Cutting The Roots Of Addiction
Whether your addiction be sugar, salt or TV, fasting cuts at the spiritual roots of addiction: fear, insignificance, laziness, self-centeredness, guilt, negative thinking, resentment and spiritual emptiness. Fasting, being still, prayer and reading the Bible have the power of a chainsaw on these roots. During your fast, you take an aggressive stance on a battlefield to face all your addictions. Urges come and you say no. They return with greater urgency, and you stay firm in resolve. With each resistance, the power of addiction grows weaker.
If you want an addiction to die, don’t feed it. If you want to change your desire of an addictive substance, see its ugliness. If you want to be free of addiction, thank God for the challenge of addiction and do the opposite of what it demands. Fasting and prayer are the opposite of addiction. Set your mind on freedom and resist addiction.
You will always have hard days and tough times filled with stress and uncomfortable emotions. How you respond to these needs is either healthy or unhealthy. A healthy response to stress is to go for a walk, exercise, breathe deeply, or think faith-filled thoughts. An unhealthy response is smoking a cigarette, worry and nail biting. Changing your responses is indeed difficult as the behavior is ingrained in your neural pathways and you have to create a healthy response pathway. The value of fasting is that it is a focused event dedicated to developing healthy responses to the urges of addiction. It may take months of retraining for your body to fully develop healthy responses that become subconscious but be patient, it will happen.
There was rich man who asked Jesus, “What must I do to enter the Kingdom?” When he was asked to sell all he had and give it to the poor; he turned away because he valued money more than following Jesus. What have you exalted above Jesus? What is it that you cannot give up? What addiction is filling the space that only Christ can fill? You can sponsor 10 children, read the Bible daily, faithfully attend church, and yet be groaning with spiritual emptiness because you are in bondage to hidden addictions.
We live in an addictive society where it is socially acceptable to be addicted to sugar, salt, caffeine, fried food, cookies, cakes and junk. Yet, no matter how small the addiction, it has to go. Even a cookie addiction can powerfully affect your life through guilt, pimples and thirty pounds of excess weight. You may say it is just a few cookies but if there is deterioration to your health, and you eat them without control, your cookie addiction needs to end.
When I got high, it was never long enough or high enough. Every time I got high, it was a tease. I always wanted more. Drugs were supposed to make me happy but I was miserable. I never had what I wanted. Leaving you always wanting is the sneaky side of addiction. An addiction makes you feel good for a time, but, behind your back, it is stealing your self-control and making you its slave through the desire for more. …for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Pet 2:18,19) Even a cookie high is never enough.
Hard Days Ahead
You will always have tough times filled with stress and uncomfortable emotions. How you respond to these needs is either healthy or unhealthy. A healthy response to stress is to go for a walk, exercise, breathe deeply, or think faith-filled thoughts. An unhealthy response is smoking a cigarette, worry and nail biting. Changing your responses is indeed difficult as the behavior is ingrained in your neural pathways and you have to create a healthy response pathway. The value of fasting is that it is a focused event dedicated to developing healthy responses to the urges of addiction. It may take months of retraining for your body to fully develop healthy responses that become subconscious but be patient, it will happen.
Fasting For Spiritual Strength
When John baptized Christ, the Spirit led Him into the desert—not for a vacation, but a preparation through fasting. Each day was another day closer to the suffering of the Cross. Any man would want to run from such a fate, but Christ used fasting to strengthen His resolve.
One of Satan’s main tactics is to encourage any addiction or lifestyle that makes the body the master, where man is moved by every little whim of the flesh. Fasting is a powerful discipline for bringing the body under submission. You take total control. It suffers and you say no. A soldier without needs cannot be tempted and will not turn from duty.
Each great servant of God has had his/her time of fasting. It is an essential spiritual discipline and without it we are weak. It fortifies spiritual foundations, builds intimacy with God and strengthens resolve. We can hide behind a lack of confidence, feelings of inadequacy, fear of rejection, and fear of failure, yet we will never be fulfilled until we become courageous. Fasting, prayer and faith give us the courage to move past our fears into the realm of the unknown.
If you are spiritually dry, fasting and prayer will restore that fiery passion you had when you first came to Christ. If you are seeking direction, truth will be revealed. If you are in a spiritual battle, fasting gives the edge for victory. If you have a request before God, there is no position more powerful than fasting in humility and praise.
By Tom Coghill of Fasting.ws Articles may be copied or reproduced as long as the back links to fasting.ws are intact and the author’s name is included.
Isnt fasting likely to add wieght later on if done not properly?
Ive fasted before but yet i still made sure i was getting some vitamin and minerals – i went 2 months on fresh fruit and vegetable juices, hot herbal teas and some hot liquid soups that had seaweed and yeast in them – i came out loosing the weight i needed to loose – but also i felt on top of hte world – free from my emotional eating addiction and amazingly brigh eyed.
I also wanted to say that promoting fasting can be a source to those with eating dissorders – anorexia and bulima and that some sort of warning should be placed on here for that reason.
Yes, breaking a fast and binging can put on more weight than you started with and yes there are warnings but not on every page.