The prevalent reference to fasting in the bible occurs where Jesus was tempted by the “ prince of darkness” to prove his trust in God through questionable mechanisms while alluring Jesus into acquiring a false promise land through deceit.
One can only imagine the magnitude of self- awareness, resilience and focus needed to survive the irritable yet attractive rewards offered by the devil. On a more relatable and technical spectrum, fasting is defined as the abstinence of all or some kinds of food or drinks, in modern literature. This is habitually done for several aims.
Fasting in our daily lives can improve the quality of our journey in life and can enable us to add to our list of spiritual gains, train our minds and assist in achieving triumphs which promote self – actualization. The facets of fasting, fundamentally integrate in; having a motive for fasting, abstaining and starving the flesh and ego while filling the absence with a diet from the spiritual or super-ego realm.
We as human beings have physiological and safety needs which form the lowest level of our motivation as illustrated in Maslow’s Hierarchy. Maslow highlights basic needs for survival – food, shelter, water etc. A second level is then supplemented to accommodate our need for a safe environment both physically and spiritually. This level is followed by other needs such as: Love, esteem and actualization. One level should be attained in order for the next to follow, as they progress into needs for growth, which is the ultimate goal for human- beings.
Let’s briefly return to the analogy of Jesus in the desert. Remember he went from essential need to self- actualization real quick. Fasting should be used as a tool of self- development, through fasting we responsively and strategically abandon our weaknesses of the flesh and adopt our desired traits or physical pressing needs.
My Personal fasting journey started three weeks ago. It is however, more complex and less basic than the common fasts we hear about on a daily. I, for example do not have a fixed set of predetermined list of foods or drinks that I am cutting out of my diet. Conversely and more effective, I have made a decision to oppose any momentarily burning and tempting desire. This type of fast I call the “ How bad do you want it?” Fast.
What it basically entails is opposing the indulgence of any immediate desire in your nearest possible reach. Imagine glancing through a food menu at a restaurant and eyeing that juicy steak or the cold glass of coke. Immediately when you are about to order it – your alert and awakened mind creeps in and dares your conscious mind, to order something else because it has realized that your adrenalin rushed intensely for a specific desire. This fast tests my own resistance to external temptations created by my intuitive mind and allows me to control my thinking pattern, by experiencing an in-depth act of self-discipline.
Why would I torture myself like this – you ask. The answer is simple. I have petitioned my Creator for a specific new environment and I know myself to be very impatient and inconsistent at times. I am illustrating the lengths I am willing to go for the new environment and allowing myself to be mentally ready for what this specific environment will hold for me. I have asked the Lord for something which will test my leadership skills and it is only just that I choose to lead my inner-self from self- inflicted and third force related temptations with the assistance of the Universe, God and my Ancestors.
I dare you to level up your deepest desire with a great deal of spiritual sacrifice. You owe yourself that piece of physical reward!