Hunger for God
The reason we recommend fasting at BCC to grow our hunger for God (Matthew 5:6).
Dr. Carl Lundquist, former president of Bethel College and Seminary in Minnesota, US, would fast once a week. In a letter, he wrote, “I spend my lunch break in fellowship with God and in prayer. And I have learned a very personal dimension to what Jesus declared, ‘I have had meat to eat ye know not of.’” He was filled with the living bread of Jesus.
How to Fast
If you are new to fasting, a partial fast like this may be a good place to start. Seclude yourself around mealtime to pray with an open Bible. When the hunger pains come, turn your thoughts to the all-sufficient Lord. You might pray, “Father, you are my daily bread. You are my comforter, my redeemer, my provider. My life is hidden in Christ. What more do I need?”
A normal fast is to avoid food, but not water, for a set time, like a day. If your doctor doesn’t recommend it, don’t do it. Consider these alternative fasts instead.
- Simplify your diet, like cutting out meat or sugar for a month (Daniel 1:12).
- Give up a specific entertainment or hobby.
- Avoid shopping and impulsive buying.
Such non-food fasts can go for much longer periods of time, which can be very fruitful if we remember our purpose is to inspire our hunger for God.
Don’t think you must go it alone. Ask another believer to join you. Since we pray with each other, we can fast with each other too.
We Are Not Our Own
Fasting, however we practice it, can help us live the essential Christian life. As John Calvin says, the sum of that life is self-denial. “We are not our own. Let not our reason nor our will sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own. Let us not make it our goal whatever is easiest or enjoyable to our bodies. As far as we can, let us forget ourselves and all that is ours, because we are not our own.”