Christian Living

Why Fasting is Better Than You Think

If you saw the title of this post and rolled your eyes or had feelings of annoyance, this post will be good for you, and is for you! If not, you should still probably read it anyway.

Yesterday, our church finished our 21 days of prayer and fasting—every year for many years our church has done 21 days of prayer and fasting in the month of January. I joined in with them, and even though it could have always been better—as in I could have always tried harder to pray more and resist more, it was good for me, both in spirit and bodily health.

Today I want to share with you why fasting is so important, why you should consider it, and I’ll also clear up some misconceptions.

For starters, this is what fasting is: Wordly sacrifices for spiritual benefits.

That takes me to…

Why You Are Fasting

Truly, everything in this post points back to this: why you are fasting. People in the Bible fasted for different reasons. Nehemiah fasted out of sadness (Nehemiah 1:4). Moses fasted for Words from the Lord: wisdom and commandments (Exodus 34:28). Jesus fasted before he took on a big project: his ministry to save humankind (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:1-13).

You can fast for all sorts of reasons—mourning, confessing sins, seeking wisdom, preparing for something big.

The whole idea of fasting is to focus less on (even temporarily turn away from) worldly distractions and focus more on God and prayer; to have a time of spiritual healing, restoration, and/or strengthening. I’ll say it again: worldly sacrifices for spiritual benefits.

The above 112 words form—in reality—the main point. Now, I’d like to talk briefly on 4 other factors that are important and need to be addressed. I know I tend to rant, but I will try to keep it concise, every sentence I write having a purpose.

1. What To Fast From

Biblical fasting was most commonly from food, often even food and water. However, there are other unnecessary nonessential distracting activities, as well as worldly items that take your attention, that could be fasted from. Food is important, but of course there are circumstances where it’s not the best thing to fast from.

Activities: Preparation of a meal, video games, social media, TV, listening to secular music, I could go on. The last four listed are not necessary. You could spend your ‘social media time’ reading God’s Word. You could listen to Christian music instead of secular music.

As for the first listed, your body needs water and food to keep on functioning. You could have easy-to-make meals so that you can pray while you prepare. Before you fast I suggest writing down a list of healthy, easy meals, then go out and get ingredients for them.

Items: Chocolate. You don’t need it. Your phone. You don’t need it (well, maybe you do but there are things you use it for that you don’t have to). Coffee. You don’t need it. Have I made my point clear yet?

Sacrifice. If you utter one single prayer to God, something like, “fix all my problems please,” I bet you He won’t do it. Anyone can say that. But not everyone has the strength to sacrifice in order to have ‘all their problems fixed.’ If you really do believe in God and love Him, you have more than likely sacrificed. You spend your Sunday morning with the Church; you’ve quit bad habits; all that. When you fast, you’re just sacrificing even more and I’m sure, at the end of the day, you will reap the benefits!

No sacrifice I could offer would be anywhere near what Jesus sacrificed for us when He literally died on a cross. That is in fact one of the most painful ways to die, and He did it for us, because He loves us. The least we can do in return is sacrifice some of the things we treasure on this earth.

In conclusion, focus on anything that’ll encourage you to look to Christ, and avoid anything that will point you away.

2. How Long To Fast

Now you have in mind what you will be fasting from. “Great,” you might be thinking. “I’m not going to go on social media or eat chocolate. For how long??”

Good question!

It’s really up to you and what you feel God calling you to do. It also depends on why you’re fasting. You could fast for a day, a week, even a month. (It also depends on what you’re fasting from. I’m not telling you to fast from all food for a month.)

3. Other Benefits of Fasting

Fasting is not dieting. You fast because you want to grow closer to God. But physical and/or mental health benefits do often come included!

Mental: In sacrificing, you’ll build up self-control, which is a very important virtue. If you succeed, you’ll be more confident in your abilities to resist. Then there’s social media: it can literally destroy your mental health. That’s not a lie. The more time you spend reading instead of scrolling, the cleaner your mind will be. Of course, if you slip and catch yourself giving into temptation, do not let it sink and do not quit. Apologize to God, then get back up.

Physical: Your taste buds are crying out, “we want sugar! We want sweets!” Do not listen to them! They don’t see the big picture of your whole bodily health. Unhealthy foods bring temporary pleasure, but healthy foods bring longer-term strength and health. This is really all I need to say.

4. Avoid Being the Pharisee

I’ve always been a rule-following control freak with the (God-given) mind and qualities of a leader. The title of ‘pastor’s kid’ only increased the significance of that. When I was younger, during the 21 days of fasting our church had I’d always be like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time. Focusing on the actual doing instead of the real meaning. I would subtly, sometimes even directly, ridicule my brothers and friends for not fasting from as much as I was or caving into temptation.

Don’t go there. It’s not a healthy place. Jesus called the people who were like that whitewashed tombs. That’s not a title anyone would want to be given, especially by the Son of God, King of kings.

I’m trying much harder to not be like that but to be merciful (when need be) and kind. When people see me, I want them to see someone who intentionally does things for a true and good purpose and not just to appear superior and cool.


This is all I have to say. In conclusion, please consider fasting! If you’re only a teenager and not quite an adult yet, maybe talk with your parents about a more serious fast. Actually, talk with your parents about it anyway, serious or not, adult or not! It’s something I need to do more of. Well, God bless and see you next week!

With God’s help,

Daniel Amador

Specials

New Year—New Expectations, Part 2: My 2022 Plans

Happy New Year, Everyone!

The number sequence 2-0-2-2 has crept its way into calendars, clocks, minds, blog posts, and more. The future has become the present, and we were swept up in it. On December 31st, in part 1 of this 2-part series, I talked about how to fulfill your resolutions. Today I’m going to share with you some of my plans and goals for this year. Even though these aren’t technically resolutions, I’m still going to try to practice what I ‘preached’ about a few days ago.

Even though I know not everything turns out the way I want it, I have several expectations, hopes, and goals for this year, and today I will share several. By the way, some of these concern you, my reader, particularly concerning the future of this blog! As well as upcoming writing-related opportunities and sneak-peaks.

In 2022, I want to. . .

Writing.

  • Participate in Crazy Writing Week, 2022—January 4-11. Crazy Writing Week, or CWW, is an online event where hundreds of writers gather to write like crazy! It is totally free. Two teams compete against each other to write the most words and/or spend the most time on some writing-related activity. It’s a great motivation booster!  (And if you want to participate but not compete, you can join the neutral team. 😉) It used to be three times a year, but now it’s just one time. So this is your only chance for the whole year! Though it starts on the 4th, CWW opens up on the 3rd—TODAY—for people to get acquainted with the community, get hyped up, etc. I’ll be there, and I hope you will too! 😀
  • Finish up the first draft of Beyond the Wolf. I’m so close to finishing the first draft of my book Beyond the Wolf (BtW)! I hope to complete it before January 15—halfway through the month; though, of course, it could end up being 80,000 words or something instead of my goal of 70K. 😑 My goodness, I’ll be so relieved once I’m done with that draft! I’ve been working at it hard for so long. 😅
  • Begin (and then finish) Heirs of Guinn. In preparation for the next writing project after BtW, I’ve started outlining a novella project temporarily called Heirs of Guinn (HoG—man, me and my funny Work-in-Progress acronyms)! I’m much more confident in the plot and characters of this story than I was and am of BtW, so in the future I may perhaps write some HoG sneak peaks—what it’s about, snippets, character interviews, topics like that. I’m excited and I hope you are too!
  • Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. Camp NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month—is the more laidback version of the actual NaNoWriMo in November. From what I understand, it’s in July and instead of writing a minimum of 50K words in a month, it’s whatever you want it to be. Most commonly, 20K words. It’d be my first time participating.

Blogging.

  • Reach 100 subscribers (and 150+ by the end of the year). Guys, the RKW is literally so close to 100 subscribers!!! As of now, when I’m writing this, this blog only needs 3 more followers to reach 100. I’m definitely elated about this news! Now I’m trying to decide what to do to celebrate. As a subscriber of mine, feel free to share some ideas of what you want me to organize/do! 😄
  • Write more book reviews. I was given several books for Christmas, and I’m excited to jump back in and start reading more again, as well as do a few book reviews! As I begin publishing reviews, you may notice that most of them will vary in quality and style, as I continue to polish and refine my book-reviewing skills (if I had any to start with). 😎 So if I start getting more ‘picky’ compared to older reviews, it’s because I’m learning to get better at seeing more pros and cons of a book. Future book review possibilities include, but are not limited to: Dehali, Tartarus Chronicles book #2 by Keith A. Robinson (find review of #1 here), The Bruised Dream by Alabama Rose, Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger, and *waves hand around* Some Wayne Thomas Batson book (I’m undecided as to which series to read next).
  • Make more posts based on Christian and Biblical morals and beliefs. I have so many drafts in this area of my posts, and I’m finding it hard to stick to one topic for a post and write about that. I have lots of ideas and everything going through my head, and it’s difficult to put them to the paper efficiently, concisely, and truthfully. But I’ll try. 🙂

Reading.

  • Read More. I’ll try to read some of the books listed earlier, as well as others. Reading is fundamental to writing, so what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t read more often?

Faith.

  • Lead a child to Christ. What do I mean by this? Every summer I participate in a training called Christian Youth in Action, or CYIA. It’s an 11 day intense training where youth learn to teach the gospel effectively to children through 5 day clubs. Now, you can learn more about this when I write about it in the summer so I won’t explain anymore. But many of my fellow youth have led children to believe Christ. I’ve never done that. Now, this is something out of my control and I suppose what’s most important for me is to try to reach these kids and what’s most important overall is for them to come to Christ, no matter who leads them.
  • Read the Bible every day. I could have done much better with this in 2021. I hardly read (chronologically) on the weekends, and I’ve missed several days several times. My bible is very, very thick—the thickest book I have—, and with my lack of consistency in other years, I’ve been chronologically reading this holy beautiful book for multiple years. I can’t remember exactly when I started, but it was a while ago. I’ve picked up how much I read every day, and I just finished Ephesians.
  • ‘Pray without ceasing.’ This is tough for me to pray so often. Many times I’ve forgotten to pray when I finished a passage in my Bible. I do need to pray more. And not just about things I want and need, but to thank and praise Jesus. He definitely deserves more than all the praise I can possibly give Him.

Regular Life.

  • Begin learning how to drive. I turn 16 this year, so requesting my dad begin to teach me as well as organize the lessons will be something I need to get myself to do.
  • Begin learning an instrument. My dad wants me to start learning guitar, but taking the initiative to have my mom or someone else teach me and then actually practicing is something that’ll take motivation accountability. I do also want to try out drumming/using a cajón. I know if I try I can do it but it really is hard for me to start up something new and keep it going.

And those are most of my plans, goals, and hopes for this new year, 2022.

What are some of your goals and plans for 2022? Are you excited for this new year? Scared? Nervous? I’d love to hear your thoughts too! 🙂

With God’s help,

Daniel Amador