This is not a post about what “fasting” means or how to fast. There is a wonderful post about that content written by Vladimir Savchuk.: Beginners Guide to Fasting – Hungry Generation. I’m here to arm you with expectations of the Devil’s tactics during your fast.
I recently partook in a full fast which means from nine am to nine pm for a week, I abstained from eating food and only drank liquids. I wanted to fast as a demonstration of my discipline to God. Anytime there is obedience to God, Satan loathes us more and tries to infiltrate our minds to corrupt our devotion.
Here’s how he played with mine:
- Day 1: No effect
I am used to not eating during the seven hours I’m at work a day, so it didn’t feel as though anything had changed.
- Day 2: Slight effect of not remembering I was fasting
My fast metabolism results in a snacking lifestyle. So, when my body was used to snacking (when I get home from work and when I sit down at my computer at night to write) my brain was triggered to grab something from my snack cabinet. And I was so distracted by responsibilities, work, etc. that I had to forcibly remember I was fasting.
- Day 3: Forgetting the fast again; harder at suppertime
Again, those snack times were triggered in my brain and it became a mind over matter type of struggle. I’m not hungry, I’m just used to eating at this time. At supper, it was harder to sit and watch my kids eat delicious food that I couldn’t partake in. I was noticeably hungry, and had to tame my mind into obedience.
- Day 4: Tempted at work with pizza
Satan tempted me with my favorite food. My boss had ordered pizza and offered me some. I agreed to eat the pizza when it arrived. It took me a whole fifteen minutes to remember I was fasting, and when the pizza got there I turned down the opportunity to eat.
Later, one of my other bosses posed me like this, “So, I heard you’re fasting.”
Me: “I am.”
Him with a bit of condescension: “Well, if that’s what you want to do.”
Me: “It IS what I choose to do, and it is my pleasure to serve the Lord.”
- Day 5: Temptation to cut the fast short by days and to indulge in small exceptions like bubblegum
Not that avoiding bubblegum is apart of all fasts, but I had chosen specifically in the beginning that I wouldn’t eat ice cream or chew bubblegum as a way to pass the time during the fast. Satan repeatedly tempted me this day to chew gum to appease my hunger. I refused, disciplining my brain into obeying my promise to God.
Satan also tempted me to cut the fast short. He tried to convince me that I had done a good enough job making it five days and that five days is “technically” a work week, so I had gone a week in a way. I refused that thinking and vowed to keep the fast until Sunday as I had originally decided.
- Day 6: Disdain from my family
Telling my family that I’ve been fasting for twelve hours a day, all of their reactions had negative connotations. My sister expressed that it’s not healthy for someone to go that long without eating, and that her metabolism could never sustain not having food for that amount of time. I explained from experience that you can survive, and even with a fast metabolism it is possible.
- Day 7: Pity party
During supper when my whole family was eating together, everyone expressed their sorrow for my inability to eat with them. Like I had contracted a disease that made me a black sheep, and they were sorry for my suffering.
I wasn’t suffering by not eating, I was honoring God. Every time they would apologize for eating in front of me, or for eating without me, I’d follow up with the same thing, “It is my pleasure not to eat during my fast. It brings me great joy to be obedient for the Lord.”
So, there you have it. Satan tempted me in these ways:
- Distracting me from my fast so I was tempted to break it several times.
- Trying to convince me that the length I had gone was “good enough” and that I should call it quits ahead of schedule.
- Speaking for others (like my boss and sister) to convince me it’s unhealthy and undesirable to fast.
- Trying to convince me to give into small pleasures (like bubblegum)
- Arousing doubt by trying to convince me that certain foods (like ice cream) weren’t technically food.
When I prayed on the 7th day in my kitchen at nine pm when the fast had been completed, I told God how surprised I was that I didn’t break the fast and abandon it earlier than scheduled. As a sinner, I have a tendency to do that. It was unlike me to be able to resist the temptation of the Devil.
Then I realized, when I had abandoned myself during the fast and trained my mind on the Lord, it was HIM in me that allowed me to conquer Satan’s wiles during the fast.
It was the very absence of myself that activated the Holy Spirit, and everything else literally became crystal clear. I was able to catch myself forgetting the fast and laugh in the Devil’s face that he almost got me. I was able to hear the Evil One speak through my boss when he shamed me for my fast. I was able to see the Devil’s temptations and resist them. Like being able to see landmines under the sand with x-ray vision and dance around them gloriously. It was awesome to FEEL so pure. To BE so pure. To be so close to God. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and I can’t wait to do it again.
Beware during your fasts. This is how the Devil tempted me but trust me when I tell you that he plans to do the same thing to you. To get you to give up, to get you to give in. Don’t. You’re stronger than that because Christ is alive in you. Call upon Christ in your moments of weakness. Prayer is your weapon against the Evil One.
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
– Romans 8:6
Fasting is the opportunity to get closer to God through obedience. To master your flesh and bring all thoughts into captivity. If a sinner like me can do it, I have faith that you can too!
If you have any questions, thoughts, or would like to share your fasting journey, I’d love to hear it in the comment section below! Thank you for reading!
- Cover Photo: Madisyn on Pinterest
- Breakfast Photo: Pinterest
- Holy Spirit Photo: Pinterest