02 June 2009

My 40 Day Fast - Part 1

Let me just start off saying this, there's nothing you can do that's more humbling and more powerful than fasting and prayer.

On October 1st, 2008, I initially decided to go on a 3 day fast. I've never really fasted all that much (besides one meal) and the longest I've ever fasted was for one lousy whole day. It's sad, but you have to understand that I can get a serious bad headache if I don't eat (not to mention a really bad attitude). Jennifer says I turn into a brat when I'm really hungry. She's right. ~:-D Even my family gets on to me when I don't eat. They'll say something like, "Dathan! Go eat something now"!!! So, this should show you how ill I get when I don't eat. I'm definitely not fun to be around when I'm really hungry.

First off, I wanted to be sure my heart and motives were in the right place and that I was fasting for all the right reasons. I started reading books and doing some research. I even started asking around to see what others did when they fasted. I only know of one other person whose fasted food for all 40 days (Bryan Spencer). Also, I finally came to the conclusion that the only real fast that makes a difference is not eating. I was so disappointed that I couldn't just fast desserts/Coke's/internet etc. Well, I could have settled, but I felt I would be cheating. I mean, I knew I had a problem with bad headaches and having a bad attitude when I didn't eat, but I wanted some real answers from God. Trust me! I really wasn't looking forward to starving myself. You see, the Bible mentions that some answers to prayer don't come, but through prayer AND fasting (Mark 9:29). I truly believe we don't see some miracles and answers because we don't pray and fast. I finally looked at my life's situations. I started seeing the hearts of others and the struggles my family and friends were going through. And, I wanted God to really make a difference in my life, my family and the people around me. I simply decided that there were more important things than stupid food. The answers that I wanted were more important than eating. I wanted lives to be dramatically changed. I wanted my life to dramatically change. I wanted Jesus to use me in every way possible. I wanted my unsaved friends to come to Jesus. And, I just wanted so badly for God's plans to trump any plans I made. I wanted to know the creator of the universe more than I'd ever known Him before. Finally, I'm co-leading praise and worship at my church now and I surely wanted my heart to be in the right place in order to lead God's people in his favorite. How dare I not have my heart and motives in the right place while leading His people! I decided that the least of these reasons were more than enough to make the sacrifice.

I also learned that there's really no better time to fast than right now. I read in Jentezen Franklin's book "Fasting", how his church fasted at the beginning of every New Year. It made perfect sense to fast after all the feasting holidays. There's nothing really special happening at the beginning of the year. Plus, it's time for New Year's resolutions anyway. However, I wanted answers now. I wanted my faith and passion for Christ to grow in me and the people around me. And, I didn't want to wait for January of 2009 to come around to start.

Where did I get the idea to do this? Well, it all started when I heard about my friend's (Lori's) mom who was fasting for 3 days and how God was beginning to show her prophecy and giving her some real answers to prayer. I was amazed at the impact that it made on Lori's life and her family. I was so impressed at how fasting was blessing the lives around her mom. In the past, my mom would always talk about fasting and how important it was. Every now and then I would see that she was not eating. I knew what she was doing. I was always humbled and amazed at how awesome my mom was to make such a sacrifice. She was my biggest inspiration. And, do you know how hard it is to give up food!? It's something that everyone knows is difficult. That's why, in the past, fasting wasn't for me. There was no way I could give up food for more than one day. I knew I couldn't because of all the stupid headaches I would get. I knew I couldn't because of the amount of times (5-6) I would eat a day and how much protein my diet, exercising and weight training demanded. You have to also know how hard I work at keeping my body in shape and staying healthy. For few people muscles come easy, for me, not so much. To make the smallest improvements calls for really hard work and determination. Anyone with little knowledge of how the body works knows that any extended fast basically kills all the hard work you put into building muscle. Plus, you always have the devil sitting there whispering anything he can to make you doubt or persuade you not to fast for any reason. I finally made a decision to put all these doubts, issues and unknowns behind me.

More to come...

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