Most of us are not good at denying ourselves of anything. We are great at doing whatever it takes to have our desires fulfilled. We want it all, and we want it now. Instant and complete gratification is king! That’s why fasting is such a lost spiritual discipline in our buy-on-credit-instant-drive-through-same-day-delivery culture.
While I too don’t exactly like the idea of denying my flesh of food in fasting, I find that my best preparation for a fast is to focus on the DEEPER DESIRES of my heart/spirit, the ones that often get neglected in the business and noise of my regular life routine.
David who had everything as a king, still wrote that
“One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27v4)
This is the real “desire of our hearts”, and I find that when I acknowledge this real deep desire within me it actually awakens that desire, and as that desire increases in my spirit, so does my ability to deny other appetites strengthen.
Fasting is most powerful when you do it out of DESIRE – a desire that says “shut up” to all the other appetites of your flesh, quieting down their scream for attention while you slowly tune in to the presence and voice of the One who alone can fully satisfy you. At this point, you are fasting out of desire, not by denial…
So today, don’t be so obsessed about what you are denying yourself, but rather become more and more obsessed with what you truly desire…
“Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37v4)
If you are on a longer fast, I find that days 2 and /or 3 are often the most physically difficult, especially if your system is full of junk! This is when your body starts getting rid of the toxins and this results in headaches etc. The good news is that on the other side of this is a physical health and alertness and even strength that is worth pressing through to!