I think I’m the only person alive who can gain weight while fasting. It’s true ... milkshakes are a liquid, so they're fair fasting territory ... right?
Maybe you can identify. I fasted wrongly for three reasons:
Why didn't fasting seem to be as awesome and helpful for me as it was for everyone else? I believe it was because I was fasting to manipulate God and get STUFF, rather than fasting to get HIM. I was not fasting as a love offering to Him; seeking God first was not my primary objective in fasting.
I was alone with the Lord one day, having my quiet time of prayer and Bible study. Suddenly, I was so overwhelmed with love for Jesus that the thought came to mind that I wanted to skip breakfast that day as a gift to Him — offering my opportunity to feed my face to Him as a gift, telling Him that I wanted Him more than I wanted an egg sandwich.
I felt like I was offering Him my sandwich because He was hungry — and because I cared more about His company than I cared about food.
So, I skipped breakfast that day … and that is when I discovered that fasting could be like a dance, a waltz with my Savior, instead of like 'doing penance' so I could comply with someone's Good Christian List.
That first victorious fast was only one meal. However, that morning I had a tremendous experience with the Lord. I was so aware of His presence. I felt the urge to pray with more power than I had experienced in a long time. I was fired up for Jesus.
It was like I had given Him something of value to me—one small meal only, but it was a love offering love to Him—and He was giving me the world in return.
After that, I stopped fasting to manipulate God. As a matter of fact, I stopped fasting at all for awhile; I wanted my heart to be right when I tried it again. So I just sought God, and finally I started little by little doing small fasts again.
Why? Because I was — and am — hungry for Jesus, and I am offering my sandwich (or my breakfast cereal, or whatever) to my Bridegroom.
I can’t fast to get God to move anymore. Yes, I pray for specific things when I fast — and He answers! But mostly, what I fast and pray for is that I just want Him. I want to love on Him and offer Him something of value to me. I want to warm His heart with my gift of food. I want to set aside that time, take my eyes off food, and look at Him instead.
I don’t want to manipulate God anymore. I just want to fast as an offering to Him, a sacrifice of love that will warm His heart and show Him that He is worth anything to me.
I began to draw closer to Him than ever before. I started to get my passion and fire for God back. I became hungry for Him again. I began to see miracles happen in my life.
It’s almost like God meant it when He said that we should seek His face. It’s almost like He meant it when He said to seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things would be added to us.
So I’m going to continue seeking God's face through fasting. I can't do it on my own, but He will help me. I have been a fasting failure, but now I just want Jesus.
If so, imagine Jesus sitting across the table with you. Give Him your sandwich, your dessert, your breakfast, lunch, or dinner — whatever you're fasting. Imagine yourself staring into His eyes, and ask Father God to help you offer the sweet love offering of fasting to Jesus, your Savior.
Then, check back tomorrow for Step 2!
Note: Did you know that you can fast for yourself, OR you can fast for others? It's true! If you are planning to fast and pray for God to intervene in someone else's life, read my encouraging article On Intercessory Fasting!