When you think of fasting what comes to mind?
Jesus fasted and was tempted by the devil!
This isn’t bible trivia but do you know why so many people in the Bible fasted?
Well, for several years, we attended a church that always began the year off with a corporate Daniel’s Fast. Up until this point, we weren’t familiar with corporately fasting but learning more about it certainly peaked our interest. When the time came to fast, we decided to join in and give it a try.
Each year that we fasted, proved to be life-changing!
We were able to see God’s hand in so many areas of our lives. We were able to see him strategically orchestrate situations around us to work out in our favor and align our hearts with his will. The years we didn’t start off strong with fasting, proved to be some of the most challenging years of our marriage to date.
We don’t believe this is because we didn’t fast, but instead because we didn’t take the time to hear what he was saying about that year through intentional fasting and prayer.
In order to hear what God wants to speak to and through us, many times we have to silence the noise around us and remove the distractions. Fasting does just that!
As we sacrificed our physical wants and desires, we created space for God to speak which resulted in things like increased wisdom, spiritual authority, power, and favor.
Who wouldn’t want those things to get them through the year ahead?
The Bible frequently talks about fasting. Esther (Esther 4:16), Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20) and Ezra (Ezra 8:21-23) all corporately fasted and other key people in the bible including Jesus, fasted in groups or individually.
In our own lives, we have found that fasting has been a valuable way for us to draw closer to God and learn more about his heart for us and situations around us.
Now we aren’t theologians or experts by any means when it comes to all of this. We’re just a remarried couple that desires to see God move in our lives, marriage, and family in unimaginable and unexplainable ways. We don’t believe there is a magic formula to the heart of God, but we do believe that if we model Christ as closely as possible, we can become partakers in the blessings he wants to bestow upon us.
Blessings such as Peace in our home, Love unexplainable, Joy within our marriage, answered prayers and much more. Many of these things have proven to be given in abundance when we sacrifice through fasting. And we believe that if Jesus fasted (which he often did), then our lives should consist of the same disciplines. They may be carried out differently, but they (prayer, study of the Word, and fasting) should all be a part of our Christian walk.
It’s also important to note that fasting has so many other benefits. Outside of the spiritual benefits we talked about, it can also help to rid the body of pollutants, break negative life patterns, create unity in relationships and much more.
Fasting as a family is life changing!
Although we have never forced our children to fast, we do invite them into the process as we model it in front of them. We believe that them learning the discipline of fasting is just as important as them learning to study the word of God and daily prayer.
Although we do fast individually throughout the year, there is a considerable difference in the experience when we fast as a couple and even more when we do it as a family. Our children will typically fast from their phone, tv, tablet or they will do the Daniel’s fast with us. We allow them to chose something that is age appropriate.
As we all prepare for the fast, we encourage everyone to share what they may be specifically fasting for so we can all stand in agreement. Sometimes everyone shares and sometimes there are certain things in their heart that they desire to keep between them and God. We honor that and pray that God would speak to them concerning whatever it is.
We have learned that one of the most important things to remember about a fast is that God is not looking down from heaven waiting to strike us if we mess up, he is gracious. So we remind ourselves of this and teach this to our children. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
So, why are we sharing this with you?
We would like to invite you and your family to join us as we fast from January 7-28th.
Your fast can look however you feel led, it’s about sacrifice and intentionally seeking the Father’s heart concerning the matters of our hearts.
What if nothing changes?
Well, then you lost 21 days of whatever you sacrificed. But even in that, you still will honestly have gained something. Perseverance and confidence that you and your spouse can complete a hard task (because fasting can be so hard at times). You’ll be healthier and will have started your year off strong.
But we truly believe that when our hearts honor the heart of God through simple acts of intentional, consecrated, corporate prayer and fasting, we can reach heaven and experience His love for us in unimaginable ways
So why not give it a try?
To give you a few ideas, here are a few Creative ways to fast:
- From Social Media or emails
- From everything but fruits and vegetables. (Daniel’s Fast)
- From everything but vegetables (Daniels Fast)
- Fasting from sun up to sun down (very common and helps to focus less on food)
- Fasting from texting or excessive phone conversation
- Fasting from specific food items or drinks (sweets, pop, juice, etc.)
- Fasting from all food
Here is a resource that really helped us during our fast:
Remember it’s not about the fast itself, but truly spending more time in prayer, meditation, and his word. The level of sacrifice will determine the level of temptation but don’t allow this to discourage you. Let temptation become your reminder for the true purpose for fasting. Whatever you choose to remove, be intentional about praying or reading your Bible!
*If necessary, please consult with your physician if you will be eliminating any foods from your diet.