I love that so many churches fast on a corporate level at this time of year! Some people think its cheesy or a ‘bandwagon’ to get on, but it blesses me as a leader to see so many people ‘gung ho’ about pursuing the Lord together in the area of fasting. It creates such a spiritual synergy and unified pursuit!
There are many types of fasts, but the one that you are probably on is a Daniel Fast. Others reading this may want to begin this type of fast but just don’t know where to start, so I want to give some super quick guidelines such as foods to eat and avoid, and what you should be doing during a fast.
FOODS TO EAT
Fruits: Any Kind! I recommend fresh because of preservatives and the like, but you can still use frozen, dried, juiced, or canned
Nuts: Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
Whole Grains: barley, brown rice, oats, millet, whole wheat, quinoa
Legumes: black beans, black eyed peas, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, split peas
Vegetables: Any kind! Again I recommend fresh veggies, buy you can still use frozen (try steamers), dried, juiced, or canned
Beverages: water, V8, juiced vegetables and fruit
Other: spices, salt, pepper, seasonings, soy products, tofu
FOODS TO AVOID
Meat: beef, fish, pork, poultry, etc
Dairy Products: butter, cheese, cream, eggs, milk
Sweetners: agave nectar, artificial sweeteners, cane juice, honey, molasses, raw sugar, granulated sugar, brown sugar, sweet stuff in general
Leavened Bread: baked goods, Ezekiel bread, any bread with yeast
Deep Fried foods: chips, french fries, potato chips, etc.
Solid Fats: lard, margarine, shortening
Beverages: alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, coffee, energy drinks, green tea, herbal tea, sweet tea
So…why fast. I want to close by giving four solid reasons why fasting (and consistent fasting) is important in the life of a believer. You know, Jesus spoke about fasting in the same sermon he gave on giving and prayer, showing us that it should be regularly incorporated into our lifestyle, not just in January.
Fasting is not just eating healthy food, or not eating at all, or making yourself drink more water. Fasting is laying down the pleasures of earth so that we can take up the pleasures of heaven. We don’t fast to lose weight. We fast to grow closer to God and walk in a greater anointing!
The Bible is clear that you gain power in the Holy Ghost through fasting. The Spirit of the Lord led Jesus into the desert to be tempted and to fast for 40 days. Luke 2:52 tells us that after this fast and time of temptation that Jesus returned ‘in the power of the Spirit.’
Fasting is also a time to gain direction. I know in my own times for fasting that during a season of fasting the Lord allows me to operate in a greater clarity of his purposes.
Fasting is an opportunity to grow in prayer and the word. If you’re not eating and not reading and praying, you’re just dieting. Use the time you would be eating meals to eat the word. I believe that at no point in time will you get MORE from the word than when you are in a time of fasting.
Let’s keep this short, shall we? I hope this quick and easy tips help you this month! Let me know how your church is fasting in the comment section below.