Every January, without fail, we see leaders all over the body of Christ calling for fasts, abstaining from food or some activity to focus on God.
There's the perennial Daniel Fast, based on the prophet of the same name refusing the king's delicacies and living on mostly vegetables. The Daniel fast is no meat, no sweets and no bread.
Some choose the Esther Fast—a three-day full fast. Others opt for a media fast. Still others engage in corporate fasting with their church.
But there are crystal clear reasons why you should absolutely not fast this January. I know that statement runs contrary to conventional January trends in the body of Christ. But let's face it, not everybody should fast. Here are three reasons why:
1. Wrong motives. If you are fasting to change God, don't bother. Fasting doesn't change God—it changes us. In other words, fasting makes you more sensitive to His Spirit, but it will not force His hand to do something He doesn't will to do. However, it can birth miracles.
2. Health issues. Some people have serious health issues, such as issues with insulin or the reality of having to take life-saving medications with food. If you have a severe medical condition, fasting is not for you. Sure, the Lord could tell you to fast anyway—but you better make sure it's the Lord.
3. Pressure from people. Fasting because of peer pressure—or pastor pressure—is the wrong reason to fast. In fact, it may be an exercise in futility. Your heart needs to be in it and, ultimately, the Holy Spirit should lead you to fast because if He doesn't, you may find little grace to do it.
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Jennifer LeClaire is senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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