Congratulations! We made it! We’re on the very last day of our fast! Well done for persevering to the end because I know some of us struggled and contemplated throwing in the towel (some did) but here we are a few hours away from the finish line!
Well, my friend and I wanted to end this period with a momentous bang so she came up with the brilliant idea of a prayer walk in Slottskogen, a beautiful public forest in the city centre. We walked around interceding for the whole city and for everyone we came across in the forest- so many beautiful people were out ice-skating, running, walking, having picnics, playing – as well as for anything that The Holy Spirit dropped in our hearts which felt really purposeful and powerful…and cold (as expected).
God’s grace has been sufficient, bringing us to the finish line, the end of this awesome prayer and fasting period. I say God’s grace because it is not possible in your own strength, The Holy Spirit has to carry one through this spiritual period, which comes with a lot of temptations. The same was Jesus’ narrative when He was led by The Holy Spirit into the wilderness for a time of fasting and temptation. (Luke 4))
How to End Your Fast Physically
If you’ve been on a full fast for twenty-one days, it is important to break your fast well. Be careful how you reintroduce food to your system…how much you eat, what you eat and how you eat it. Give your stomach time to return to normal size and the digestive organs time to “wake up” fully.
When breaking a fast, some foods are more suitable than others. A fast of great length is best broken with fruit or vegetable juices, if possible freshly squeezed or juiced. Watermelon juice is excellent, as is tomato, grape or apple juice. Start with a small quantity, diluted if necessary. Drink it every two to three hours the first day. Increase the quantity gradually and you’ll soon be able to take the fruit itself. At this point, milk can be taken. Milk in the form of yogurt taken with fruit would be beneficial.
Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.
Fresh salad (no dressing), vegetable soups (no fat), and cooked vegetables may be included at this point, always starting with a small amount of anything new and gradually increasing. Next, you could include a little toasted bread with a small slice of butter, but no cakes, pastries or cookies. Starchy foods are not good at this stage. Introduce protein first in the form of cheese or eggs (or Greek yogurt), with fish and meat last of all.
Eat slowly; chew thoroughly. Chew your food well so that it is reduced to liquid before swallowing. When you begin to feel full, stop eating.
Rest as much as you can during the period of reintroducing food to your system. It will let your body concentrate on digestion and assimilation. Try not to become too active too soon.
How to End Your Fast Spiritually
Keep account of all the things that The Lord has spoken to you about and cover it all in the blood of Jesus. Do not relax spiritually! You can’t afford to. Your enemy, the devil, prowls like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8-9). You must remain alert and vigilant. The “thief” will be on the prowl to steal the increased intimacy with Christ you’ve gained during your fast.
No doubt, as you’ve fasted and subjected your flesh to the Spirit, your spiritual ears have become more alert to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, you’re now far more sensitive to even the smallest disobedience and sin in your life…maybe even things you used to do on a daily basis that grieved Him and quenched His presence. Satan will now try to get you to cater to your flesh once again. He’ll try to clog your spiritual hearing and get you back into areas of disobedience and unyieldedness. Oh it will be subtle all right. It won’t even seem like it’s happening. Be careful! Be alert! Be intentional! Be disciplined, fellow soldier. Stay disciplined in your prayer time and pursuit of God. Stay disciplined in your submission and quick obedience to the Lord.
How to Keep a Fasting Lifestyle
Just as we need fresh in-fillings of the Holy spirit daily, we also need fresh times of fasting to intensely focus our spirits on God. Consider a 24-hour fast each week or fasting the first two days of the month. I encourage you to pray about it today and make a commitment as to how you plan to keep fasting a part of your lifestyle. It could be challenging to make this decision once you get back into old routines of eating. Pray about it now, while the spiritual benefits of fasting are fresh on your mind and in your spirit. When God leads you as to what your regular fasting commitment should be, put it on your calendar. When it’s on your calendar, it’s commitment to be kept, not a contingency that can be cancelled.
If You Feel You Failed
It takes time to build your fasting muscles. If you failed to make it through this first fast, do not be discouraged! You may have simply gotten over zealous and bitten off more than you could chew in terms of choosing too extreme of a fast for your first time out. (Try beginning with a partial fast or Daniel fast. Then on your next fast, go on a full fast for one day. Then possibly fast for three days on your fast after that. God will lead you and enable you to succeed. Don’t give up!) Or you may need to strengthen your resolve. As soon as possible, undertake another fast until you do succeed. Even if it is just for one day — or one week. God will honour you for your faithfulness.
Are you glad that you fasted? If so, why? What positive benefits have you already experienced? We would love for you to share about your experience. (Feel free to share in the comments below or send to firstname.lastname@example.org). Your fasting testimony will give glory to God and encourage others in their own seasons of fasting and prayer.
We realise that not all effects of a fast will be immediate but many benefits will be experienced all year long this year, next year, and the years to come. However, if your fasts are anything like mine, something in the spirit has already changed as a result of your fast. Something in the natural man has broken. God has already given answers to prayer and direction for different situations. It is time for action, time to move in obedience, acting upon the instructions of The Lord…faith with action!!! Don’t wait, now is the time to act!