“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel 9:3
This past week our church starting a 21 day fasting. Unfortunately I have a history of hypoglycemia (suffering from low blood sugar). I have fasted from many things: soda, candy, tv and even once from food. Growing up I was made to believe that true fasting can only be done if you fast from food but when you have a medical condition how do you justify that?
People have told me that it should not matter if a person has a medical condition. Stating it’s possible for them to go without food because with God all things are possible. Then I have heard others, including pastors, say that God wants you to give up the desire of your heart in order to desire Him more and in Bible times people typically desired food. Many views have been spewed in my direction, as each person feels that their view is the correct one.
It is a matter of the heart, not your stomach.
I have to admit, even though my fasting list does not seem like a person could struggle from it, I did. Addiction comes in all forms. These were mine. Suffered through a form of withdraws, the worst being soda and food. Lack of soda caused headaches and lack of food decreased my blood sugar significantly. The day I fasted food, which was so long ago. I do not remember whether it was a meal or all day, I had to drink electrolyte packed drinks in order to maintain. When I say maintain I really mean it was to prevent me from passing out.
I managed to accomplish my goal but was so focused on how sick I was that I cannot say for sure how focused I was on God.
Our hearts are the issue, not the tool being used against us.
So then, what is the answer? Start in prayer. If you know you would like to do a fast, for God, then pray for his guidance on what to give up. I am participating in the 21 day, church-wide, fast. Letting go of a couple of extra hours of sleep, each day, to spend solitude with Him.
Are you willing to give something up? If so, remember that time should be spent with God, not work or anything else distracting you from the real purpose of fasting.