Posted Mar 19, 2024 | Share this:

Dive into the spiritual practice of fasting with Sarah and Karina on this week’s podcast episode. They share personal stories and insights on how fasting isn’t just for Lent. Tune in to explore the deeper meaning behind this discipline.


In the latest episode of our podcast, Sarah and her friend Karina delve into the sacred practice of fasting. As we enter week three of Lent, they share their personal experiences and the lessons they’ve learned from choosing to fast at different times of the year.

Fasting is often associated solely with Lent, but Sarah and Karina discuss its broader application in the life of a believer. They recount stories ranging from humorous to profoundly spiritual, shedding light on the diverse ways fasting can be practiced.

Karina opens up about her time in a missions internship program, where she fasted everything but water. She humorously recalls breaking the fast with a Big Mac and fries, highlighting the personal nature of fasting and the importance of knowing what works for your own body.

Sarah shares her own challenging experience with a liquid fast, comparing it to the dreaded “week from hell” often joked about in college. Her story serves as a cautionary tale and a reminder that fasting should not be taken lightly or without consideration of one’s health and spiritual guidance.

They also discuss the biblical basis for fasting, referencing Jesus’ 40-day fast and the Daniel Fast, which consists of nuts and grains. Karina shares an anecdote about Ramadan, observed by her Muslim friend, and the challenges of fasting from sunrise to sunset, especially during the long days of summer.

The conversation turns to the heart behind fasting, as Sarah and Karina emphasize that it’s not about following a ritualistic practice but rather seeking a deeper connection with God. They encourage listeners to approach fasting with the right attitude, not as Pharisees for show, but as a personal, spiritual discipline.

Sarah explains that fasting should involve giving up something that takes too much of our attention away from God. Whether it’s television, sugar, or even coffee, the act of fasting is an opportunity to replace a worldly focus with a divine one.

The episode concludes with a powerful message: fasting, like Lent, is about making a personal decision for the Lord. It’s about the transformation that occurs when we replace what we’ve given our worship to with worship of God Himself.

If you’ve ever wondered about fasting or are seeking inspiration to deepen your spiritual practice, this episode is a must-listen. Join Sarah and Karina as they explore the multifaceted aspects of fasting and how it can lead to a more intentional and fulfilling relationship with God.

Listen to the full episode to discover more about the power of fasting and how it can transform not just your Lenten season, but your entire spiritual journey.

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Scroll down to read full transcript!


Sarah is here again on Week Three talking about Lent.

>> Sarah: Hey, all, this is Sarah. I am here again on week three talking about Lent. And joining me is my little co host for these four weeks. Her name is Karina. We’ve been friends for a while, and I really enjoy talking God with her. It’s one of my favorite things to do. And so it was a total no brainer to invite her in and have her talk with us about the Lent season, because she’s experienced giving things up with, being in the mission field, but her heart has not given anything up because her heart is turned towards God. And so week three, we’re talking about fasting. Even though Lent is a fasting practice. fasting doesn’t just happen just at lent season. You can fast anytime during the year. And so I thought we’d have some stories about fasting.

There are several different kinds of fasts which we can talk about

So, before we get into the serious stuff, Karina, has there ever been a funny fast for you? It was like, this is ridiculous, but you went along with it?

>> Karina: yeah. I remember I was doing a missions internship program and we fasted everything but water, and spent time in the word and stuff, which was great. incredibly hard as a teenager to do those kind of things, but I remember breaking fast, and everyone, we break fast with communion, and then they’re like, there was one time they didn’t feed us right away afterwards, and, it just really messed up my stomach. So I would go the second we were done with fast and I would go and I’d get a big Mac and fries because I was fine until we reintroduced food. And then all bets were off. So everyone’s like, oh, you can’t do that. And I’m like, oh, yes, I can, because I knew what was right for me was not necessarily right, and I don’t necessarily recommend that for everybody else, but you have to do what’s right for you. But everyone just laughed. And then I was sitting down with my burger and fries, and then they all literally, we took a bite and passed it around the circle, and the next person would take a bite and we’d pass the fries around. I’m like, this is the craziest thing ever. But we were literally sitting, like, at the last Supper, only it was the first supper and we were all sharing a meal and breaking bread and French fries together. So that always struck me as one of those funny things that you’re like, who made this rule for Lent? That’s silly.

> Sarah: Yeah, I had a funny experience with a, fast before. Okay. There’s several different kinds of fasts which we can talk about that, too. But I decided, having never done one, that I would do a liquid fast. I’m going to tell you, I did a liquid fast for one week. And it was like, you know, the college, when you go into colleges and they do this week, that is, a not fun week, but it’s actually the opposite of heaven kind of week. And, it’s torture. I felt like I was there. I was at college and I was having that week because I basically made the ladies room my best friend. It was not a good thing. And I will never, I mean, I’m not going to say never, because if the Holy Spirit wants me to do a liquid fast, okay, but I don’t ever want to do a liquid fast ever again. That was excruciating. It was a lot like getting prepared for a colonoscopy. That’s what that was. So not a good thing.

Fasting, isn’t like, there isn’t really anything that says you have to do it one way or another. There are biblical texts about fasting. There’s lots of verses about fasting. And most of the ones that we practice are directly from the bible, like Christ. I don’t know anybody who gave up food and water for 40 days. I don’t know anybody who’s gone to that extreme. But I mean, if you want to do that, I don’t know how great you would do because I know our body has to have food and water and air a m certain amount of days, and I don’t think our bodies could be sustained that way, but we’re not Christ.

There’s also the Daniel fast. It’s not really a fast, per se. We just call it the Daniel fast because this is how Daniel lived his know, basically during a time when he’d be fasting, he’d be eating nuts and, and then you have like, people will fast food, they’ll fast drink for so long. People will fast for three days of everything. Food and drink for three days straight. I have seen people fast water for several days. I’ve seen people fast food for an entire week, but never like the extreme of Christ.

A friend of ours actually is Muslim and they practice Ramadan, and so they fast until sundown. And Ramadan changes, ah, throughout the year, so it’s not the same time. So winter season, when the days are shorter, it’s a little easier to do Ramadan. But one year he was at our house. well, the family was at our house with us, for a barbecue. They came over for a big party and it was summertime and the sun does not set until nine something. And so at nine something, they raced in the house and got whatever leftovers were left from the barbecue because they were starving. It was a long day and I remember thinking, oh, I love you so much. I feel so bad for you, to watch everybody sit there and eat. And we did say we could go eat in here or we could wait or we just felt bad. And they’re like, no, this is our practice. It’s not yours. Don’t worry about it. But you feel bad. You’re eating in front of these people that are practicing something that is part of their faith. There’s lots of different ways to do fasting, but I think the important thing to think about, just like with Lent, is the attitude behind it. And it just like lint, has become ritualistic.

So what do you think is one of the biggest attitudes that you see with fasting?

>> Karina: I think we have to be careful to be like the Pharisee, not to be like the Pharisees, because God obviously reprimanded him. Jesus said, everybody knows what you’re doing. You’re just doing this for the show. You look terrible. And he tells them to wash their face and put some powder on and look like you’re alive. So we see, obviously that’s the wrong way to go about it. But then when the disciples were told to go cast out demons, he said, this time only comes out with prayer and fasting. so it obviously is an important thing and it is something that we need to do, but I think we need to go about it the right way. And I think it’s individual and it happens, every year. For me, it’s different. Every year is different. It’s never the same. I always give up this or I always give up that. It’s no God, what do you want me to do this year? How do I need to go about this? and doing it at a set time, it just puts me in a mindset where I’m ready to do so. because I could easily go and forget about it and be like, oh, well, I didn’t even think about doing that. But having those prescribed times, especially if you’re not a very calculated person like I am, then it is nice to have that season where you know that this is coming and I am setting that time apart.

>> Sarah: Yeah, I think I’m not somebody that constantly practices Lent at Lent time. I fast when the Lord tells me I need to fast. Exactly. I have fasted when big decisions needed to be made. Like, if I knew there was a big decision I need to make, I’d fasted during that time. I fasted at the beginning of the year because it’s like we’re starting a new year, start a new mindset. and I have fasted during Luke time. But for me, the attitude that I think we miss the mark on is when we do the same thing. Because we’re not actually starting with the Lord, we’re starting with what we know to be the practice that we have to do. And so when I get ready to fast, I don’t come and go. Okay, I’m going to fast burgers for the next 40 days.

The idea behind fasting is we’re supposed to take away from worship

I specifically ask the Lord, what is it that has gotten too much of my attention? What has gotten too much of my attention that isn’t of you? I mean, as a mom, my kids get a ton of my attention. As a wife, my husband gets a ton of my attention. But those are the relationships that God has placed in my life that need the attention. There’s a difference between my kids and my husband needing attention and me worshipping them.

>> Karina: Right.

>> Sarah: If I was worshipping them, then absolutely I’d have to be giving whatever version of worship that’s happening. So worship is like I care too much for something and it takes the place of God. And my kids and my husband do not take the place of God. My care of them is solely because I love God and he’s asking me to do certain things for them and just speak to that a little bit. I mean, I’ve been asked by God to do things for my husband, that my being was like, no. And God’s like, well, but yeah, So it’s because of God. I’ve seen churches before where when they’re ready to do fasting, they read very specific fasting, bible verses every single time. They’ll, talk about it. I mean, I’ve seen people, pastors that I’ve been at churches for years, and they will actually do the exact same sermon they did the year before.

>> Karina: For fasting time. And to me, it’s a personal in the moment thing. Yes, fasting is every year, but the way you approach it might be different according to what the Holy Spirit’s telling you. And so, the attitude for me that I think gets in the way is trying to check the box and make it that same ritual that we do every time. This is how we do it. These are the flowers we put out. This is, the little cards that we present for fasting. It’s taking away from the purpose and the reverence that needs to happen and the mindset heart set specifically on God. The idea behind fasting is we’re supposed to take the thing that is taking too much of our, like, we’re worshipping it, we’re taking too much time for it and replace it with time with God. So if, let’s say, oh, actually one year I fasted TV, complete soul, everything TV, no movies, no Netflix, no regular TV, nothing. And I did that during the 40 days of Lent because I heard the Lord tell me I spend too much time watching TV. And so every time I got an urge to flip on, because I like to mindless watch. What mindless watch is like, you’re not really watching, you just have the noise on so you can fold the laundry at the same time. And so I do that a lot. And so the Lord’s like, no more. Take that out. And so when I’d start to do laundry, I’d be like, I’m going to flip on the TV and do the laundry. But instead I would turn on my Bible app and let the Bible read to me, or I would, listen to preaching from one of my favorite pastors during that time that I was doing laundry. So it’s replacing what we’ve given our worship over to what we need to worship God with.

>> Sarah: Yeah. And I mean, even giving up one year, I did give up sugar, which I noticed, like, in everything. And it wasn’t that I eat a ton of sugar or I had that kind of stuff, but every time I went to go get something that was sugary, I was put in remembrance of, oh, I need to be mindful of what I’m putting into my temple. I need to be mindful of what God is trying to say to me in that time. And so even though it wasn’t necessarily that I had a huge issue, there’s been times he said, hey, give up coffee. And I was like, are you crazy? Okay, right, we’ll give up coffee. Even though I enjoy a good cup of coffee, but it’s because he wants me to be that mindful of him. And if nothing else, giving up those kind of things or putting those things in multiple times a day, if you’re not in the habit or the practice of being in that continual conversation with God.

>> Karina: It reminds you, oh, I need to take that to the Lord. Oh, I’m not eating this cookie, that’s in the break room. But God, I thank you that you have provided all of my needs, that I’m grateful that you are my provider, and that I do have food to eat or whatever it is. But it’s not just an absence of something, but it’s that replacing it with. And sometimes it’s about being still. for me, which of course is always a hard thing, but just to be still and know he’s God and not always have that constant influence of noise and sound and TV and podcast and all those things are fine. Or even the Bible app, but just to quiet my spirit and listen.

>> Sarah: Yeah. I think we also need to be mindful of how we respond when we’re in fasting time. I mean, I’ve seen people like you were talking about coffee. They give up coffee and they’re like, I am going to rip somebody’s head off. I don’t have my coffee. And it’s like, are you in the right headspace with the Lord right now? You’re supposed to be fasting. Are you okay? They don’t realize that that time that they’re fasting, the thing is the time that they need to be digging deeper with God so that they don’t have those flip out moments. I know there was one time that I fasted meat and I got hangry, but my hanger wasn’t towards people, it was internal because I was starving. But I would say things like, well, I can’t eat that. And I would say that in that monotone voice, I can’t eat that. And it wasn’t to point out, any kind of holier than thou kind of thing, or trying, to make anybody feel bad. It was just so I could hold myself accountable. I can’t eat that.

And then I would move on to what I could eat. People would want to go out to dinner and they’d want to go to a steakhouse, and, I would be like, well, I can’t eat that, but I’ll figure something else out. Right. My fasting is my fasting. It’s not somebody else’s. Your fasting is your fasting. And so we have to remember that not to put our practice onto other people, whether it’s in our attitude or our expectations that they do the same thing. It is a relational thing with God. And just being mindful of that during the time that you feel it’s fasting time.

>>Karina: God can use fasting to convict somebody, to convince somebody

>> Sarah: Right. I heard a great quote. I hope I get it right. and this was somebody who had given up drinking alcohol and the spouse had not.

>> Karina: And, she made the comment, would you want some wine with dinner? And he said, no, I’m not drinking. And he said, don’t worry about what is in. My concern is not what is in your cup. My concern is doing what I was told to do. Your cup is your responsibility.

>> Sarah: Right.

>> Karina: And then you have to deal with that. Me doing or not doing something is my responsibility. But oftentimes that’ll evoke other people to react to it, because God is dealing with something within them that they may or may not want to see.

>> Sarah: Right.

>> Karina: and so I think God can use fasting in that way, even with somebody else, to convict somebody, to convince somebody else. And it doesn’t have to be alcohol. It can be any number of things. But going, am I worried about what’s in my cup and what everybody else sees, or am I doing what’s right and what God’s told me to do?

> Sarah: Amen. That’s a good way to end this one on fasting. Thank you, Karina. Again, I’m, so glad we got to talk about this and help people understand that fasting, just like Lent, is about a decision that you make for the Lord. So next week, we’ll be talking about liturgy.

Thank you for joining us for Week 3 of our Lent Series. See you next week!

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