Reflections On My 40 Day Fast

Isaiah 58:3 [widescreen]

In my deliberate attempt to draw closer to God, I’ve come to learn a few crucial elements during my recent 40 days of fasting. But why 40 days you may ask? Not only was I inquiring this very question because of my love for food but of the biblical significance found in a lengthy fast. A challenge that would test my resolve both spiritually and physically. My soul would be afflicted to the point of total surrender. Moses would experience this type of fast (Ex.34:28) and so would the prophet Elijah (1 Kings. 19:8) in their attempt to commune with God. Abstinence of certain kinds of food and pleasures would be my driving gear as I pursued after a more enriching relationship with Christ.

I recall the teachings of Jesus on the sermon on the mount when He said, “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward” (Matt.6:16). My countenance must resemble that of perfect purity and simplicity of heart. On another occasion, Jesus was asked why do His disciples not fast (Matt.9:14-17)? They didn’t follow the common fasting methods of Old Testament times but instead were encouraged to adopt a more fitting approach to the fast. This would be my way of entering likewise and it would take me passed my weaknesses and inabilities.

The first couple of days was tough adjusting to detoxing my body from my favorite foods but as time persisted it began to get easier along the way. My times of prayer were elevated to a heightened degree of closeness with my Father that shook my core. Like Ezra, I would implore God (Ezra 8:23) and He would answer me. I would be lead up by the Spirit into my own personal wilderness which revealed my true self. This special revelation would shatter who I thought I was and unveil what I was created to become. My past failures forgiven and my constant fear of rejection would be replaced with unending acceptance. Relationships in my youth restored and reconciled by the power of love that could only come from knowing Christ. A clear and concise vision for the future, which I couldn’t see before, now became a wondrous search for the Holy Grail of grace.

   “This Man (Jesus) suddenly remarks one day, ‘No one need fast while I am here.’ Who is this Man who remarks that His mere presence suspends all normal rules?”

C.S. Lewis

At the end of it all, I wanted more. To taste and see that He was good enticed my spiritual senses to overload. It wasn’t the length or type of fast that made me experience this euphoria but a biblical understanding that God is readily available to meet me where I am no matter what. Some things can only be answered by prayer and fasting while seeking God’s face with extreme jubilation. My soul yearns to know more of Him, a holy hunger has developed and will soon need more encounters of this capacity. I can only speak of my experience during this time of prayer and fasting but maybe just maybe someone is reading this post wanting more out of knowing this kind of love. “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near” (Isa.55:6). Allow this verse to be your mantra, meditate day and night, chase after Him for the time dears near.

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