A little rant here! I'm seeing all these articles in Christian magazines about "fasting." However, upon reading them, what they are really talking about is dieting. It's interesting to me January would be the month where all the so-called "fasting" articles appear because January is the month when everyone thinks about losing weight, whether to get rid of those extra holiday pounds or just as a new year's kind of resolution to get healthy. Suddenly, there are multiple articles popping up on popular Christian magazine sites about "fasting" but in the context of losing unwanted pounds with a sprinkle of "and oh yea, fasting can help you spiritually too." It's along the same lines of secularizing our church services to the point that we apologize to attendees if the words hell, sin, repentance or even Jesus are mentioned in the process.
If you look in scripture, fasting had nothing with weight loss! People didn't fast because they were fat. They might have if they were gluttons and were repentant for sinning against God because food was an idol in their lives, but they didn't do it to lose weight.
Fasting has nothing to do with healthy living, in the sense that you call a fast to live more healthy! But to read the current trainwreck of thought in Charismania, you would think that it did. Yes, God wants us healthy and He's provided through His Son for us to live healthy, fasting is not God's way of achieving health. I believe that God's way of bringing health to a man is to first make him spiritually healthy and that, in turn, produces healthy lifestyle and health to all the other parts of the man. The Holy Spirit will never lead you into unhealthy ways of living, so to follow Him in ALL areas of life will produce health. Fasting can help you hear the voice of God more clearly, but unless you practice what you hear, it does you no good spiritually.
Isaiah 58 explains some reasons for fasting. God also rebukes them because they are fasting for their own advancement, not the advancement of the things that are on God's agenda. They aren't fasting to please God. They are fasting to please themselves! Israel fasted when they had sinned against the Lord or when they needed wisdom from God in battle or protection from their enemies, not to lose weight. Wake up America! God is not interested in how buff or slim you are! He hates that your body is an idol so alluring that you are willing to sacrifice His original intentions for fasting on the altar of self-improvement.
Do we need to fast in America? YOU BET WE DO, but not for the reasons that our self-appointed Christian ministers and magazine editors are telling us. God would call us as a nation to repent for our self-indulgence, disdain of His commands, and pride. He would have us deny ourselves and refuse to eat until we've heard from heaven. He would have us cry out for healing in our nation, on all levels. God would have us return to him wholeheartedly.
I just want to tell those article authors to shut up! What an insult to the Lord to once again, take what is holy and sanctified unto Himself and making it all about me! Shameful!