I am fasting with water only for 10 days, and I am just finishing day 4 and I am feeling fine, and I even rode my stationary bike for an hour while watching the Super Bowl, wow, what a game that was. I have 5 motives for choosing to do this fast.
The first reason is that our “Five Days of Prayer” at Jefferson Baptist Church, starts tomorrow, and I will be praying about 8 hours each day with people from our church. We are praying specifically for the mission works that we have started and the missionaries that we support around the world. Fasting in conjunction with prayer increases my prayer power with God, and I want to see many, many people around the world come to have a personal relationship with Jesus so they can live with Him forever. Fasting is one of my least favorite things to do in all of life, but if people are changed forever it seems a small price to pay.
My second motive is that I want to grow in character to become more and more like Jesus. Self-control is a major character trait that is a key to growing more mature every day. Self-control grows like our muscles grow stronger, exercising and adding a little more weight on the bar each time we do it. The resistance of the weights that our muscles push against makes us stronger, and in the same way if I do things periodically like fasting that requires a huge amount of self-control, and if I can make the 10 days without cheating when everyone has gone to bed, I will have grown in self-control. If I can grow even a little bit in controlling what I think, what I speak out of my mouth, and the impulsiveness of some of my choices this 10 days without food will be worth it.
The third reason is to promote better health of my physical body. I have read several books that have listed significant health benefits to an extended fast with no food. It is so much more enjoyable living life feeling good and strong as apposed to being tired and aching all day. This is an experiment to see what does improve, but if there is any noticeable improvement in my health I will be highly motivated to make this a regular part of my life.
Reason number 4 wasn’t a reason when I started but has become one as I have discussed my fast with people who are interested and concerned about this adventure of sorts that I am attempting. As a Pastor I want to model right living for people that I have influence with. I am far from perfect, but the journey and the attempt to grow faithfully as a person in godly character and maturity is a choice that we all make daily, and I want to be a motivation for many others to make the effort to become a better person every day that they live. A number of people are fasting with me and a much larger number are thinking about fasting for even one or two meals as they follow what I am doing. Who wouldn’t want more motivation to pray and more power when they do pray, who wouldn’t want more self-control, and who wouldn’t want better health.