Several months ago, a reliable source recommended a book on fasting.
I am not going to lie. I was supremely skeptical.
Written from a worldly perspective, the author marshals forth several medical and health related reasons for fasting and its benefits. His many years of research on the subject plus his experience as the director of a fasting clinic combined to make a compelling case.
So, earlier this year, I fasted for 3.5 days. Then, for five days about six weeks later and for four days in May.
Here is what I have concluded: Because of the intense, God-given survival instinct within each of us, a multi-day fast naturally causes your body to start up the process of ridding itself of things which are detrimental to it. Unhealthy cells are killed off and eliminated from the body in this attempt to increase the chances of survival. Fat cells are activated to begin their use as energy sources in the body’s attempt to improve the chances of survival should the lack of food continue for a long period of time.
As counter intuitive as it sounds: a multi-day fast does improve your physical health.
This got me to pondering if fasting for spiritual reasons could not aid the process of ridding one’s soul of things that are detrimental to it.
- Saul of Tarsus was so spiritually distressed by the realization of his sin and wickedness he fasted for three days and nights (Acts 9:9). Did his fast and immediate obedience to Ananias’ instruction improve his spiritual health (Acts 22:16)?
- The heartbreaking news concerning the spiritual lethargy of his brethren in Jerusalem caused Nehemiah to fast (Nehemiah 1:3-4). Did his fasting, prayer, and willingness to act (by traveling to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall) improve his spiritual health?
Just as fasting can greatly improve your physical health, it can also greatly improve your spiritual health.
Is your soul needing a good fast?