A Partial fast to sensitize our spirit's to his leading. "
I will go before you and make the hard places smooth. I will break the brass doors to pieces, and cut through their iron gates. I will give you riches hidden in the darkness of things of great worth that are hidden in secret places. Then you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by name." Isaiah 45:2-3.
This was written by Isaiah after the Israelites had been exiled from their land. God was speaking directly to King Cyrus, the one who would essentially give the Israelites back their freedom and their homeland- but this was also a message to the Israelites. He wants to do this for us spiritually.
WE KNOW THAT WE ARE CALLED TO DO GOD'S WORK, AND WHAT A BEAUTIFUL THING IT IS, TO BE CALLED BY NAME (AND AN EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL THING TO BE CHOSEN). HOWEVER, ITS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO KNOW WHAT HE IS CALLING US TO, OR WHERE HE IS CALLING US. THIS IS WHY I CREATED THE 14 DAY "CALLING" FAST. TO NOT ONLY HELP US RESPOND TO HIS CALLING, BUT TO HELP SOLIDIFY A DEEPER KNOWLEDGE HIM AND WHO HE IS.. HE SO DESPERATELY WANTS US TO BE AN ACTIVE PART OF HIS PLAN. TO YIELD TO AND SEEK HIS LEADING, TO DEPEND ON HIM WITH THE ESSENCE OF OUR BEING, AND HE WANTS TO BLESS US WITH ALL THE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS THAT HE HAS FOR US THAT ARE NOT ALWAYS SEEN. THIS IS A FAST TO SENSITIZE OUR SPIRITS TO WHAT GOD IS SAYING AND WHERE HE IS LEADING US INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A CHURCH. HE IS ALWAYS MOVING, AND IT IS UP TO US TO FOLLOW HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY WITHIN THE SPIRITUAL RACE SET BEFORE US. BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE PLAN OF HOW TO CARRY OUT THIS 14 DAY FAST BUT CAN BE MODIFIED ACCORDING TO MEDICAL CONDITIONS, ALLERGIES, OR LIFESTYLE HINDRANCES.
Partial Fasting vs. Full Fasting
I have designed this example fast as a template that anyone can follow. It is a partial fast, which means, like the Daniel fast for example, there are certain foods and drinks being given up, but not all food. Since I am new to fasting, I find that this is a more conducive fast for me personally since I am still growing in this area. Eventually I do plan to work on reaching the point of a full fast. By all means, if you are used to full fasts you can easily jump right into or ease into this, but for the purposes of this plan, I will illustrate an example plan to follow as a partial fast.
This is all time that can be spent getting on our knees, diving into scripture and seeking vision, direction, and guidance in our lives. He loves us SO much, and he is JUST WAITING and yearning for us to come to HIM for our source of satisfaction, instead of turning to other things. Food is such a big thing since we are DESIGNED to eat, WIRED to eat, and since we DEPEND on food for sustenance. But since our flesh is all-encompassing, (it touches so many areas of our lives) giving into it causes us to sin, and prevents us from doing what is right, it makes COMPLETE SENSE that fasting from food would cause our flesh to weaken, and to know what it feels like on a much stronger level to be satisfied in our spirits! In addition, Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights as did David, Elijah, Ezra, Esther, John the Baptist’s disciples, Paul and many others. The first time I ever fasted I created a moment in time that was different than anything else I experienced in my walk with the Lord.
It was a time where there was such intimacy with God and the spiritual realm. It was as if everything around me faded in the physical world, and all that mattered was the spiritual realm. I could almost SEE the spiritual realm. It no longer became about what my flesh wanted, but was about the GRAND picture, the BIG picture, what God was (and is) doing! I suddenly recognized the sheer IMPORTANCE of prayer, worship, and the word of God more than ever before in my life. God began to speak things to me as if he was right there. I want this same thing for all of you and highly suggest trying it even if its your first time or you are unsure what to expect. A partial fast is better than no fast! There are many addictive chemicals in the foods we eat today which makes food an even bigger distraction. It also makes it harder to FAST but so so powerful. I pray that all of you encounter God at such a powerful level through this fast now, and many days in the future.
This week will be very similar to the Daniel fast if you have ever done it. It encourages you to give up grains (bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, oats, cereals, crackers, cookies, etc.). In addition, give up added sugars and sugar sources (besides what’s in fruit and vegetables naturally. You may have to check labels to accomplish this especially if you eat processed foods.) This includes, honey, agave, maple syrup, cane sugar, fruit juice etc.). Additionally, if you are ready, giving up meat, since it is considered a richer, heavier food. I also highly recommend to stop eating dairy products during week 1 out of the 2 weeks because of its high sugar and saturated fat content (also being rich). This is very similar to the Daniel fast. The foods you will focus on here are fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, nut butters, oils and seeds to be getting your carbs, protein and fat sources from. It is possible to get plenty of nutrients on this diet anyway, so don’t be surprised if once you get past the cravings (2-3 days) you begin to feel much more focused, have more energy as well as have more sensitivity to the Holy spirit’s leading and calling.
If you have medical conditions that prevent you from fasting you will still be able to participate in a partial fast since it does not restrict caloric intake, but rather encourages avoidance of heavy foods. There is no limit to how much of these foods you can eat, however it is encouraged not to overeat them since the focus should be more on prayer than on food during this time. I also encourage you to limit or avoid electronic usage for leisure (obviously outside of work use), for that same reason.
The second half of the fast is designed to lessen the amount of calories you are taking in, causing you to be more dependent on the Lord during this time. This is the time that those with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer or those on certain medications will need approval for by their doctor. Otherwise, you can continue on just the same as week 1. Anyone else may now remove nuts and beans from your meals, however I personally am sensitive to extremely low amounts of protein in my diet, so I do incorporate a pure hemp powder once per day, however this is optional. I recommend lots of salads (a variety of vegetables, fruits bowls, smoothies, stir fries, soups etc. as meals). It will be hard to get enough protein this week and even carbohydrates but this is the week that we will be pressing in to the Lord the most. HE will become the one we lean on, the one who we listen to, and seek for sustenance, direction and purpose.
Join us in answering your calling stronger than you ever have before! He calls to us, he waits for us, and he yearns for us. Will we answer him? Come running to him? And allow the ONE who has designed the very essence of your being to SATISFY it? I pray your spirit become FULL to the brim from knowing your savior deeper than you ever have. I would also encourage you to seek prayerful support from the rest of your church body!