I never thought I would write this down. However today that 8th of November I find myself doing just that, writing down my experience in fasting.
Fasting to me was easy, so I didn’t fast. I could go without meals and it would not trouble me. I stopped fasting due to this for many years and lost an important aspect of my Christianity without being aware of it. Over the years the quantity I ate also reduced and I put that down to ageing.
Then came 2018 and my relationship with God grew, my prayer life had grown. I had been practicing contemplative prayer now for two years consistently. I found myself looking to free myself from the bondages I had got myself into over the years. I tried prayer. I tried making promises. I tried will power. I tried talking to my brothers to see if they knew something I never knew. I cried out to God. I asked him to deliver me from my sin. I asked Jesus to forgive me my sin. I remained a sinner. It was like hitting my head on a wall.
Then one day Ravi gave me a book on fasting. The Heavenly Man by Paul Hattaway, I went on to read three other books on fasting The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting by Mahesh Chavda, The Ministry of Fasting and Practical Helps in Fasting Long Fasts, both written by Zacharias Tanee Fomum.
My journey into fasting began. The first fast I did was a three day fast, I was at home those days so I didn’t have any external distraction. I started on a journey, understanding that man does not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. When it was time to eat I tried to read the Bible, however I forgot quite often. By the end of the fast I was distracted by the thought of what I was going to eat when the fast was over. I then realized what Jesus felt when satan offered him something to eat.
A few months later I did a seven day fast. The community retreat was coming up, I felt this was a great preparation for the retreat. This time I read the Bible during meal times. The first three days I went to office the remainder I was at home or at the community retreat. I continued my normal activities including my daily exercise. However on the fifth day during the retreat I started suffering from a lot of acidity. I started vomiting a lot of liquid and this drained me so much so I had to stop attending the retreat, I could not walk steadily or sit for long. I could not understand this, my preparation had shown that people continued normally during this phase. When I prayed I realized that it was a spiritual attack to stop my fast. I however went on to complete the fast satan should not have victory. By the evening following the fast I took a walk of four km. The next day I did my regular daily exercise. This proved to me that my vomiting and weaknesses was a spiritual attack. I normally don’t get visions but the second day after my fast. I was sitting down after my prayer, I saw a group of people walking by. I saw myself between them. I was stumbling and then I fell. The next thing I saw two people on either side of me stoop down catch me under my arms and lift me up and help me continue my journey accompanying me along the way. I knew then that God had sent me help when I needed it. The surprising thing was people I knew were critical of my choice of when I chose to fast. I went on to research the effects of long fasts, I didn’t find anything or anyone who had the same experience. I was satisfied that God had been with me.
During the fast God gave me this scripture.
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
This is my journey my fight against bondage and the victory I look forward to.
I have had benefits, my appetite has improved
My fight against anger. I see victory here. I am no longer getting angry easily.
I am at peace with myself and my God, I know now he is with me.
I have since done a two day fast for an upcoming retreat. I look forward to God breaking the bondage of those attending the retreat.
God bless you…