A Biblical Fast, No food No Water, Did you Know?Fall Feasts . Torah/Bible
When I was a child, I attended many different denominations of Christian churches, primarily, Nazarene and United Methodist. In these different congregations, the concept of fasting was often taught around Easter time, during the time of Lent. The teachings always were very similar, fasting is giving up something to show God you’re serious about whatever you are praying for. A true fast was to not eat food, but you could fast anything according to the teaching of these churches. You could fast chocolate, or television, or wearing makeup, etc. The idea is that you give up something. Now looking back, I find this concept to be very misleading, and belittling.
In scripture we read of Moses, Yeshua, and others fasting for long periods of time, even 40 days. During their fast they ate and drank nothing. Wow, that is an amazing concept to grasp. Often, we tell ourselves that was a miracle, and misunderstood. But the truth is if we go back and look into history we will find that a true fast, is to abstain from food and drink.
So, why do we teach that to give up even the littles of things is an acceptable fast to the Lord. I am not sure when or why the church leaders began to teach these things. But maybe to make it easier for people, maybe to make people feel less guilty if they couldn’t keep a true fast. I am not sure. But what I can tell you is my own personal experience.
As a child, I wanted to do a true fast at times, our church would call people to fast and prayer, and I wanted to participate. The pastor would say something like, “If it is too difficult, or medically you are unable to do a true fast, just pick something to fast, and do that.” Sadly, I think this gave me the idea that to fast was way more difficult than it is, and it also gave me an excuse to not be committed to the fast.
I was a skinny, sickly child, and every time our family would fast, I would start to feel very sick. But here is the truth, often, now and as a child, I would go many hours if not a full day without eating, and not even realize it. Even now, I can get so busy that I forget to eat. So, why can I forget to eat and be pretty ok, but I can’t purposefully fast for a day?
It is all in our mind. When we set a day aside to not eat or drink all day, we focus on that fact. Also, when we are so busy that we forget to get, we are focused on the task at hand and unaware until we stop that we didn’t eat or drink all day.
I realized several years ago, that to truly humble myself in fasting and prayer, might mean I feel a little sick or uncomfortable during the fasting, but it could be done. I realized this when I was desperate for God to answer a prayer I had. I did not know the answer, and I took it to him. I committed to fasting two days a week, until I knew He had answered my prayer. This was not always easy as a busy wife and mother, especially when I had to prepare meals for my own family. But, I committed to it and it took three months before I received the answer to that prayer. To this day, I don’t think anyone but my daughter and husband knew I was fasting all that time.
Since, then, I have found that there are times that require fasting and prayer, and I have been able to fast for multiple days in a row. I actually do find it is easier to fast when I keep busy and don’t focus on the fast.
The more difficult fasts are those where it requires full focus on the fasting and prayer. Like Day of Atonement. On the Day of Atonement we are commanded to do no work, and to afflict our soul. The Hebrew understanding of “afflict your soul” is to fast. For 24 hours, our whole family doesn’t work, focuses on the atonement that was made for us by the suffering of our Messiah, and we don’t eat or drink anything. That is a very long day, it is a solemn day. It is a set apart day.
It is true that when fasting one can feel ill. Headaches, stomach ache, maybe even vomiting. But, unless I feel my life is in danger, I have learned to continue with the fast, and to acknowledge that these unwell feelings are nothing compared to the pain and suffering of my Messiah.
I would challenge you to consider fasting. Not to lose weight, not to detox, but to follow the example set in scripture. Yeshua, fasted and taught His disciples to fast.
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Written by Katie
Things to know as you visit our site
We are Bible believing, scripture only people. We love to learn about the Hebrew roots of our faith. We believe it is important to not add or subtract from the Divine Word of God. The compiled scriptures that agree with one another and have no contradiction is the 66 books of what is commonly referred to as the Christian Bible, or the Holy Bible.
These writings were originally written by men inspired by God. They were written in the language of the writers and readers of the original documents. Many of the original documents have been lost, but God’s Word is eternal and remains. Therefore, it is important to us to study, learn, and consider the culture, history, and language of the original writers of the scriptures.
In our studies we have learned that the true name of God is Yehovah, and His son, our Messiah, is named Yeshua. Therefore, as you read our posts we will use the Hebrew names of God and our Messiah.
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