It’s time to wrap up this series on fasting. Because few people within the church practice this discipline, I often find myself flooded with questions about ‘how to fast’. So I’m going to use the next two weeks and answer your frequently asked questions.
1.What about my physical limitations? My medications require food, not an empty stomach.
Talk to your doctor. Talk to God. Our Great Physician knows your limitations. He loves and cares for you. He will guide you in how to fast. I was hypoglycemic and fasting was the means God used to heal me. He wanted to see if I would trust Him.
I was NOT on medications so I have no testimony as to what God can or will do. That’s why I urge you to talk to your doctor and pray for divine wisdom. I stop taking vitamins while fasting because they upset my stomach. So I imagine that prescription meds would do the same.
God may lead you to do limited fasting. Instead of a total fast, you could eliminate certain items you crave: caffeine, sweets, or bread. I would also prayerfully consider doing a Daniel’s Fast, which consists of raw vegetables and fruits with only water. (Some people add whole grain products and natural teas.)
Remember God will provide a way if you are willing.
I won’t lie to you. Sometimes fasting has caused me to be weak and incredibly nauseated. During those spells, I rest as much as possible. I’ve taught preschoolers while fasting and feeling drained. But always at the end of the day, I experienced such awe of His power to see me through.
Most of the time, fasting gives me more energy than I knew was possible. My mental abilities are enhanced. I require less sleep. There is never that overwhelming need for a nap after a heavy meal.
I would suggest that if you exercise daily to limit strenuous cardio workouts. I’ve lifted weights, cleaned house, hiked mountains, and pushed wheeled barrows filled with bricks while fasting. I just rest often.
3. Will fasting harm my immune system causing me to get sick more often?
I have several testimonies of how while fasting I have been the only one in my family to NOT full prey to the traveling flu bug.
If your normal diet is rich in junk food full of toxins, you may experience what I call, toxic flushes. These can feel like the flu. Your body is forcing the pollutants out of your muscles and blood through aches, cramping, and sweating. Often times this causes dizziness and nausea. Flushing toxins can actually build a stronger immune system.
I never said fasting was easy. But I will proclaim the benefits far outweigh any temporary discomfort.
4. What do I do about family meals? Lunch or dinner engagements? Do I just stay home alone all the time?
My husband has always said that I cook better when I’m fasting. I enjoy cooking for others. It gives me pleasure to watch them enjoy their meal. I have someone else taste test. I reap the satisfaction of the aroma and the ‘ummms.’
I have friends who recommend that you take a prayer walk while your family is eating. If you like, that’s great. I prefer to enjoy the fellowship.
I let people know in advance that I am fasting and would love to join them for lunch or dinner if they would not be bothered by my not eating. Sometimes, I feel God’s blessing to allow me to order a cup of soup.
Fasting should never make you feel punished. It’s an act of love and obedience to the Lord. If your heart is right, He will bless you in every situation that arises.
5. How do I explain to people why I’m not eating?
Tell your immediate family that God has called you to obey Him in this discipline. Explain the call and ask for their prayer support.
Your other friends and acquaintances only need to know if you are invited to a meal with them. Christian friends should understand a simple, “Please excuse me from eating for I am fasting.” Unbelieving friends may not understand and want an explanation. This could be a great witnessing time as to the power of God and the intimacy of your relationship with Him.
We’ll continue next week.