“New year new me”. That’s what many of us have in mind when starting out the New Year. Putting our New Year resolutions together, and buckling down on our goals. For many Christians, we start the new year out with a good fast to set the tone for our flesh.
As we read in the Bible, a fast is created for us to draw closer to God, and away from distractions. Many people in the Bible fasted, but Jesus is always my primary example. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, sacrificing what pleases his stomach to please our Father. A fast is all about sacrifice. Giving up that which we enjoy, as an offering to show our seriousness and love towards God. Without sacrifice, it's not truly a fast.
There is power in fasting. Such a power, that Jesus even advised that somethings could only be done through this kind of devotion (Mark 9:29).
With all this being said, my church asked everyone to do a “raw” fast. Yeah, this would be relatively similar to the “Daniel fast”. Only thing we were challenged to discipline ourselves to eat was raw foods. Fruit, veggies, nuts....etc. Nothing cooked.
I found out about the church fast the day before the new year. I honestly didn’t have it in mind to do a fast, so this church fast took me by surprise. I usually try to mentally prepare myself whenever I’m about to fast, because I like food lol. Then, I’ve never done a raw fast before, but I was up for the challenge. But when I started to think about my job (I’m a fire fighter and we work 24 hr shifts), I begin to think about how we don’t get proper sleep sometimes, and our bodies are all over the place. From mentally fatigued with something like a cardiac arrest, to physically fatigued with a fire or training - Yes, we do more than get cats out of trees lol.
I had my mind set that I wanted to fast with my church, but I didn’t think that the raw fast would be a good idea. So I decided to just do a “vegetarian fast” on the days I work, and a regular fast (no food) for 1 day I’m off a week (we work 1 to 3).
As a couple weeks had went by in the fast, I begin to see that everything was staying the same. My everyday routine was staying the same; the only thing that changed was my meal regimen. I begin to see that this “fast” wasn’t focused around God, it was more focused around what to eat and not eat.
This should never be so. A fast should be solely focused and centered around Christ. Sacrificing our fleshly satisfactions, and replacing them with devotion. Although we discipline ourselves of certain foods (if any), the meal plan should never be the main focus. Which is what I did. So, I stopped my fast because this fast wasn’t a fast at all. It was just a diet.
See, the key difference between a diet and a fast is this: A diet is more designed to change the outside. Self. A fast is designed to strengthen the inside. Christ. If our focus isn’t Christ, it’s gonna be about losing weight, looking good, keeping up with the church folks...etc. Flesh. God desires us to sacrifice our flesh for Him. And God showed me this in my fake fast. Lol. But this wasn’t just for me; He wanted me to share this with everyone with an ear.