Back in December, my church had a “Juice Lady” come in and speak on the health benefits of juicing. This is nothing new for our church. Our pastor has long educated the congregation that, we cannot neglect our physical health in our pursuit of spiritual health. For the entire hour, she spoke about the health benefits of juicing. She spoke on how she had been healed of several physical ailments, including a massive tumor.
Now I admit, at first I was a bit surprised that this interview was going to be the entire sermon. Yet by the end of her story, I understood why it was. She truly did have an incredible story of deliverance and she gave all glory to God while touting the benefits of fasting and juicing. The bible talks about fasting, so in a church setting, her message definitely fit.
After the interview concluded, our pastor told us the bigger reason he had brought the Juice Lady up to talk, he wanted the entire church body to fast…for 21 days, starting January 2nd! Going into 2017, he wanted the church to be unified and our “spiritual ears” wide open to be able to hear from the Lord. There is power in agreement, and if a 10,000 member church would unify and do this, many blessings would abound.
People always “say” they want better overall health and a great spiritual walk with God (‘happiness’ for you who are not spiritually inclined); they want to hear him and have him order their steps. But…people are extremely attached emotionally to two things: their money and their food! Even with all of the benefits of fasting, even with the wonderful reason for calling the fast, you could hear some of the moans and groans in the congregation. It was quite amusing.
Pastor understood this. He kind of “encouraged” the moaning and groaning by making light of it and speaking of the fun foods he would have to give up, too. So, there were going to be “levels of fasting” to provoke those on the fence to participate. People were able to choose what “level” of fasting they were going to do. There was the super easy fast where you just gave up bread and sugar. Then, there would be the advanced fasts, which included the Daniel Fast and the Juice Fast. On those fasts, you could only have juice, water, some veggies and the occasional almond or walnut.
I was going to be looking for huge breakthroughs in 2017, so I decided that I was going to do it [fast]. I had fasted before, but the longest I had went without food before was 3 days. Since I decided that I was going to do it, I was going to go all the way with it and do the most advanced fast. I wanted to challenge, push and stretch myself to go for the 21 days on a Juice Fast.
The bible says to fast in silence, but we were doing the fast as a church body, so there was some freedom in talking about the fast. My reasons for fasting were: to stand in solidarity with the church, my marriage, my family, my health, my career and my businesses. I wanted to clear ANY disruptions between God and I so I was all about it; I was happy to share with others what I was doing. I wasn’t looking for people to “bless me” or pity me, I was looking to encourage “them.” And, I wasn’t downtrodden on my fast, I was full of life, so why not share the good news with others?
There are so many benefits to fasting. If you research the topic yourself you will see lots of articles listing these benefits. Some of them include:
1 It’s one of the highest forms of worship
2 Emotional Strength
3 Healing to relationships
4 Get rid of toxins for better health
5 Lose weight
6 Teach self control
The first 3 days of a fast are the hardest, especially after the holidays. You’ve basically trained your body and your mind for massive amounts of food. You ate turkey, you ate stuffing, you ate pies, you had mashed potatoes, you ate more pies, green bean casserole, you drank purple Kool-Aid…my mouth is watering and I’m in my happy place just thinking about it. J And then, you fast and agree to starve your body…talk about a shock to the system!
Your senses are going crazy and so is your stomach! You hear the growling of your belly, you see others with all the foods that you would like to eat. My kids can be cruel because they will wave the food right in front of you, teasing and tempting you. To this I would jokingly say to them, “Get thee behind me spawns of Sata..” well, you get it. 🙂
My wife couldn’t take the hard fast, she had to eat something…lightweight, lol! But, she stayed as close to the Daniel Fast as she could. I gave her grace as, I understood that not everyone is cut out for that type of challenge. “I” was looking for massive breakthrough during the fast. I was looking to hear from God and asking him to order my steps in a way that I had never experienced before. I had no intention of giving up. So I put my mind and body under my submission and asked for strength during the entire process.
Over the course of my fast, for the first week, I still had lots of cravings. I’m in shape, but I love my chips and sweets! The first week was challenging, but not too much. I stayed focused on my reasons for fasting. Once I got past that first week, it was smooth sailing for me. The cravings went away, I had energy, I didn’t need to sleep as long and I felt great. There were a couple of times that I felt faint, but I think that
was caused by dehydration. So, make sure you get plenty of water on a fast because, there were days that I was so in tune, that I forgot to eat or drink.
One of the results of a fast is that it “cleans out the crap” literally and figuratively. The fast was resetting my metabolism and also resetting the priorities in my life. I felt that my “spiritual ears” were opening in a way that they had never opened before.
During the fast, I got hit with a massive personal storm. The tsunami rocked my family and nearly tore us apart. Every area of my life, I had to expose and get clean. It was hard. But like I said, I wanted every roadblock and every stumbling block that was hindering me from being in the presence of God, unblocked.
I am happy to say that, I came out on the other side of this thing better than I did before in every area of my life. I am ready for 2017 from a spiritual, mental and physical perspective. I feel better than ever. I lost 25 pounds that I didn’t know I had to lose. My abs are back to their original glory. I had energy, even with no food.
As I said, be careful of dehydration. I had to give blood during my fast and that was not fun.
If you are looking for your own breakthrough, looking to get centered and/or just want to improve your overall health, I would recommend a fast to you. Be sure to consult your doctor first.
Larry Tank Jones is an actor, producer, philanthropist, and motivational speaker that loves to push himself and others to be the best they can be.
He has acted in dozens of movies, the most notable being “Three Kings,” and has appeared in several television shows, including NCIS, CSI: Miami, Breaking Bad and more. He has a leading role in the historical film, Union Bound, which is set to be released in April.
Tank Jones is also a producer, he is currently producing the series Fire and Ice, and is the co-producer of the very successful Latin Comedy Jam comedy tour.
In addition to his film career, Tank is a motivational speaker who has traveled the country speaking on behalf of his nonprofit organization, Choices Empowerment. Choices Empowerment was founded in 2003 to promote diversity and to help encourage elementary, middle and high school students to have a positive outlook toward themselves and their goals.