What is Fasting?
Fasting is an ancient spiritual discipline which precedes Christianity and all the other religions of the world.
Fasting predates Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism, and all the other beliefs.
It has not changed and its importance has remained unaltered and undiminished through all the millenniums.
However, let’s coordinate our definitions. To the remainder of the world, fasting may be many things but to the Believer in Jesus Christ, it’s unchangeable in nature and purpose.
The former group often thinks of fasting as a trend; a pattern of eating or just another weight management tool.
But to the latter, we observe it as a specific and spiritual duration away from all foods and drinks and while seeking God through prayer, separation, and purpose.
It has always been a spiritual activity. Thus, the people who practiced it have always been spiritual.
And of course, our leader, Jesus Christ fasted too for spiritual motives.
These are well-known people who have really fasted.
They had not followed some entrepreneurial capitalist and done Intermittent Fasting (IF); they really fasted.
The Fasting Trends
However, for the secular world which is constantly seeking a better life, it has become a “trend”.
It’s more like a fab. Therefore, some enthusiastic entrepreneurs have modified the original fast to suit a particular contemporary market.
But to accomplish this they need new names. So, it has become intermittent fasting, intuitive fasting, religious fasting, biblical fasting, and much more.
It is no longer fasting except to the Believer.
Christians don’t be fooled. Fasting has always been intermittent. It is never continuous.
We fast for a set time then we eat. Some time elapsed, then we fast again, when necessary, then after that we eat again.
The Fasting Pattern
This pattern repeats itself many times in a Christian’s life and it transcends centuries even millenniums.
However, fasting is not a pattern. It’s was never a “pattern of eating” and it still isn’t.
How could anyone be abstaining and eating simultaneously?
To the identical extent, we cannot be silent and speak. We cannot be eating or drinking and fasting.
We are either eating, drinking, or fasting.
Therefore, don’t be deceived by statements like, “Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating”.
Fasting is never an eating pattern. When we fast, we never eat or drink?
All the people who fasted through the years have done so for spiritual reasons.
The Spiritual Nature of Fasting!
Long, long before Judaism and Christianity Moses fasted and his reason was spiritual.
Abstaining has always been spiritual and especially for Christians.
This is one of the reasons we outlive the world. This is why we have far less stress and medical conditions.
Even mathematicians fasted before their exams because they were spiritual.
Because theirs and our focus is the spiritual content of fasting, we never pay the physical benefits any attention.
But, today, secular people fast deliberately to reap the physical benefits of this spiritual discipline.
But Believers please adhere to the immutable teaching of the Word. Please don’t adapt to contemporary practices or else you will lose the spiritual content which is far superior to any physical benefit of abstaining.
Should Women Practice Fasting?
I’m not a doctor but I don’t need to be one because I’m only saying what our supreme authority says.
All Believers in Jesus Christ could fast. I have already written on this topic and will not duplicate it here.
Read the Top 12 Dos and Don’ts You Need to Know Before Christian Fasting.
Nevertheless, suffice it to say now that every Christian could fast even women.
Ladies, have you forgotten about the exemplary females mentioned in the Holy Bible who fasted?
I’m talking about Hannah, and Queen Esther (1 Samuel 1:1-28; Esther 4:16).
Note below how the prophet Joel never excluded women from his admonition to fast.
“Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord” (Joel 1:14).
Additionally, did the King of Nineveh exclude women from fasting?
The following Scriptures will inform us:
“So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them” (Jonah 3:5).
“For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes” (Jonah 3:6).
In Nineveh, even all the animals fasted.
For they didn’t eat or drink anything!
“And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste [anything]: let them not feed, nor drink water” (Jonah 3:7).
The Bible Does Not Discriminate
In Nineveh, women were not excluded from fasting.
Just as men must fast for spiritual reasons women must fast for spiritual reasons too.
There is no difference between them!
“But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn [everyone] from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands” (Jonah 3:8).
Fasting has always been a spiritual ritual. We won’t change that and it will not change.
We never fast to lose weight. Weight loss is a sweet by-product that we enjoy but it’s not the reason for this spiritual ritual.
Women should fast and they must fast to get to that spiritual place that the Lord desires all of us to be.
Don’t Empower Unbelievers to Speak Into Your Hearts
Don’t allow unbelievers to teach you spiritual things! What qualifies them for such a position?
Fasting is beneficial to all Believers both males and females. And don’t allow anyone, regarding of his or her worldly knowledge to teach otherwise.
Finally, the Bible makes no distinction regarding gender and fasting. As a matter of fact, it encourages all of us to fast.
Therefore, empower no one to, teach any doctrine contrary to the Word, mainly that women shouldn’t be fasting.
The Devil is a liar!
Rebuke him and this teaching by embracing and abstaining as women and brethren seeking God.