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Going on a Spiritual Fast

by Mrs. Sharon White

{This article appeared in The Puritan Light, November 2000 and Sarah's Promise magazine. It may be reprinted as long as credit is given to the author and our web address is included.}

      If you are seeking the presence of God and would like to learn more of His truths, I want to encourage you to go on a spiritual fast. The details are here listed. Please adjust them to meet your own situation.

1. Choose a period of time in which you will be fasting. Such as one week, two weeks, etc. I believe that one month is good but two months is better, as long as you can discipline yourself to do it. If it seems overwhelming at first, then just begin with a few days at a time.

2. This is a spiritual fast, not one from food!

3. Avoid all television, newspaper, radio, and all worldly distractions.

4. Do not involve yourself in recreation, such as sports, movies, etc. Avoid reading anything that is not fully spiritual. This includes “Christian” books, which are actually lukewarm or modernized. Only read things that are Biblical and inspiring. If it doesn’t give you a sense of God’s presence, then don’t read it! Consider it to be poison or a breaking of the fast.

5. Spend all your time (outside of work and other obligations) studying the Bible, praying, listening to old -time sermons, singing hymns, sitting quietly and meditating on God. Reading the Psalms is good.

6. Prayerfully search your Bible, with the help of a dictionary and concordance and seek the truth and the wisdom that God will reveal to you.

7. Every book you read, must give you a sense of the Holy Spirit. You should also be able to feel it coming through the writing and you will know that the writer was close to God when he penned his thoughts. This will draw you to Him (God).

8. Do nothing that brings you carnal pleasure (such as going to a “fair,” “circus,” going to the mall, casual shopping, playing worldly games, etc.) Your focus must remain on God.

       Once you get into the fast, you will be amazed and overwhelmed by his presence. You will have, literally, turned away from the world and its distractions and be able to fully focus your heart on Him.
        Sometimes the voice of God is so quiet and we cannot hear Him until we shut out the noise of the world. This peaceful fast is a reminder of what the Sabbaths are like but I do not think we can easily get into the spirit of the Sabbath until we have cleared ourselves from the world. And the reason for this is because the everyday things we are doing seem normal. It is not until we get away from them, do we realize that they are wrong!
        This time of fasting is similar to what nutritionists tell us when they say to give up sugar for a few weeks. Your body is so used to it and you won’t even realize the harm it is doing until you clear it out of your system. After a few weeks, when you taste the sugar again, it will immediately make you sick! This is exactly what will happen at the end of the spiritual fast when you attempt to go back to your usual life of television, worldly recreation, reading unprofitable books, entertainment, etc. It will make you spiritually sick and you will be immediately aware of it! Thus, you will want no part of it for two reasons:

1. It is offensive to God.
2. It will turn your attention and affection away from God.

     Let me warn you that during the fast, you will be tempted to stop, you will feel urges to turn on the television or just read that newspaper (what’s the big deal anyway?) but do not listen! You must take enough time to cleanse your soul, clear out all the worldly toxins and doctrines from our spirit before you can go back to your everyday life.
       During these times, I have felt the presence of God and it was so overwhelming and incredible while my joy was overflowing, that I literally couldn’t take anymore! My cup runneth over! It’s as if I walked up to Holy Ground. . .slowly and carefully. . .stepping closer. . quietly as in a peaceful forest. . and when I saw a glimpse of the Almighty light, it was too much for me and I was afraid and ran back to the wilderness to hide and contemplate what happened.
      May your own experiences be just as rich and rewarding. And may the peace of God bring you comfort in the midst of a wicked world.

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