“How many of you have never fasted before?” As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I knew this was a time people wouldn’t want to be honest in church.
But they were.
At least 90% of those at OneLife Church this past Sunday – if not more – raised their hands. And they are not alone as the vast majority of American Christians have never fasted, either.
But if we’re going to have the best year ever in 2018, we’re going to have to do things we’ve never done before. So we’re going to fast for just one day – tomorrow – as a church and see what God does!
Here are three simple things you need to do to fast for the first time.
1. Determine what you are in need of. What is the breakthrough you need God to do in your life? What are you begging God to show you? Teach you? Change in you? Reveal to you? What is so BIG that only He could get the credit for it? This is what you will pray for as you fast.
2. Determine what you will fast. We all have “lifelines” we turn to that help us feel better. They aren’t bad things, either. When we are hungry, food makes us feel better. After a long day at work, vegging out to some Netflix makes us feel better. When I feel a little lonely or bored, hopping on social media or shooting out some texts makes us feel better. And the list could go on. Fasting is simply a voluntary and temporary denial of one of these otherwise normal functions for the sake of intense spiritual activity. Determine what “lifeline” that you normally depend on to pick you up throughout your day that will be given up for the fast.
3. Trade in your normal lifeline for a supernatural lifeline. Giving up that thing will reveal cravings. Lots and lots of cravings. But take the time, attention, and bandwidth you normally give to that pick-me-up throughout your day and give that time, attention, and bandwidth to Jesus. If you fast food, when you get hungry and want that meal to make you feel better, turn to Jesus and beg him for your breakthrough. Maybe you turn your phone off for the day and fast everything-mobile-device for a day. When your hand naturally reaches to check notifications or the latest cat video on facebook, take that time and attention and ask God to reveal something so BIG only he can get the credit!
Whatever it is, fasting will reveal what truly controls you and will be an opportunity to let Jesus be your pick-me-up and the only thing that fills you up for a day…and hopefully every day thereafter, too.
I’m praying for you as you take on this challenge, and believing it will be the first of many fasts for you in 2018!