By Pastor Bobby Schuller
“…so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Of the three big disciplines that Jesus talks about in the Sermon on the Mount – charity, prayer, and fasting – fasting brings your body most into harmony with God’s love because it teaches you to realize that, “I don’t need to give my body what it wants all the time.” It helps to subdue all those things that we overdo, like overeating, too much media, compulsive shopping, etc.
If you want to do a food fast, this is how I would suggest doing it:
-Make sure you talk with your doctor before you fast because, if you have health issues that prevent it, you’ll have to fast from something other than food.
-If you’re going to fast from food and have never done it before, start by fasting one meal only, like lunch.
-If you want to fast for a day, start after dinner so that you fast through the next dinner and just drink water for that entire day.
-If you want to go hard-core for three days, drink only liquid made of one part healthy unpasteurized apple juice and two parts water. The first day is difficult, the second day is torturous, and the third day is euphoric. On that third day, at least for me, you feel like you’ve conquered it.
Whatever you do, don’t fast to prove anything to yourself. Don’t do it to prove anything to anybody else. Do it to subdue your body, train it, and teach it that God loves it and it doesn’t need food. As you fast and pray, God will allow you to discover those things hidden behind our normally compulsive behaviors – truths to help you grow…with God leading the way.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for giving me a special way to come into harmony with your love and to discover new, healthy ways of living. Amen.
Reflection: Have you ever fasted? What did you learn from the process?