Why I Didn’t Eat For 40 Days

In 1998, my wife, Anna and I were asked to accompany a group of students on a missions trip to the Philippines. We spent a few months helping prepare the group for the two-week trip. Anna was on staff at Pacific Academy and it was part of her job to organize multiple teams of kids to travel for missions experience on their spring break.

At the same time, the Lord was also preparing me for what He wanted me to do in the future. I was seeking the Lord and God challenged me to go without food. Normally when I fast, I spend three days seeking the Lord but this time I felt like I should fast longer. I decided that I would try to fast the longest that I ever done. I would try fasting for two weeks.

Weird thing though.. when I finished fasting 2 weeks, I felt like I shouldn’t stop. So I decided to go for three weeks. At the same time, I was doing my work as the Worship Pastor for Glad Tidings Church in Vancouver, Canada and also working with the team of school kids to get ready for the trip to the Philippines.

Around the end of the three weeks I began to realize that God was calling me to do a 40 day fast. Fortunately He didn’t tell me that at the beginning because I would have thought that would have been impossible. I love eating too much!

Finally the time came for us to go the Philippines. I told the other team leaders I was fasting but I really wasn’t telling anyone else besides my family. The trip to the Philippines was a good trip. We journeyed to some remote islands and ministered to tribes of people in the jungles. I remember hiking through the jungle to the top of a small mountain in 30C heat to talk with a tribe. The strange thing is that even though I had not eaten in weeks, I felt strong. Hiking in the heat was no problem. I remember some of the Filipino guys travelling with us climbing a coconut tree and getting coconut water for us to drink. So… good!

In the 40 days of fasting I lost 18 lbs (which all came back quite quickly when I started eating again). I remember how my body adapted by conserving my body oils. I normally have good supply of body oil to my hair and skin but my body stopped producing the oil. Our bodies are ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ made. It was amazing to me how well my body adapted to the lack of food…. God has given us amazing bodies!

So what did I learn from this experience?

I learned that God prepares you before He brings you to the next level. In the next short time I would be involved with the start-up of an internet business (Praisecharts.com) that would bless thousands of churches (see: Can God Really Supply My Needs?) and I was also involved in seeing a national revival where thousands of people per day were coming to the Lord! (see: Can God Touch A Nation?)

God doesn’t usually tell you why He is preparing you. He just asks you to be obedient and trust Him! He challenges you to just have faith in Him!

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)

I love this quote on how God works in our lives and challenges us to go to the next level with Him.

If you want to see supernatural innovation in your life and ministry—something that can only be explained by the hand of God and changes people’s lives for eternity, you must be a consecrated servant leader. I’m not talking about being perfect, for we know only One has lived a perfect life. I’m talking about striving for a life of personal purity and holiness and dedicating our whole being to the will of God…..God may be wanting to do a “new thing” in your midst…. but He is urging you (like He did Joshua) to “consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow.” ~ (‘Consecration’ by Greg Atkinson)

Question: God might not call you to an extended fast, but what is He personally speaking to you about? What area is He challenging you on to go to the next level? Are you praying and obeying?

Check out my new book: “Leading Worship ~ Notes from a Grand Adventure. It is now available in Kindle or Soft Cover Editions.  This is a great gift for the musician or worshipper in your life.

About Mark Cole

Jesus follower, Husband, Father, Worship Leader, Writer, Pastor, Church Consultant, Founding Arranger for Praisecharts.com, squash & tennis player, blogger & outdoor enthusiast.. (biking, hiking, skiing). Twitter: @MarkMCole Facebook: mmcole
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