6. What if I’m not feeling God but instead I’m so miserable, I could die?
Most likely, if you are not drawing closer to the Lord, clearly hearing His voice, or experiencing His supernatural power; then your focus is on you and not Him.
Americans are not good at denying themselves. Actually we’re pretty lousy at it. We don’t understand sacrifice; nor do we want to. We think sitting on unpadded pews is torture, parking a block from the church is cruel, and a service extending past an hour unacceptable.
God’s Word promises if we seek Him with all our hearts (holding nothing back) then He will reveal Himself in amazing ways. So I’m going to put this answer rather bluntly. Stop grumbling and whining. Stop thinking about yourself and how much you want to eat. Repent. Plead with God to remove all your self-centeredness.
Trust Him. He is faithful.
7. What’s the best way to start and end a fast?
I do not recommend any high sugar or caffeine drinks during a fast.
Therefore you should begin to eliminate caffeine and sugary foods prior to any fast. The sudden withdrawal of these toxins will cause side effects. You don’t need your first few days of a fast to be ruined because you are in withdrawal. I have chosen to live a lifestyle of eating healthy so that when He calls me to fast, I can immediately obey.
You should have predetermined limitations before starting: total fast, juices only, raw veggies and fruit, or maybe a limited fast. (Example: no breads) Have a clear understanding and remove all temptations. I recommend little TV viewing. The food commercials are torture.
Some teachers recommend a gradual withdrawal from food. You can certainly try this. For the first few days eliminate sweets including fruit, then breads, followed by meats. The last to be eliminated should be your vegetables.
For a few days you will have only liquids. Water only is most difficult. If you choose, you can have fresh vegetable juice or soup broth. Be warned, stay away from high sugar drinks if you don’t want to have the shakes.
These people recommend you then add the food back to your diet in the reverse order they were removed. I’d wage money that you’ll feel so much better that when it came time to reintroduce the sugars, you’d refuse them.
I normally end a fast by eating a banana, just because it’s my favorite fruit. After a few hours when my stomach has adjusted to the shock of food again, I will eat a small meal of whatever I want.
Whatever you do, don’t go out a gorge yourself. You will regret it.
8. What do you consider the hardest part of fasting?
The battle of the mind. The stomach tends to ‘shut down’ after a day or two. Hunger pains and growlings cease.
But the mind is where the battle wages. Those irritable voices nag at you all day long reminding you of how good pizza tastes or the delectable sweetness of chocolate.
They are relentless in their attacks. This assures me that I am in God’s will and must have the enemy in a panic. So when a voice tells me I’m wasting my time, I shout all the louder, “Father, show me your glory!”
Yes, you will experience growth and maturity. God honors the heart that seeks Him.
You should be willing to give up anything and everything that interferes with your intimacy: TV, movies, computer, sports, hobbies, sleep, etc. It should cost you something. It should cause you to make a choice. Always choose God.
A family fast from media is a powerfully effective way to overcome strongholds, gain wisdom, or improve relationships. I can’t imagine a better way to train your children to trust God than to teach them to give up what they want for what He wants.
Churches have seen major breakthroughs when they have called for corporate fasts. Not everyone can fast from food but everyone is called to fast from something.
The key is not to fixate on the rules or the limitations but to become obsessed with the Lord.
Experiencing life above the drudgery and into the supernatural: working, cleaning, cooking, praying, studying, and worshiping; all being done in the heightened sense of His presence.
When my body is weak, His strength is strong. When my body is under control, the mind is at peace. The lessons learned while fasting are never lost. Fasting fuels rapid spiritual maturity. Fasting empties us of ourselves.
Father, we confess we are addicted to the luxuries and the needs of this world. Change our passions. Cause us to crave You more than food or earthly stuff. We want to be consumed with You. Take us to that place where we ache for You more than we ache for anything else.
Satisfy our deepest needs with more of You. Amen