Let’s face it, the first few days of any lengthy fast are tough. Depending on the type of fast or what you chose to fast, your body goes through some level of withdrawal and detoxification. Both good things, but not pleasant. You are doing a super fantastic thing for your body, soul, mind and spirit; but before the fantastic sets it, there is a season of uncomfortableness. The revelation that I alone determine the level of my uncomfortableness came to me during my first lengthy fast.
After my first 21 day fast, I determined, from that day forward, I would not allow my spiritual breakthroughs to be hindered or altered in any way due to my inability to control cravings. I can experience breakthrough much faster if I am not intensely battling my flesh on top of doing spiritual warfare. I can focus on the why for my fast with more intensity if the withdrawal and detoxification time is lessened. There will be some level of fleshly fighting with each fast you do. Denying the body food will bring a battle in your flesh and there is no way around that. But you can determine the intensity of that battle by controlling what feeds your flesh in between the periods of fasting. For instance, I choose to follow a gluten-free diet because of the benefits it brings to the skin condition have. As a result, fasting breads, pastas and grains is not a challenge for me. Because traditional forms of those things are not part of my normal diet, denying the gluten free varieties of those items during a fast is not difficult. What is difficult for me is the denial of sugar and/or caffeine. I indulge in dark chocolate covered pomegranates or blueberries with my afternoon coffee (always black, refer to my post titled, Give It To Me Straight). I enjoy the challenge of taking my favorite traditional recipes and turning them into gluten free treats for my family. Although I use alternative flours and organic, natural sugars, it is still sugar. Because it is sugar, when I fast, I still have uncomfortable days as my body detoxifies. When I feel God urging me to fast, I can begin to make preparations in my daily consumption to shorten the period of uncomfortableness. I alone control what goes in and how intense the uncomfortable time will be.
Hopefully at this point in your fast you are long past the uncomfortable days. I encourage you to take time during the last few days to examine how you feel and determine if some lifestyle changes are in order. We will talk in the coming days about how to properly end your fast, but begin to think now about the things you can control that might make your next fast a less intense battle with your flesh. By decreasing the fleshly battle you will be able to focus more on the whys of your next fast and see greater results. Continue to write in your journal and keep record of the struggles, the victories and the answered prayers. Your fasting journal will be a testament to your spiritual growth as you prepare and begin your next fast. As you revisit those pages you will be inspired by your own spiritual growth.
See you tomorrow!