3 Life-Changing Reasons to Start Fasting
As a life long food addict, fasting is not something I ever really considered. In more recent years, after becoming a Christian, I’m always searching for ways to grow in my faith and relationship with God. Last year sparked an interest for me with fasting and I’ve been obsessed with researching this fascinating topic ever since.
The benefits reach far and wide, but I want to share 3 truly life-changing reasons we should begin using fasting in our spiritual walk. Please note: I’m not a medical professional. You may need to check with your doctor before starting any type of fast.
3 Life-Changing Reasons to Start Fasting
1. A Stronger Relationship With God
“Fasting is a way of revealing to ourselves and confessing to our God what is in our hearts. Where do we find our deepest satisfaction—in God or in his gifts? And the aim of fasting is that we come to rely less on food and more on God.”
~John Piper, A Hunger for God
Food can easily become an idol for us. It certainly has for me. Food controls me far too often. I turn to it for comfort, loneliness, exhaustion, and many other reasons it’s not intended for.
Relying on God rather than food brings us to a breathtaking trust and faith. We show Him no physical hunger can match the way He fills us. God becomes our sole provider satisfying us in a way food never possibly could.
2. God’s Amazing Blessings
“Fasting is a tremendous weapon and a source of power in the life of a believer. The blessings in my life are directly attributed to the fasting in my life.”
~Jentezen Franklin, Fasting
Pastor Franklin’s book is filled with beautiful stories of people being blessed after a period of fasting. It highlights testimonies of not only people today, but the many examples in the Bible. He has seen everything from cured diseases to life callings being carried out by being able to hear God speak more clearly through fasting.
Let’s look at a few of the incredible blessings heaped upon the people of Biblical times during fasting periods. Pastor Franklin points out many of these stories, including Esther, Hannah, and the infamous fast of Daniel.
Esther organized a three-day fast with the Jews of her city. Their lives were spared from Haman’s plan to annihilate all the Jews. In the end, Haman’s life was taken rather than the Jews he so harshly sought. (Esther 4-7)
Hannah, devastated by her inability to conceive a child, fasted and cried out to God. He blessed her with the birth of Samuel soon after.
So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
~1 Samuel 1:20
Daniel devotedly fasted and prayed while in Babylonian captivity. God later prospered him greatly for his dedication, making him a high level administrator under King Darius. He even protected Daniel from ferocious lions when his jealous coworkers had him thrown in the den. (Daniel 6)
3. Health Benefits
“I’m convinced the human brain benefits from short periods abstaining from food… Beyond the brain, though, intermittent fasting also has measurable, beneficial effects on other areas in the body—on the heart, on blood profile, on cancer risk.”
~Dr. Michael Mosley, The Fast Diet
Dr. Michael Mosley teaches about the substantial health benefits of Intermittent Fasting, a diet plan consisting of fasting and non-fasting cycles. After just 12 hours of food restriction, your body starts rapidly repairing itself, along with many other astonishing benefits. I truly believe God blesses us with these health improvements for stepping away from our food obsession even if it’s just for part of the day.
The Fast Diet is not a spiritually based program, but I plan to implement it as one. Prayer and time in the Word throughout the fasting cycles of this meal plan would add the incredible spiritual benefits to the health improvements Dr. Mosley suggests.
Fasting is an extraordinary tool to add to our Spirit filled armor. I would love for you to join me in our Facebook community as we incorporate this and other Christian living tips into our daily walks.
Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Candace Playforth is a wife, mom, Jesus follower, serenity seeker, and writer sharing her messy life to encourage others. She blogs about her faith, life, and creative pursuits at CandaceCreates.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Thank you for this encouragement. I need to get back into the practice of regular fasting. I have missed it, and your words reminded me of how much I’ve missed.
I’m struggling a little in making it a regular practice too, Michele. The times I fast though are always beneficial in some wonderful way. Thanks for visiting me here!
Thanks for this. Fasting was something I learned about years ago, but never really felt motivated to give it a try, as I didn’t truly understand its importance. I need regular encouragement to build this into my life, because I know it has great spiritual and physical benefits!
I’m with you on needing regular encouragement and support with this, Lydia. I’m planning to use Facebook as a way for us to all connect on this important topic on a regular basis. It really has so many amazing benefits!
Thank you. When I was Moslem I used to fast. I have learnt a lot. Spiritually it is amazing. I feel so refreshed.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Latifa. I love the word refreshed! That is such a wonderful description of one of the many benefits.
You have reminded me about this unique journey I need to look into, for both my spiritual health and my physical health! I love all these important insights you shared here, Candace. You are a true testament to growing in faith and stepping into challenges that will ultimately lead us closer to God. I admire you so much for that. <3
It really is great on so many health levels, Chris. Even my moods improve through regular practice. Thanks so much for your encouragement, my friend.
Have you heard the James McDonald sermons on fasting? In December, he released 3 podcasts in his Authentic Faith series. I highly recommend them! Thank you for your post. I’m looking for more information on fasting!
I haven’t, but I love James MacDonald. I’ll check them out!
I’ll have to check those out is well. I’m loving podcasts these days. Thanks for the recommendation, Leesi!
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve tried fasting before with only bread and water for 40 days and I’ve never hungered for food but especially for God to fill me. And of course there’s the physical benefit.
40 days is breathtaking, Lux. I would love to attempt that some day. I’m still just working on one day a week :).
I know there are so many benefits to fasting, yet I rarely do it.
This was wonderful Candace – and I really want to try now. The reasons you highlighted really hit home… especially food being an idol. I think I’ve slipped into that lately and it needs to stop.
Thanks so much for sharing!
I’ve been treating food as an idol for many years, Jennifer. I completely understand! It’s an easy place to slip into. Fasting has done wonders for me in that area. I’m determined to finally show God how much more important He is than food.
I need to learn more about intermittent fasting.I’m just afraid of dealing with the hanger. Maybe I can build myself up to it :)
Its nice to hear about benefits of fasting and i agree with you I my self fast on sundays before going church i skip breakfast and i will have my lunch after the service. But i strongly believe that you should fast very often to grow in spirit.Especially to overcome our weaknesses.
I completely agree with you on both of those, Kingsley. To grow in spirit and overcome our weaknesses are wonderful benefits of fasting. Thanks for sharing your perspective.
Candace, it’s good to see you here at Arabah Joy’s place. Thanks for your thoughts on fasting. For me, a stronger relationship with God is the most important benefit. I don’t do it often, but when I do, I’m always so encouraged spiritually. Our leadership team at my church fasts one day a month.
Right now I’m doing some days of Daniel fast before Easter, at my daughter’s invitation (or insistence? :-) ) I have to be mindful that as I do this fast, I want to set myself apart for God, like Daniel did. Otherwise it becomes just a new habit…
Hi Betsy! I will be here once a month for a while :). Yes, we definitely don’t want fasting to just become a habit. I have to be very intentional with it or that will happen with me. I love that you’re doing this with your daughter. What a wonderful thing to do together!
Wow,am so encouraged by the information. I have been trusting God that l get to regular fasting, to seek Him more, hear Him more clearly in my spiritual journey and grow my faith. Am so glad l stumbled on this info.
I love this post. I am a life long food addict as well. It is my KRYPTONITE!!! I have been trying (and failing) to fast for YEARS. I feel like I am just now learning truly how. I would love to link to your post in my post on fasting and share it on my Fb page this week as a featured post and a good resource for people thinking of trying to fast. I hope this is ok!! Thank you for sharing. Feel free to check out the post and your link at http://www.ParticularlyCALLED.com and facebook.com/ParticularlyCALLED