“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;” – Joel 2:12
Fasting is a powerful means to empower spiritual growth. Through fasting, we can purify our souls. Fasting leads us to repentance and brings us to the proximity of our God Almighty.
As a believer, we want to warrant that we are always near to our God Almighty. Because being in the nearness of our Creator is our most profound need. Fasting is a great help in achieving such a state. To help you master and practice fasting, let me share the four habits I have practiced when fasting.
Also Read: Why Fasting Is Worth Your Attention
4 Habits to Master Your Fasting
1. Strong Commitment
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3
Why do I want to fast? It is a vital question we need to ask ourselves when we intend to fast. Do you want to fast because of spiritual rejuvenation, physical, mental, and emotional healing, or is it for an absolute resolve?
Whatever your reason is, it is crucial to have a strong commitment, pray, and ask guidance. Remember that, we fast because we want to be near with our Creator. Our ordeal is our relationship with God Almighty.
Things to ask when we are planning and committing in fasting:
- Timeline – how long do I fast?
- What kind of fast I’m willing to offer and practice to please our God Almighty?
- What are the physical or social activities I will restrict?
- How much time each day, I will dedicate to prayers and God’s Word?
- What should I do after my fasting period?
The last question is a guide for us to a longer commitment. Fasting is repentance. It means that whatever negative behaviors we identified to remove within ourselves, we must commit to getting rid of it forever.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
Fasting appears so easy, but our flesh, the world, and the evil combine to all kinds of difficulties to keep us from it. It is crucial to maintain our focus intact. We must learn to say ‘No’ to our lower selves and to anything that will destruct our focus to fasting.
Here are the things we must do to keep our focus intact when fasting:
- For a beginner, start small. God is merciful. If our intention is for His glory, He will surely guide and accept us.
- Practice tolerance in terms of food. Even if we smell or see delicious food in front of us, it must not destruct us.
- Promote Self-awareness. Always think our pledge to God Almighty.
- Avoid worldly things or affairs that will arouse our desires and lust.
- Let’s put our attention to prayers, services, and religious lectures.
Services are activities that can be of help to others. For example, donations, charity works, volunteering and spreading God’s Words by group studies, etc.
“For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11
There’s no easy ways nor shortcuts. Therefore, it’s a must for us to practice self-discipline when fasting. Keep in mind that when we are fasting, we are training our souls. We train our souls so that we can respond appropriately to worldly matters. We train our souls to be always in line with the commandments of our God Almighty. We discipline our soul accordingly so we can reach righteousness, which will please our Creator.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” ̶ 2 Timothy 2:15
It is best for us to plan, schedule, and practice a routine that will best help us in our commitment, keeping our focus, and practicing self-discipline in completing our fasting. Keep in mind that we are presenting ourselves to God Almighty; therefore, we must act as a loyal and trustworthy worker. It is like when we are working. We do plan, schedule, and complete our tasks. If we get used to the routine we set, it will ease us completing our fasting.
There you have it, Lounger! I’m pleased that I’m able to share with you these four habits to master your fasting. I learned them when I started my fasting journey. It was a sharp struggle for me at first. Eventually, I discovered these four simple habits and made my fasting much more manageable than usual. Remember:
- Strong Commitment
In contrast, you will master the practice of fasting, depending on your willpower in general. Indeed, fasting is no easy spiritual discipline. You must have a firm resolve to overcome and perform needed actions in completing your fasting. Remember this passage:
“The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.” – 1 Samuel 26:23
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