- Written by Pastor Steve Sanchez
- Published May. 8, 2016
The Bible says in understated terms that “after fasting forty days and forty nights, Jesus was hungry.” So was I. Not only hungry, but starving. Literally.
On January 6, 2016, I began a 40 day fast because I needed to get God’s attention to help me with all the troubling issues I was facing. My former pastor suggested I do this until I get a clear word from the Lord. On Valentine’s Day, the fortieth day, I got that “word from the Lord.” (Please read parts 1-4 by going here: www.bit.ly/LongFast)
Few people knew about the fast because I kept it mostly secret. My congregation probably thought I had some fatal disease since I had lost 42 pounds. On day 41 this is what happened: I awoke at 5A.M. with severe leg cramps. My plan after awaking was to pray, read my Bible, go for a two mile walk and thank God for his sustaining power.
My wife the nurse prepared my “re-feeding” program, which would take up to ten days. She thought the best course of action would be to follow the guidelines of the U.K.’s Scarborough Hospital. It was very important to break a fast slowly because if I ate too much at first, I could have a heart attack. Starving Jews ate too much, too fast, when liberated from the Death Camps after World War II and many died. I had to be patient a few more days, then I could eat what I wanted.
After praying, reading and walking, I had my first breakfast in nearly six weeks: twelve ounces of beef broth. Oh how glorious! Lunch: half an avocado. Delicioso! Dinner? Eight ounces more of beef broth. Restricted to 350 calories the first day and 700 the next, I gradually increased my caloric intake before eating that big cheeseburger I craved.
But what about all those problems I fasted about? Well, nothing much changed.
This is the word God gave me: “My grace is sufficient.” That was it. This was the very same word given to the Apostle Paul after he asked the Lord three times to take away the thorn from his side. In other words, life will still be hard, problems will still come, but Jesus will be with me. Always. Even to the very end of the age.
Now, that’s a good word!
“Fasting helps to express, to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, to sacrifice ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.” (Andrew Murray, 1828–1917)
You can read my follow up article, “40 Days Past My 40 Day Fast” here: www.bit.ly/40DaysPast.
*Steve is pastor of Community Church of the Hills located at 212 Klett Ranch Road, Johnson City. Services are Sunday at 10:30am. Contact him at www.CommunityChurchOfTheHills.org