I started fasting after college to get closer to God for clarity and guidance in life. I started out doing the 21 Day Daniel fast and would mix it up with intermittent fasting or do 3, 5, or 7 day fasts. Fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline that allows you to connect with God on a deeper level. There are non-spiritual fasts as well but most of my fasts are for spiritual purposes. There are many types of fasts but the most common ones are absolute, supernatural absolute, liquid, or partial fasts.
Absolute fast: a fast from all food and liquids for a few days
Supernatural absolute: a fast from all food and liquids for a longer timeframe than an absolute fast. The length of time is medically impossible to survive without divine empowerment (ex: Moses fasting for 40 days without food or water)
Liquid fast: fasting from food and only consuming water, fruit and vegetable juices
Partial fast: abstaining from certain foods for a specific period of time
I have not been called to do an absolute or supernatural absolute fast but I have done plenty of liquid and partial fasts. I try to fast 1-2 times a year. My favorite fast to do is the 21 Day Daniel fast which is a partial fast that restricts dairy, meat, sugar, all forms of sweeteners, yeast, refined and processed foods, fried foods, solid fats and you can only drink water. It is a challenging fast especially for someone who has never fasted before however fasting involves sacrifice and humbling yourself before the Lord. I bring all my weaknesses to God for him to give me strength. My fasts are intentional and I seek for clarity, understanding, vision, and instruction from the Lord. I had been wanting to fast for a while but the timing never seemed right. I started to pray about the timing of when I should fast and I received it.
Today is the last day of my 21 day fast and it has been hard as hell but insightful. The goal was to do 21 days of only water and raw fruits and vegetables. However day 8 came and I switched over to the Daniel fast. Water and raw fruits and veggies is HARD and I was also still exercising so that didn't help either. I switched over to the Daniel fast which helped because now I could eat whole grains and legumes but the Daniel fast is challenging too. One of my mottos is: it may be hard but it's not impossible. My intentions for this fast included: removal of all my past soul ties, greater clarity on my purpose and career, and to understand who I am (healing, self-love, soul awareness, etc.) The way God moved and how He provided deep insight during this fast has just been incredible. God always blows my mind but he really blew my mind during this fast. From the books in the Bible I was reading, to the podcasts I was listening to, to the sermons I was watching, from the educational documentaries that I watched, to things that happened during the fast and how it all came together literally at a lost for words. It has truly been an amazing experience. I must note along with the diet part of the fast, I also fasted from social media and all social gatherings/events with friends. No coffee, dinner, or movie dates or hanging out with friends because I didn't want any distractions and really wanted alone time with God.
It was definitely an adjustment because there would be times where I had the whole afternoon or evening with "nothing" to do but I used this time to pray, read the Bible or an educational book, write down my goals/aspirations, self-reflecting, hear from God and A LOT of journaling. Some of the key takeaways from the fast:
This next season I am entering will require sacrifice, strength, faith, and valuable relationships.
I can't keep returning to what God saved me from.
The way I manage my mind/life is going to determine my effectiveness in this new season. A renewed mind is a disciplined mind.
I can't step out on faith and stand on fear.
Building a business is simple but it takes hard work! I need to have a great work ethic.
I need to minimize distractions and overcome the battlefield of my mind.
Don't take anything personal especially from people who don't know me personally.
Surround myself with people who affirm what God has placed inside me.
Society thinks most people want a hand-out but what they really want is a hand-up.
Renovation is not a one person project and it takes time. Faith takes times. We need others to help us in the process of change. (I don't have to do it alone.)
When the fast is over, continue to spend time with God, pray and journal everyday.
Those are just a fraction of the insights I received. I would suggest anyone looking to build a closer relationship with God to fast. Maybe you don't start out with 21 days maybe it's 1 day, 3 days, 5 days, and you can work your way up. You don't have to be religious to fast either. I do identify as a Christian woman however I don't have a church home or attend church regularly but I do have a strong relationship with God. I read the Bible and daily devotionals, study his Word, pray, worship and praise God, watch sermons that help me connect with God and spend time getting to know Him. For me, it's about your relationship with God because there are a lot of church folk who claim to be doing Kingdom work but are far from it (don't be fooled y'all).
Key things when fasting:
Prepare: identify your primary motivation for fasting, decide on a study plan/daily devotional, have an accountability partner, get a journal to write down your experience, prayer requests, praises and answers to prayers. Also start cutting back on meat, diary, sugar, and processed food before the fast.
Commit: I'm not perfect but I'm committed. I wanted to do only water and raw fruits and veggies for the whole fast however that didn't happen. Although I switched to the Daniel Fast during the second week I was still committed; I didn't stop or start over I continued and pushed through. I was committed and determined.
Make Room for God: A spiritual fast is about focusing on God and saying yes to the Holy Spirit. Invite Him into your life because He wants a relationship with you. Spend time alone with God everyday. Read the Bible and devotionals. Pray and write down what God reveals to you.
Shout out to my friend Sydney, she asked me what scriptures ministered to me during the fast? There were A LOT and I'll share a few below.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. - James 1:2-4 (NLT)
Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given, - Psalm 105:4-5 (NLT)
I am the Lord, the God of all peoples of the world. Is anything to hard for me. - Jeremiah 32:27 (NLT)
Keep asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. - Matthew 7:7-8
A HUGE shout out to my framily! I did this fast "alone" but with the support of my family and friends I didn't feel alone. THANK YOU and I love you all! *hugs and kisses*
Food for thought:
"Don't look at how big the problem is; look at how big God is. Think power thoughts, think can-do thoughts and set miracles in motion." - Unknown
Scribbles Pooh <3