Fast(ing Is More Than Just) Food
Hello friends! At one point in my walk with Lord I started to become really anxious about the concept of fasting. And it's odd because the anxiety only started after I rededicated my life to Christ. Because when I was saved when I was younger, I told God that I couldn't fast food because I knew that I had a bad relationship with food, and my body image, and He was okay with it. I was fine with the decision and confident about it up until I rededicated my life back to Christ after leaving for 3 years.
When I finally came back to the Lord, I started to look up Christian things and suddenly my timeline began to flood with people making videos about "fasting for breakthrough" and "fasting to hear from God" and fasting for like every little thing. I would even see people who would fast like once a week or for very long extended periods of time and it would make me feel like I wasn't doing enough for God. Some people even said things like "some demons *only* come out when you're fasting and if your situation doesn't change, then you need to fast." And those same people would also claim that fasting food is the only way to fast, and that the best fasts are the ones where you don't eat at all. And just a bunch of other very toxic, and trash stuff that was literally serving: eating disorder, but make it religious. And for a while I was eating all of this stuff up (no pun intended lol) and it was making me feel super anxious about my relationship with the Lord. And I was worried that the way I fasted (which was by fasting certain music, social media, technology, video games, etc.) wasn't good enough for the Lord to move on my behalf. But after some time of me being terrorized by this messaging I realized that fasting (whether it's food, or technology, or whatever else) is not about what we fast, but it's about directing our focus back to God.
And with fasting having the meaning of directing your focus back to God, that means that you could fast ANYTHING that could take your focus away from Him; and you don’t have to fast food if you don’t want to. I tend to fast technology when I do a fast, but you could fast anything from certain clothes, makeup, people, hairstyles, music, tv shows, books, bags, or anything else that one could put their focus on. Fasting is about removing something from your life so that you will make space to talk to God. It’s about acknowledging Him and making time for Him. It’s not about suffering for some random goal. It’s about spending time with God, and when you spend time with the Lord then He *might* answer the thing that you are praying for, but fasting is about spending time with Him; which is why sometimes situations don’t change when you fast. Because maybe God wants you to fast, so you can see and understand why He is not taking you out of that situation. That He has you there for a reason and it’s for your benefit and it’s meant to grow you and bring you closer to Him. Fasting is not some secret code that you can just bust out anytime a situation gets hard. God does not use “pain points” to redeem a blessing for us. God does NOT delight in us suffering, period. But He does understand that suffering (for a reason) produces something within us that going without it can’t. So while He may keep us in certain situations in order to grow us, suffering just for the sake of suffering, or even to achieve some specific goal or proverbial standard of doing enough for God is not something that God wants us to do. Fasting is to make space for the Lord and allows us to get into the habit of consistently making space for Him in our daily lives. It is not to get us to suffer for “pain points” to get a blessing. It’s so that we can focus on our relationship with Him! And if you already have good focus on the Lord then you don’t need to fast! I only fast when the Lord tells me to (which is almost never to be honest) and when I feel like I need to cut something off because it’s taking up too much of my attention. Fasting is not a requirement to see breakthrough or to hear from the Lord! He still speaks and still moves even when people don’t fast, periodt, and also when people don’t fast food!
'Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.'
1 Corinthians 15:58
'And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. '
'The Lord says, “Shout as loud as you can! Tell my people Israel about their sins! They worship me every day, claiming that they are eager to know my ways and obey my laws. They say they want me to give them just laws and that they take pleasure in worshiping me.” The people ask, “Why should we fast if the Lord never notices? Why should we go without food if he pays no attention?” The Lord says to them, “The truth is that at the same time you fast, you pursue your own interests and oppress your workers. Your fasting makes you violent, and you quarrel and fight. Do you think this kind of fasting will make me listen to your prayers? When you fast, you make yourselves suffer; you bow your heads low like a blade of grass and spread out sackcloth and ashes to lie on. Is that what you call fasting? Do you think I will be pleased with that? “The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives. “Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond. “If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word; if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry. Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses.” '