I went on The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin in early 2004, and it completely changed my life. I’ll post much more on health issues at a later time, but today I want to comment on one of the important aspects of his diet. Of course, it’s hardly anything he invented…in fact, many Christians and observers of other religions practice it today: it’s called fasting. And it’s all over the Bible, though once I didn’t really realize that. But through my personal experiences as well as my investigation of Scripture, I’m now convinced that fasting should be a key aspect of a Christian’s daily life.
My original, faulty understanding of what a fast looks like was that you don’t eat and possibly don’t drink anything for days on end, and since it’s dangerous you only want to do it in drastic circumstances as the Lord leads. For instance, Jesus’ food fast in the wilderness for 40 days, or Esther’s food/drink fast for 3 days — definitely “out there”. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact, some people today go on fasts such as these. The most I’ve fasted is two days, drinking only purified water, and that alone was a physical strain — though an amazing spiritual experience.
No, the real definition is simple: refrain from doing something you normally do for a period of time and dedicate that time to the Lord. Usually that involves food. The Bible records that Daniel fasted for a time from meats, so it wasn’t a complete food fast. Some people fast from all food and water for a short period of time, which can be pretty drastic. Another concept of fasting can be related to other activities in a Sabbath-like manner. For instance, I and other people I know have gone on “media fasts”, where we refrain from watching TV or surfing news sites or listening to talk radio, or whatever. You’d be surprised how difficult that is…in a way, even more so than giving up food!
So, why fast? I’ll leave that to a future post, but I can give you a personal answer right now: every time I fast, I never regret it. Giving up physical sustenance and trusting in the Lord for spiritual sustenance is one of the best things you can ever do in life. It’s the opposite action of a selfish man.