With more than 12 million U.S. children being obese, and millions more being malnourished, the need to address this topic has never been greater. Caffeine, soft drinks and junk food are fueling the disease epidemic.
Yet we pray for God to heal rather than ask for His help with the self-discipline to change harmful habits. What's wrong with this picture? "There are multitudes of diseases which have their origin in fullness, and might have their end in fasting."
The myth that fasting is bad for you is unfounded and has been disproved numerous times. Be careful when getting counsel from those who profit from that advice or from those who know little about how the body heals itself. I vividly recall the story of a man who had colon surgery yet may not have needed it had he just changed his diet. The hospital even fed him a greasy sloppy joe after he awoke from surgery. A lack of wisdom has been our downfall. (For more about how the physical affects the spiritual, search for "The Doctrine of Man (Sin & the Curse)" at WCFAV.org.)
It's been estimated that nearly 75% of U.S. clinical trials in medicine are paid for by private companies that benefit. For example, "Statins are good for you"—paid for by pharmaceutical companies that make them. Or "Take this drug to feel better"—never mind the fact that side effects include internal bleeding, seizures and panic attacks. Or "Eat this children's cereal"—just ignore the harmful GMOs, food coloring, additives, preservatives and toxins.
America, wake up! You are what you eat. Fasting doesn't kill us; overconsumption and consuming empty food does. Companies are often driven by revenue, but no one profits from fasting except the faster. Processed food is cheap and convenient. It often contains stimulating and addictive ingredients and flavor-enhancing chemicals. When was the last time you saw an advertisement for broccoli, blueberries or kale?
Disease is often a problem of toxicity created by what we consume, ingest or breathe—and fasting is the detox solution. Granted, spiritual health and wholeness are the goals when fasting, but the physical benefits are worthwhile. Dr. J.H. Tilden said, "After fifty-five years of sojourning in the wilderness of medical therapeutics, I am forced to declare ... that fasting is the only reliable, specific, therapeutic eliminant known to man."
Dr. Joel Fuhrman noted, "The body's wondrous ability to [self-digest] and destroy needless tissue such as fat, tumors, blood vessel plaque, and other nonessential and diseased tissues, while conserving essential tissues, gives the fast the ability to restore ... youth to the system." Most research on cancer and fasting supports the healing process as well. For example, the goal of chemotherapy is to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells, but it's been said that the body has a natural, God-given way to do this without harming the healthy cells—fasting. Fasting is not a panacea; it simply provides an environment for healing.
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, a psychiatrist at the University of Moscow, treated schizophrenics with water fasts for 25 to 30 days. This was followed by eating healthy foods for 30 days. About 70% of his patients remained free from symptoms for the duration of the six-year study. The health benefits of fasting are incredible.
Did you know that type 2 diabetes is nearly eliminated with proper diet when you stop fueling the disease and fast? It doesn't have to be a progressive disease. There is hope if you starve the fuel source and incorporate fasting. The reason you may find it nearly impossible to fast is because you might be withdrawing from poisons and addictive substances. Therefore, begin by eliminating junk food and educate yourself by reading the recommended resources. Seek medical support and consultation if need be, but keep in mind that most are not supportive of fasting simply because they are trained to ease the pain rather than eliminate the problem.
Drugs don't often cure the underlying problem, and they are toxic. Granted, there may be a time for certain medications, but they should be the last resort, not the first. For example, antibiotics wipe out harmful bacteria as well as good bacteria, and some antibiotics can even be harmful.
For instance, check out the side effects on WebMD for Ciprofloxacin (Cipro). It even has black box warnings, the strictest labeling requirements the FDA can mandate for prescription drugs. Not only is it prescribed, it's overprescribed and given to kids and the elderly. Yes, all antibiotics have side effects, but doesn't that tell us something? If the underlying problem of poor health isn't dealt with, illness will return with vengeance. This is why many are chronically sick—they are always medicating and never healing.
Now that you're motivated to fast, I want to offer two helpful resources. First, here is a recent message on fasting that will help answer many questions. I also want to recommend my book, Feasting and Fasting: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why. This link has free download options. While there, download my brand-new book, HELP! I'm Addicted.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California. More can be found at ShaneIdleman.com, and free downloads of his books are available at WCFAV.org. Visit him on Facebook and subscribe to his new podcast.
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