6 years ago I fasted meat for a year. Over the course of that year God took away other edibles bit by bit culminating the year with a full-on, 40 day, no food at all fast. It was the mother of all fasts. I lost about 50lbs, learned some life-long spiritual lessons (These are my Top Ten Fasting Tips), and now 6 years later... I've become a bad faster again. Dang it.
If you're a Christian, I hope you DO fast somehow, someway, something... sometimes. Unfortunately, stats say that most don't. Fasting is up there with respecting the Sabbath on the "Biblical principles we like to ignore" list. But the Bible talks about how some things can ONLY happen with prayer AND fasting.
Fasting never feels like you think it will. Sometimes it's almost like a social experience. "What would happen if a person was without food for a period of time. Hmmmm let's watch shall we." It doesn't take long before our body, soul and spirit begin to panic, because it's not being soothed with food. I'm on Day 3 of a planned 7 Day fast. My tongue is now pasty white and nasty (a WONDERFUL by-product). It's a fast that's been a long time coming. In fact, it's likely been in the spiritual cue for some time just waiting for me to say yes and begin the process of CHOOSING to do it.
Fasting is ALL about moment by moment choices. You always want to quit. It's a constant temptation. During my "Mother of all fasts" year, every day I'd come out of my office to the smell of the greasy spoon burger joint next door... taunting me with charred flesh. Not fair! But that's how it works. The hunger that regularly rises is a reminder of
WHAT you're doing...
WHY you're doing it...
And a challenge to do it!
So you take a deep breath of meat aroma, take a big drink of juice, and thank Jesus for this season of teaching you that "life is more than food".
It's a discipline. During the Freshwind conference this year at "Catch the Fire" Toronto, Carol Arnott talked about a new way she's using to remember to pray without ceasing like 1 Thessalonians talks about. She puts a little buzzer on her belt set to go off every 10 minutes. When it does, she just remembers to thank Jesus for being Him. I'm SURE it getting a little annoying sometimes... but so does fasting. The results of both however, are effective and beneficial to personal growth AND practical accomplishment. And some of those things just don't happen without being reminded to pray and humble ourselves.