Jackie McKool

Fasting, What Does God Say About It?

Fasting seems to be a part of the latest fad diet. As soon as I hear someone tell me they do an 18 hour fast (or some other large time-frame), each day, I can almost guarantee you the reason they are doing it is to lose weight, not primarily because they believe it is healthy for them. Most of the time, this type of fasting seems to be tied to some sort of restricted diet. I’m still not convinced this practice is best for ones health however. One thing that never seems to be addressed – especially by the internet marketers who also have a product to sell you along with their weight-loss recommendations i.e. not necessarily the health expert, is if you have low blood sugar, you should not be fasting. Low blood sugar is just as much of a health concern as high blood sugar as well as excess weight.

I still hold more to the school of thought “eat like a king or a queen at breakfast, a prince or princess at lunch, and a pauper at dinner.” After all, food is our fuel. Would you get into your car with the gas gauge teetering on “E” and expect to go very far? No. So how can you expect your body to? But this is actually not the kind of fasting I want to talk about today.

A Different Kind of Fast

Every year around this time, my church does a church-wide fast called a “Passover to Pentecost Fast.” It’s a spiritual fast, not a weight loss fast. I personally first started doing a spiritual fast years ago when I heard Jentezen Franklin speak a message on fasting. His church did their fast at the beginning of the year. I like this idea too – it denotes dedicating the first of the year to the Lord – mental (finances are in here), emotional, physical and spiritual. In fact, he states in his book “Fasting, the Private Discipline that Brings Public Reward” that there are three duties of every Christian – Giving, Praying, Fasting. I agree.

As my pastor preached this past Sunday, he pointed out that all the references in the Bible about fasting, were fasting from food – not T.V., internet etc. Not that these aren’t valid things we all probably could benefit from fasting from time to time, but that is not a spiritual fast. It might benefit our spirit no doubt, but that is not what God has spoken about in His Word. You might argue “yeah but there wasn’t T.V. or internet in those days or He might have included them in His commands to fast.” And I would argue back that if He meant for us to fast from anything that distracts He would have simply said that. I’m sure there were comparable distractions in the days of the Israelites, or Jesus’ time here on earth. But He didn’t. The fast was always from food.

Pastor also said if you have health challenges, you should of course check with your doctor first before going without food for a day or longer. Bingo! That statement was just another point that supports my mission – to help the Body of Christ become healthy once again. It’s just another reason, among many, why Christians should commit to restoring their bodies back to good health and denying themselves of the addictive, toxic food-like substances we put into our bodies, so we can fulfill this mandate from God – to fast from food. These toxic substances are not only making us unhealthy, they are literally killing us.

Why a Spiritual Fast

  • Biblical fasting always requires us to push away from food in order to seek the Lord and hear His Voice. Jeremiah 29:13 (TLB) says “You will find Me when you seek Me, if you look for Me in earnest.” When we seek Him with all of our hearts another version says. Do you want to know His wills and ways for your life, or do you just want to do things your way? If you truly desires His ways (which are always best by the way), then do a spiritual fast – from food.
  • We fast so that we may lift our petitions before the Lord – for healing (Imagine that! That’s the opposite of the reason to refrain from fasting!). We can also fast for breakthrough of whatever we might have been praying asking the Lord to move on: salvation for lost loved ones, finances, employment, marriages – things that are in line with His will for us – the list can go on and on. Ezra 8:21 (TLB) says “Then I declared a fast while we were at the Ahava River so that we would humble ourselves before our God; and we prayed that He would give us a good journey and protect us, our children, and our goods as we traveled.” Verse 2 goes on to say “So we fasted and begged God to take care of us. And He did.” (underlined emphasis mine)
  • While we can’t toss all of the blame on the enemy due to results from simply our poor choices in life – like consuming the addictive food-like substances we choose to eat – we don’t want to under-estimate that the enemy is always looking for an opportunity to trip us up, if not downright attack us in the areas that are not only important to us, but to God as well. 2 Chronicles 20:2 & 3 says “Word reached (King) Jehoshaphat that ‘a vast army is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea from Syria…’ Jehoshaphat was badly shaken by this news and determined to beg for help from the Lord; so he announced that all the people of Judah should go without food for a time, in penitence and intercession before God.” Have you ever felt the attacks from the enemy? Have you ever been badly shaken by some unwanted news? The verses that follow say that even the women and children fasted. Do as Jehoshaphat did – fast.
  • Fasting is a form of worship to God. In Luke 2:37 the Bible tells us that Anna, a prophetess was 84 years old. She never left the Temple but stayed there night and day, worshipping God by praying and often fasting. He is our everything, including our Healer. Doesn’t He deserve all of our praise and worship? Then fast.
  • We all have a unique, divine purpose and reason for being here on this earth. Do you know what your purpose is? If not, fast and ask God, He will answer you. In Acts 13 we learned that some of the prophets and teachers were “worshiping and fasting” and the Holy Spirit spoke to them saying that He dedicated Barnabas and Paul for a “special job I have for them.” Then after more fasting and praying the others laid hands on Paul and Barnabas and sent them on their way (to their assignment).
  • Even Jesus fasted – for 40 days in the wilderness. If Jesus found the need to fast, so should we. After all, He is our ultimate example on how to live life, and live it to the fullest.

Results of Fasting

  • Your spirit becomes uncluttered when you push the god of food aside in lieu of the Most High Living God.
  • Fast privately and God will reward you openly (Matthew 6:18)
  • Fasting keeps you sensitive to His Spirit, enabling you to live holy (the Spiritual part of the health pie).
  • Fasting prepares the way for God to give you fresh revelation, fresh vision and clear purpose.If we don’t even know why we get out of bed in the morning, what do we care if we are healthy or not? (Mental part of the health pie – our purpose).
  • Fasting can cause God to not only deliver you (do you have addictions or other enemy forces you or loved ones have been battling for years that you need delivered from?), but He can prosper you as well. Go back to 2 Chronicles and read how He delivered and prospered King Jehoshaphat and the land of Judah.
  • Fasting cleans your body, gives your body time to heal itself, gives your digestive system a rest, and fasting breaks the addictions to junk food. (Physical part of the health pie).
  • And so much more! God’s blessings are endless when we turn to Him first, honor Him with all that we have.


As a Bonus to Fasting

It creates a discipline in so many other areas of our lives where restraint is needed, least of which is breaking those food addictions. I remember the first time I did my 21 day detox and fast, I had this over-whelming desire for the Cheez-its I had been addicted to (see my blog Food Addicts, Are You One of Them?). I learned in that moment that if I was going to stay the course and honor God with my fast, I had to take control of my thoughts. I could not even allow myself one second of time entertaining thoughts about Cheez-its, and justify eating “just one” or I would blow it. That lesson has truly carried me through many other experiences in my life where I had to exercise discipline for myself and my thoughts. Take your thoughts captive the Bible says to obey Christ.

Some Final Thoughts

God will honor your fast. You may see results with whatever you were fasting for almost immediately, perhaps before your time of fasting is even over (but keep on fasting!). But it could possibly be years later, don’t despair and think that it was all for waste, I promise you it was not. God has already honored your fast – in His timing. Just like He honors our commitment to Him with our tithes and offerings, and our praise and worship. He’s not a magic genie or piggy bank, He does not react to our demands just because we think we need Him to – in that very moment, but He knows our hearts, and when they are pure before Him, He will answer us.

If you truly are a diabetic, or are on a restricted diet for other health reasons, here are the foods you CAN (and always should) fast from:

⇒ Fast Food
⇒ Fried Foods
⇒ Packaged & Processed Foods
⇒ Sugars

I promise you, by avoiding all of these foods you will not hinder your healing in any way. In fact, most likely it is what has contributed to your sickness and disease to begin with. If you are already totally avoiding all of these all the time, then I would encourage you to next eliminate all wheat, gluten and dairy from your diet – just for your time of fasting. Once again, you will live and not die and you just might be surprised at how much better you feel.

In closing, I encourage you to put first things first, put God first, and do a spiritual, Biblical fast before you ask your body to go without food for 18 hours every day. He just may end up showing you a better way – His way.

If you would like to book Dr. Jackie for a speaking engagement go to: https://jackiemckool.com/schedule-jackie/

For more on Biblical Fasting read Jentezen Franklin’s book “Fasting, the Private Discipline that Brings Public Reward”. This is an older book, I see that he has other, more recent books on fasting as well. This looks a little pricey perhaps because it’s an older book. Whichever you choose, I’m sure it will be a benefit to your fasting journey!

Or listen to Pastor Keith Gilliam’s message from Sunday, April 7, 2024 on the Living Hope Lenoir website for the live stream video (https://livinghopelenoir.com/live), or the audio (https://livinghopelenoir.com/sermon-audio)

See more of these blogs, in case you missed them, for greater insight to the Truth About Wellness:
“How to Lose Weight Holistically”
“Rest, It’s More Than You Might Think”
“You Were Made for a Purpose”

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