Today was the fourth time that I've fasted from food in the last few months. Each time that I fast I love it so much, and think to myself that I should do it more often. So I'm noting some of this here, in hopes to remind and encourage myself to fast more often.
I am not someone who likes to miss a meal. I love food. I love cooking. I love eating. I eat 3 meals, 2 snacks, and 1 dessert every day. I think about food often. My favorite recreational reading is cookbooks. I love menu planning. I love reading and trying new recipes. Perhaps I love all of this stuff too much. But it's because I'm so passionate about these things that I feel so passionate about fasting from food. To take a day to step back and say that although I really enjoy these things, I love God more, so much more that it seems ridiculous to compare my affection for Him to my affection for food. To take a day to let Him be my bread (John 6:25-29, John 6:35) my sustenance, my energy. A day to use all of the time that I would normally spend thinking about, preparing, and eating food to meditate on Him and His word. A day with less distraction from Him. A day in which my hunger pangs continue to turn my mind to Him, reminding me to seek Him, His presence, and His strength to be made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
It awes me at just how supernaturally God sustains me through my fasts. On a normal day once I start getting hungry my mind seems to get cloudy, I become foggy headed, irritable, and preoccupied with food. Yet on the days that I fast my mind is always so much more clear and focused than normal. I tend to feel a lot closer to the Lord. I tend to hear His voice more clearly. He tends to surface icky things inside my heart that I've been suppressing, so that He may offer me freedom in these areas.
I do not have significant breakthrough with every fast, but I do tend to feel significantly closer to the Lord during the length of the fast. Fasting is not a formula or manipulation tool for hearing God, but it is just one small way of being able to lay down my will and desires and put the Lord above them.
Fasting is not something to be dreaded. It is not something to be done while groaning and complaining. It is a privilege that we should joyfully undertake, and joyfully carry out. If we spend our whole time fasting having a negative heart and thinking about how hard it is then we have preoccupied ourselves with the negative and probably missed the positive altogether. So when you fast, remember that you are fasting for the glory of God, and do so accordingly!