Should Recovered Christians Fast Food And Water
The question arises of whether or not Christians who have recovered from eating disorders should fast from food and drink. This is dependent on a variety of factors.
First, how long has it been since the individual has struggled with an eating disorder? If a believer has experienced years of freedom from an eating disorder, it may be okay for them to fast food and drink.
Second, how long did the struggle last? As in all areas, the longer the struggle, the longer the healing and recovery process. Of course, God can heal instantly, however, when this is not the case, people should expect a longer process of healing. If the struggle occurred for many years or most of an individuals life, it may not be wise to try fasting.
Third, does the recovered believer have a strong support system? The Bible calls us to bear one anothers burdens. When the Body of Christ is unified and supporting one another, there is greater strength against the enemys schemes and there is more freedom.
This can be compared to a flock of sheep. When the sheep are together with the guidance of the Shephard and with the large numbers, they are safe. However, when one sheep wanders off, it becomes more vulnerable to a wolf.
Even if a Christian is fully recovered, I do not recommend that they fast food and water without the support, love, accountability, and help of a trustworthy community.
Teaches That Discomfort Bad
Fasting is arguably the most countercultural of the spiritual disciplines. In a time of unprecedented conveniences when every atmosphere is climate-controlled, food can be ordered with the press of a button, entertainment can be perfectly curated to personal taste, and we feel entitled to satisfy every desire immediately anything uncomfortable seems like a wholly unnecessary annoyance. We expect to be ever full, ever satiated.
Yet fullness isnt always good, and emptiness isnt always bad. The constant craving for pleasure can be detrimental, and occasional discomfort can be exactly what we need.
Richard Foster writes of coming to this insight in The Celebration of Discipline:
The first truth that was revealed to me in my early experiences in fasting was my lust for good feelings. It is certainly not a bad thing to feel good, but we must be able to bring that feeling to an easy place where it does not control us.
Culturally, we have come to an understanding that the pain of exercise is necessary if we want to improve our physical health. But we rarely carry this acceptance into other areas of life, where it is just as true. Sometimes, almost always in fact, you have to make yourself uncomfortable in order to get better.
Sometimes you have to empty yourself to be filled.
Daily Devotions And Prayer Intentions While Fasting Increase Reliance On Jesus
Set yourself up to succeed on the Daniel fast. Even though you are doing this for spiritual reasons dont think you will not be tempted you will. Satan will make sure of it.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rules of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
This means you are entering spiritual warfare and food will be used against you.
Whether this is your first time fasting or the beginning of another fast, it all begins with the very first day.
It is also good to start a journal to keep track of your journey through fasting and your walk with the LORD.
This way you can also check your progress, keep track of your challenges, where you find yourself being tempted and any revelation God gives you.
Write yourself daily declarations shifting your reliance from food to relying on God.
When my stomach growls today, I will rest and abide in the grace and truth that He is there helping me get through these challenges.
Meditate on the scripture and Bible verses on healing.
Prayer will help you greatly during the fast.
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the LORD” ~ Jeremiah 30:17
There will be times in our lives when fasting is necessary to break the bonds of strongholds such as gossiping, alcohol, food addictions, lack of trust, sinful behaviors and so on.
Pray Before You Start Your Fast
Easy to make, easy to love.
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What Are The Biblical Reasons For Fasting
Believers tend to fast because they believe in the promise of what comes after the life they are living. They abstain from what they can see and taste right now for the purpose of, in their belief, being rewarded in the afterlife.
Some cite fasting as being a beautiful, religious experience, and actually grow to enjoy it. The Bible talks about the process of abstaining from food several times. Here are some of the biblical reasons for fasting.
The Scripture mentions fasting many other times, further highlighting that it used to be a common practice for religious people.
These days, many have stepped away from it, but fasting is still observed in some cultures prior to religious holidays. As a summary of the reasons why some believers choose to try fasting:
- Spiritual strength – as people claim to feel closer to God, they also report feeling protected from their enemies.
- Spiritual hunger – as we live in a society filled with consumerism, people find that fasting and depriving themselves brings them a new, religious kind of hunger.
- Wanting to test their own strength and the ability to turn down their own desires.
- Demonstrating their love for God.
- Sharing with the poor: “To house the homeless poor, to loosen bonds of wickedness, to let the oppressed go free.“
- Wanting to forfeit the good worldly things for the best spiritual things.
Principle : Fasting Helps Us Subdue The Natural Man
Fasting requires discipline. Fasting helps us accomplish one of the vital purposes of life: developing self-mastery.
King Benjamin referred to this self-mastery as overcoming the natural man. He taught that the natural man is an enemy to God, always has been, and ever will be. If we donât overcome the natural man in this life and become âa saint through the atonement of Christâ , we will never live with our Father in Heaven again. Our physical bodies are created in such a way that we can have a spiritual victory over the natural man each time we properly fast.
âWhen a person starts a fast, biochemical adjustments begin in the bloodstream to compensate for the lack of food. A carbohydrate substance known as glycogen is released from storage areas in the liver and the muscles. The body uses glycogen as food to keep cells supplied with energy. After 24 hours this food source is used up, and another source of energy is needed.
âDr. Siegfried Heyden of Duke Universityâs Department of Community and Family Medicine says when this happens, the body starts looking for other energy sources. âThe first thing happening after a 24-hour fast is the breakdown of fat cells. And these fat cells, when they break down, produce ketone bodies, as they are called. And these ketone bodies seem to have an effect on our psyche in that they make us no longer hungry.ââ1
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There Is Power In The Name
When you fast and praytwo words that go hand in hand in Scriptureyou pursue God in your life and open yourself up to experiencing a renewed dependence on God, but it isnt easy. It is a spiritual discipline that requires denying your physical and mental self, because your stomach and your brain will most likely work overtime to remind you when and what they want to eat.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider whether now might be the right time to engage in the Daniel Fast:
Do I need Gods hand to touch my life?
Do I need a healing miracle?
Am I fearful of the world or current events?
Do I desire a deeper relationship with God?
Do I feel shackled by bondages that I cannot escape?
Am I in a toxic relationship, and I dont know what to do?
Do I have a friend or loved one who needs salvation?
Am I ready to find what plans God has next for my life?
Do I feel distant from God, and Im not sure why?
Before you begin your fast, you can make a list of prayer requests you are asking God to answer. Then, every time you experience hunger pangs or food or drink cravings, ask God to work in your Daniel Fast prayer request areas.
God gave us three governing principles to follow on this fast:
Eat only what God created for food.
Eat food in a form that is healthy for the body and dont try to alter Gods design.
Follow these guidelines and submit to God, and we will launch you into a lifestyle of healthy eating and living, with revelations that youve never heard before.
Soul Care For Food Addiction
Recently Gallup reported that 80% of American adults over age 25 are overweight and most of them are trying unsuccessfully to lose weight. Ladies Home Journal found that 71% of the women they surveyed think about their weight at least once per day and 40% have failed at a diet in the past year. And more and more young people and adults are suffering with anorexia or bulimia.
Eating for emotional reasons is the problem. Its called food addiction.
Food and Feelings
Feelings. Everyone Ive talked to who has a food addiction overeater, anorexic, or bulimic uses food as a mechanism for coping with unwanted feelings that are overwhelming and dominating them. Here are some examples of things overeaters have said to me:
- Food is always there for me. Its like the friend I can count on when Im lonely.
- I dont want to feel empty and eating helps me to feel full.
- My mom doesnt like me being independent, but then when I go to her for help she criticizes me. I hate that! Then I binge and purge.
- I feel strong and confident when I dont eat.
- I get so tired caring for my kids and going from thing to thing. So I have another Coke or a candy bar to get through the next hour.
- I overeat at night while Im watching TV or on Facebook. I work hard all day and I guess this is what I do for myself.
- If I keep eating then I can stop the pain.
- I need to be thin to feel confident with people.
Do You Have an Eating Disorder?
Ending the Viscous Cycle of Food Addiction
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How To Overcome Food Addiction
The effects of certain foods on the brain make it hard for some people to avoid them.
Food addiction operates similarly to other addictions, which explains why some people cant control themselves around certain foods no matter how hard they try.
Despite not wanting to, they may repeatedly find themselves eating large amounts of unhealthy foods knowing that doing so may cause harm.
This article examines food addiction and provides tips to overcome it.
Food addiction is an addiction to junk food and comparable to drug addiction.
Its a relatively new and controversial term, and high quality statistics on its prevalence are lacking .
Food addiction is similar to several other disorders, including binge eating disorder, bulimia, compulsive overeating, and other feeding and eating disorders.
Food addiction is a highly controversial concept, though most studies suggest it exists. It works similarly to drug addiction.
Processed junk foods have a powerful effect on the reward centers of the brain. These effects are caused by brain neurotransmitters like dopamine .
Food addiction is not caused by a lack of willpower but believed to be caused by a dopamine signal that affects the biochemistry of the brain .
Food addiction is thought to involve the same neurotransmitters and areas of the brain as drug addiction.
How Do We Know Food Addiction Is Real
If there were no such thing as food addiction, we wouldnt struggle to lose weight. Those who wanted to lose weight and keep it off would just cheerfully avoid the foods that didnt support their new lifestyle. If there were no such thing as food addiction, all people would have a simple, healthy relationship with food: wed happily eat the correct amounts of the right foods. But thats not how it is in real life.
Also Check: What Does The Bible Say About Fasting
Fasting Saved My Life From Obesity And Food Addictionplay Audio Below
I believe that I was born with food addiction already in my makeup. Ever since I was a small child, I recall always feeling inadequate, ugly, weak an unworthy. This translated to lots of bullying in school and very few friends. The kids called me “the ugly fat cow.” Anytime I would walk by or get in the bus they would start “mooo, mooo, mooo.” You know how tough kids can be. I was terrified to go to school. I was the overweight, nonathletic, dark-skinned kid in the group. The ugly duckling. My mother worked hard to raise and support me, but it was very hard as she was alone.
My father was a very famous Latin American singer in the 1960s and 70s and I guess he was too busy with his fame to care much about me. So he left us when I was very young. I was always in emotional pain. Food addiction gave me the hiding place and “medication” that I needed. I recall that for a great part of my childhood my grandfather ran a little shop from the house. Kids would come up to the kitchen window and order candy, sodas and fried goodies. Needless to say, I ravaged the candy when no one was looking. It was not unusual for my grandparents to find tons of candy wrappers under my bed. “You’re eating my profits!” grandpa would shout. I could not stop. I was not even ten years old and already food addiction was taking over.
Is Food Addiction Real
Food addiction is defined as a compulsive or uncontrollable urge to eat food that does not relate to feelings of hunger.
My definition: Food addiction is eating to the point of pain on a regular basis.
The concept of food addiction is controversial in the world of medicine and psychology. While food has some addictive properties , everyone agrees that its not the same as a mind-altering drug like cocaine or even alcohol.
Yet for many of us who struggle to manage our food intake, we know there are certain foods that feel highly addictive.
Here are some ways that food can feel like an addiction.
- When you start eating specific foods, you cant stop even though you eat to the point of being stuffed or sick.
- Eating these foods regularly affects your life in negative ways.
- You say you wont eat a specific food or foods again, yet find yourself buying and eating it.
- Your behavior with food affects your relationships in negative ways.
- Overeating negatively impacts your health, work, and social situations.
- You try to stop eating specific foods and feels like you cant.
Do you wonder if you are a food addict? Here is a food addiction quiz you can take.
I also recommend checking out the Yale Food Addiction Scale. While this scale has to be scored by a professional, reading through the questions is helpful to see if you might be dealing with food addiction.
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Why We Need To Break Free
It is so important that the decisions we make about our health are not controlled by our addiction to food. Addiction prompts terrible choices. Bad choices about food can be life-threatening when they lead to chronic disease, just as bad choices could be life-threatening if we were addicted to a controlled substance. This is why praying to break our addiction to food is so important. Prayer can help you acknowledge the addiction for what it is. By inviting God into your health journey, you can draw on His strength.
Breaking free from food addiction will open you up to receive all the gifts God has waiting for you. Being able to live out your purpose is tied to you being healthy. Prayer helps you develop your why for taking charge of your health and nudges you to take the action you need to change your relationship with food and your overall health. If youre interested in charting a new path for your health and you want to develop a healthy relationship with food, then consider signing up for A Prayer for Your Health 4-Day Challenge. If youre ready to go all-in, check out the Daniel Fast: A Bridge to Healthy Living 4-Week Interactive Course.
How To Support Christians With Eating Disorders
Christians with eating disorders should not feel accused of wanting to fast for the wrong reasons. Instead, they should be supported and given healthy alternatives. If you know a Christian who struggles with an eating disorder, be aware of how you speak concerning fasting. Do not unnecessarily bring up a conversation about fasting or refraining from food and drink. Do your best not to make that believer feel condemned.
If you are fasting or are leading others in fasting, be aware that some of the people in your group may struggle or have struggled in the past with this issue. Present very clear alternatives that are practical and obtainable. Dont commend fasting of food and drink over other types of fasts.
Be a support to individuals who wrestle in this area. Support them as a person in a holistic manner. Do not only support their struggle. Support them as a whole person. They are equal members of the Kingdom of God and the Family of Christ. Just because someone struggles differently than others, doesnt mean they should be treated less than or differently.
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