I FIND IT HARD TO FAST, WHAT CAN I DO?
Yes, you are right! fasting is really hard to do. it’s hard because it’s a war against our desire. It’s hard because you won’t be able to give the body what it demanded for. it’s hard because our relaxing and pleasure time must give way. i know it’s hard to fast and don’t be troubled you are not alone in this. Thank God you open this article to seek help, you have moved a step away from the rest, who cannot fast and don’t even bother about it. It was hard for me then to but no more. Fasting is not just a religious ritual. Fasting is deeper and has root in the world of the supernatural. Every great and strong man (in all religious practice) are all fasting men. Every spiritual man is a fasting man.
You cannot separate fasting and prayer from the spiritual world. You cannot separate fasting from the supernatural. When you really desire to experience the supernatural in your life, fasting becomes your food. The more you pursue after God, the more you will realize that nothing comes on a platter of gold. Everything in the realm of the spirit has a price tag. And fasting and prayer are one of the core prices to pay for a natural man to be familiar with the supernatural.
No wonder we have few men who are truly working and walking in the supernatural realm. The more you go deeper in the things of God, the more the price of fasting and prayer that you need to pay.
Our Lord Jesus also said it “howbeit this kind doesn’t go without prayer and fasting”. There is a level in your Christian journey where all you need to survive is just prayer but when you rise to a level, you will see that more prayer is required. Yet if you desire to climb more and become a voice in the realm of the spirit, you will require adding constant fasting to your fervent prayer.
It is a pity that many who are called Christians are feasting when they suppose to fast; even some so call “men of God” are just there devouring delicacies morning and night for seven days. Yet we are crying for revival. Yet we are crying to carry real fire. Yet we are shouting to hold the ancient mantle.
Let no one deceive you, the death of the Lord Jesus didn’t eradicate fasting and prayer as some ‘pastors’ are teaching. Grace is not a license to laziness. You can be a Christian under grace and yet you are molested and harassed seriously by devil as if you don’t have Jesus.
I have come to see in Christian world that those who claim Christ have paid it and refuse to fast, in no time turn to those who do fast when real trouble surface. Have you ever wonder why all our fathers of faithful are still fasting even till now at their age.
Pastor E. A. Adeboye, engage in 40 days dry fasting like three times a year (not talking of the constant fasting that preceed the Holy Ghost Services). Bishop David Oyedepo fasted till blood was coming out of his mouth. You can count how many times Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper Life Church eats in the whole year. Prophet S. K Abiara of the Christ Apostolic Church fasted to the extent that God said now you are old, you fsting is enough (according to him). What about Dr. D. K. Olukoya (The great general of deliverance), what are Apostle Joshua Selman, what about Apostle Arome Osayi, what about those men of God across the nation and the world. They all have turn fasting to be their normal way of life.
No wonder we have not experience half of what they had experience in the faith. There is no two way about it. For you to be noticeable and relevant in this world, branded in heaven and noted in hell, you must be a fasting practicing Christian.
In the book of Mark 2;19-20, Jesus stressed the importance of fasting. “Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were often fasting. So people came to Jesus and asked, “Why don’t your disciples fast like John’s disciples and those of the Pharisees?” 19Jesus answered, “Can the guests of the bridegroom fast while He is with them? As long as He is with them, they cannot fast. 20But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast”.
The most reason why it is necessary for every Christian to fast is because we are God’s temple, we host God’s Spirit. We are God’s Shrine. No one approach a shrine carelessly. No one perform duty in a shrine carelessly. Even the priests in the Old Testament days were extra careful. Yet the now a days’ Christian claim to house God’s spirit yet are carelessly about it. For me I’m a SHRINE and am careful how I handle myself.
I must note here that most Christians do fast at least the usual annul fast in every church or the periodic fast of one a month while many don’t even fast at all. But one thing I have known, since I was small and now I’m old, every tangible and noticeable thing in the kingdom is attained by consistence. You must be consistent. It’s not about one time 7 days 6-6 fast or one time 3 days dry fasting but if its only 6-3pm you can do consistently you will do more and climb higher more than the one who is during 7 days dry once a year.
What Went Wrong
Don’t be deceived, you cannot separate Christianity from fasting and prayer. For you to be effective as a Christian and be all that Christ wants you to be, you must engage constantly in fasting and prayer. Everyone in the Christian community is familiar with the word “fasting”. Right from childhood to adult (everyone), even those who don’t practice the art of fasting.
The church community is built in such a way that from childhood, the basic of Christianity is being instilled and practiced, you learn to go to church daily, you learn to pray, you learn to fast, to read the word of God but unfortunately the majority of the church has no system in place to aid their members to continuous yielding to the things of God as they grow from childhood to adulthood.
Check the community, majority of the people on the street who has no business with church have been in the church before. Many served in departments but what went wrong. The desire of the things of the world (quest for fame, success and power) is to strong than the desire to yield to the things of God.
The same factor is the cause for prayerlessness, the same factor is responsible for the problem of not constant with the fellowship of the brethren and a dying fasting life. It’s good to be successful, I am and still working towards more of it but it can become dangerous for your life when your crave for success is more that your crave for the things of God. Yet, you need to work, you need to go to school but it must be balanced so that one aspect of life will not suffer. If you neglect your work because you want to fast and pray, you are on the way to poverty oooo, don’t say I don’t tell you o. also if you neglect prayer and fasting and pursue work, you will spend all your life saving on troubles that is beyond what money can solve. So balance it.
What do you need to do to reactivate fasting and balance your life?
- Make a decision and start: I mean right now even as you read, don’t wait make a decision to fast, make a decision to go back to do what you use to do when you coming up as a young Christian. Make a decision to go back to your first love. Remember the prodigal son, the turning point of his life is looking back to the way things were. He made a decision to go back right on the spot and he left immediately. He didn’t wait till the next day. For you to reactivate your prayer and fasting life; make a decision about it and start again. Don’t wait for the right time, don’t push it till weekend. When you do you have given devil enough free windows to attack your resolution. Beloved, you can start right away, why don’t you go ahead and pray even right now. Pause and pray to Jesus, you have left the principles of the scripture but you are ready to come back. Why don’t you move a step further by declaring to fast tomorrow. Yes, I mean tomorrow.
- Start small: I strongly believe in small beginning, I believe in starting small. I learnt that from Bishop T. D. Jakes message Great Things Comes In Small Packages (I recommend it).
I practiced it and it worked for me. Everything you see in our life and the ministry God committed to us doesn’t just start like this. There were days of little beginning; when we are learning to fast, learning to pray for 30 minutes, learning to preach and to teach. Glory to God for where we are now.
The problem with most of us is that we always aim to start big even when we have not started anything but I have learnt to start small and grow big. Never think fasting is the duty for ministers of God alone and you begin to think that’s why it’s easy for them to fast. No sir, fasting and prayer are necessary for all believers to enforce and experience total victory on their journey of Christianity.
The first time I fasted, I did it till 7pm before I broke the fast and that was in J. S. S 1 (Junior Secondary School 1). I never knew I will end up as a full time minister of the gospel. Yet I did it out of a desire to know God. The first time I tried 3-days dry fasting, ooohh! Lord, it was war sir. I couldn’t do it. I broke the first day fast with fruit around 9pm and I was happy eagerly waiting for the next day but by the time I woke up the next day I don’t have choice than to eat because I was really hungry. Yet I didn’t give up, the second time I tried 3 days dry fasting (no water, no food), I did it because I was determined to do it. What am I trying to say?
I’m telling you to start your fasting schedule with a small scale even if you fail to keep it, don’t give up. You can start you fasting till 12pm, 3pm. Just be consistent. Make sure you have at least a day of fasting out of the week. You can’t have a robust spiritual life when you eat all through the week.
- Spend time with God: What is the concept of fasting in real sense? Let me deal with this in this section. We are brought up to believe fasting is when you deny yourself food and water for a particular period. As right as it may sound, fasting is beyond that. Fasting is a self denial of physical pleasure to pursue spiritual things i.e. denying yourself of certain things to spend time with God.
Have you noticed when you fast, you are spiritually alerted, you are careful of your actions and reactions. Fasting is not a force to compel God to do something as we were taught but fasting is a spiritual tool to break and tear down barriers and weights that will hinder access to see the glory of God.
Notice the key word from above, when you fast, you must dedicate quality time to spend with God. When you fast and separate yourself from what you normal do, that fill that vacuum by giving God the attention you’ve created. Many of us fast and spend all time watching t.v. operating phone, gisting with friends and only pray for 15 minutes when you want to break. This is wrong. That’s why it seems you are fasting but there is no effective.
What to do when you fast
- Listen to sermon (you can pick sermons based on the purpose of your fast)
- Create time to pray (spend quality time to communicate with God and not with your friends. If you are at work or in school, you can go to the toilet or go for a short walk and pray for 15 minutes. If you do that every 2 hours, you will discover that you can even pray for 1hour while at work or school).
Click here to read How to Engage In Long Hour Prayer to learn more on how to pray when you are down and busy.
- Worship God with songs (even while working or in the bus play worship songs and sing silently along.)
- Put a smile on someone fast (This is where most of us missed the mark. Isaiah 58 pointed the key to engaging an effective fasting. It’s not in the self denial itself but what you do when you are fasting. How do you treat your neighbors? Your fasting is of no effect when all you do is to scream at your neighbor all because you are fasting. Note that our fasting doesn’t move God; your fasting is unto yourself and service unto others. It is what you do during the course of the fasting that will attract His glory. Help someone in kind and cash, even if you don’t have anything to help with you have your prayer. Pray for someone.
- Read the word: until you are acquainted with the written word, you won’t be acquainted with the spoken word. Most of us neglect the written word pursing after the spoken word of God. We prayed and fasted for 3 days or 7 days but ended up frustrated because we didn’t hear any word from God. No sir!
God is not a talkative, He has spoken but we fail to realize it. The bible is fully the word of God, it’s your duty to search it out. Have come to find out that most of the answers we are waiting to hear God’s voice for are in the bible.
Therefore, when you fast study the word relating to the purpose of the fast. You will always receive an instruction to act upon from the word.
God’s voice is on the pages of the scripture, search it. When God speaks audible, He’s not saying a new or different thing, He will always speak to confirm and complement what’s written in the scripture. At most He speaks audible for specification. Why then waste 3 days waiting to hear the audible voice / vision when you have the bible at your reach. Study it and you will surely hear God.
Fasting is easy when you approach it with the mind to fellowship with God. It is a thing you should do at least once a week. The more you fast, the more you are aligning yourself to the things of the spirit. The more you are tearing down barriers and shedding weights that will hinder your access to His Majesty. Start today and don’t wait.
I see you burn for God
Thanks for reading this long; we believe this write up is helpful. Please feel free to comment below and share this write up to your friends and family. It can save a brother/sister.
There is a beginning to every end.
©Oladimeji Olayinka Joseph