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Summary: Why would anyone choose to go without food for any length of time?
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Why would anyone choose to go without food for any length of time? Isn’t eating regularly one of the body’s most basic needs?
Many people choose to go without food for a given period of time for the health and spiritual benefits associated with fasting. You might think that fasting is a radical, new thing, but fasting has been around for a long time. There are many examples of fasting in the Bible.
Jesus is our example in all things. We know that Jesus fasted for 40 days and He didn’t die. We can follow Jesus’ example in fasting but remember: if you would like to fast for longer than three days do not do it without qualified supervision.
Have you ever lost your appetite during times of stress or illness? When your body is dealing with a crisis like severe stress or an illness, it will often shut down the hunger drive in order to focus energy on dealing with the problem. Instead of spending precious energy on digestion, your body will use this self-induced time of fasting to reestablish balance.
Even when you are not fighting an infection or a crisis of some kind, daily life exerts stress upon every cell in your body. Cells are damaged by stress hormones produced by your own body, poor food choices, environmental radiation, and a whole host of other events that are part of life on this planet.
When you choose to go without food, you allow your body to deal with the cumulative damage caused by daily living.
They should commence to relieve nature of the load they have forced upon her. They should remove the cause. Fast a short time, and give the stomach chance for rest. Reduce the feverish state of the system by a careful and understanding application of water. These efforts will help nature in her struggles to free the system of impurities. But generally the persons who suffer pain become impatient. They are not willing to use self-denial, and suffer a little from hunger (Counsels on Diet and Food 304).
So often, we eat too much and work too much and we don’t have balance in our lives. To get the results you’ve never had, you’ve got to do what you’ve never done.
Are you enjoying life? If you’re not enjoying life, there’s something wrong. Jesus said,
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11: 28-30).
If you’re feeling un-rested and out of control, then obviously what you’re doing is not the will of God for your life and something needs to change. Fasting can help you see where you need to make changes and how to change. God is not looking for perfectly healthy people. He is looking for perfectly surrendered people. If you want to cooperate with God and are ready to make a fresh start, God will help you prepare your body to be a fit habitation for the Holy Spirit.
This article is adapted by Tammie Burak from Rudy and Jeanie Davis' lecture Life in the Fast Lane. Tammie Burak is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about topics of faith, health, nature, and education. She writes for both children and adults.
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