Learn About/Subscribe:
Christian Union
Christian Union: The Magazine
February 17, 2021

Yale Alumna Recalls Seeking God Lifestyle Course    

By Alisha Reginal, Yale ’15

Christian Union whet my appetite for fasting. Nine years ago, I participated in Christian Union’s Seeking God Lifestyle Bible course at Yale. The course discussed seven principles to intentionally draw near to God. The first was “humility with fasting.”

Prior to participating in CU Lux at Yale, I didn’t fast – in part because it wasn’t a discipline I regularly saw when I was growing up and, in part, because I didn’t have a genuine desire to do so. Christian Union’s Seeking God Lifestyle course provided a detailed study on the history, purpose, and approaches for fasting. Intrigued and convicted, I decided to give fasting a try.

CUalisha PSAlisha Reginal, Yale '15I fasted occasionally throughout college and afterwards, but didn’t make it a regular discipline until early 2020. I referenced Christian Union’s resources on fasting in my preparations to lead a small group Bible study session on this topic. After our small group discussion, we decided to fast together. Christian Union had tangibly introduced fasting to me years earlier, and now I had the opportunity to share and practice this discipline with other believers beyond the college campus.

This time around, God cemented my desire to intentionally fast on a regular basis and instilled in me two key takeaways during the past several months.

Fasting reminds me that I am utterly dependent on God. Depending on the nature of the fast, the most difficult part isn’t fighting food cravings but, rather, fighting physical weakness. In those moments, I surround myself with worship music and God reminds me that “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). I depend on God for my very breath, and He ultimately gives me strength. Yet, even in times of weakness, God demonstrates His protection for me: when I fast, I don’t typically experience headaches that would otherwise appear if I didn’t eat frequently on a regular non-fast day. Therefore, fasting demonstrates how God sustains and protects me, increasing my trust and dependence on Him in other areas of life.

Fasting acknowledges that God is my top priority. On a given day, I generally feel like I am in constant communication with God; I talk to Him about even the little things throughout the day. However, fasting has highlighted the reality of how easily other things in life actually occupy my attention, preventing God from being my first priority in a given moment. Allow me to illustrate. On a fasting day, I decided to not only replace mealtimes with an extended time of prayer, worship, and/or Bible-reading, but to also carve out five minutes from every hour to spend time with God.

It surprised me to see how quickly an hour could go by as I focused on a different activity. (Thank God for calendar alerts and cell phone alarms to remind me to pause and seek Him.) Adding this practice to fasting helps me to not just keep God somewhere in my mind throughout the day, but to purposefully place Him at the forefront. Even without this additional practice, fasting underscores the value of listening to God’s direction in each moment of every day. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

I am grateful that Christian Union laid a solid foundation for fasting, which has now developed into a regular spiritual discipline, and that I’ve been able to lead others to develop the discipline of fasting as well.

To learn more about how Christian Union is impacting leaders like Alisha, please click here.