MESA WOMEN: Setting The Table | Hold Fast!

Happy New Year!

This month, as we've closed out our corporate fast, we bring you insights from Eunice Pimentel. A long-time staff member at Mesa Church, she previously led our Early Childhood team and now wears many hats as our Operations Manager. Fasting is a spiritual rhythm (and an important Mesa Church tradition) that is close to her heart, so we thought of her right away when discussing this topic.

Let’s dig in!

So, what is fasting, exactly? 
Are all reasons for it faith-based?

Dictionaries define fasting as abstention from all or some kinds of food or drink. While fasts are not exclusive to eating and drinking, they are very common. According to the Nutrition Journal, there are several positive correlations between your physical health and fasting, such as lower blood pressure, decreased fasting glucose and insulin, and a decrease in body fat percentage. Whereas a plethora of research shows correlations between physical health and fasting, the Bible shows a correlation between spiritual health and fasting. There are several examples of fasting throughout the entire Bible, including Moses traveling up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 9:9), David fasting during his child’s illness (2 Samuel 12:15-17), and Daniel fasting for 21 days as he sought an answer to prayer (Daniel 10:3).  Regardless of their reasons for fasting, every story (including ours) reveals God’s attributes and therefore shapes who we are in Christ, strengthening our faith.  

Why is fasting important to our faith, and why does Mesa make it an annual practice?

Fasting is a discipline that requires self-control, which is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Our physical heart is a muscle we can’t see, but it needs to be exercised to be healthy. Just like aerobic exercise is good for heart health, so is fasting for our spiritual health. God knows us intimately (Psalm 139:1-18) and wants to be in a deeper and closer relationship with us. If we do not commit to prioritizing time spent with God - being in His presence and His word - we cannot get to know who He truly is.

At Mesa, fasting has become a practice we engage in corporately twice a year: January and August. We fast because we want more of God in our lives!

What has fasting meant to you personally?

Fasting not only helps me to focus more on God and be better in tune with the Holy Spirit, but it deepens my relationship with Him as well. Sometimes, I also fast independently (apart from Mesa). If I feel God’s prompting me to seek Him with fewer distractions, this is a tangible way I can do that.

Through fasting, God has shown up powerfully in my life. We all need more of Him and He has more to give us, but we also need to be willing to dedicate time to discovering more of Him and what He has in store for us.

Any advice or encouragement for those new to fasting?

The thought of fasting may feel challenging but like any lifestyle change, it takes time to adapt and adjust to something different and new.

Here are four things I suggest doing as you consider fasting:

 1. Think of what takes you away from spending time with God more intimately. Is it TV? Social media? Working too late? Food? Define those things that you have prioritized and replace them by spending time with God intentionally. Start with one and as you get more comfortable with fasting, you can add more.

 2. Have a plan! Process how you want to spend time with God 7 days a week. Decide what
you want to do every day, for how long, and where. It’s different for everyone! If you are
new, perhaps it starts with prayer and joining a Bible reading plan. Every year, Mesa
Church offers a plan to corporately read the Bible in a year. For more information and
resources on fasting, check out the “21 Days” tab on Mesa’s website:
You can choose to listen to worship music or journal and meditate on a verse or passage.
You don’t have to do the same thing every day; you can switch it up! Our Heavenly Father is just waiting for us to take that first step.

 3. Prepare yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally! I have to admit, in order to prepare
myself before a fast, I start thinking about it a couple of weeks before. Through this process, I give myself pep talks and I commit to the plan.

 4. Be patient and expectant. You will see results! God will show up! Many times, He shows up in the least expected ways.

If someone hasn't begun yet, is it too late to join
our annual fast?

Absolutely not! Though the scheduled 21-day fast has ended, you can fast anytime. You can do so with others or on your own (with the Lord, that is). What matters is that you take the first step!

NEXT, on Setting the Table...

Don't miss a 3-part blog series by Lettie Cowie, arriving this January through March.
Read part one HERE!
Setting the Table is Mesa Church's podcast and blog series, created by women for women. We would love to connect with you. Here are a few ways to do so!
  • Visit our Mesa Women webpage.
  • Follow us on Social Media.
  • Fill out our digital Connect Card to learn more about small groups and upcoming events, submit a prayer request, and more!
  • Download the Mesa Church App to access many features on the go - including sermon notes, our women's page, calendar, prayer requests, etc...

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