the Lord has enabled me to progress, I can only give all glory to God! I cannot imagine without the spiritual and physical preparation, how I could have gone through all those miracles including divine healing and living in divine health, fitness and youthfulness despite encountering many physical (with unseen spiritual implication) challenges!
Kainotes Sep 26 2020
*Israel Daylight Time (IDT) is 3 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This time zone is a Daylight Saving Time time zone and is used in: Asia.