Why fast? I am not asking “why go fast?” As in speed. Rather, how do you knock on the door of spituality?
We can look in The word and see the experiences of those who fasted.
Fasting is giving up a physical need, in this day and age even yielding to a word to place your cellphone down may be difficult; internet, chats, FB, messaging, WhatsApp… the list is endless. Put it down as led, the more passion you feel for what you are putting aside, the more impact it will have.
We are placing the spiritual before the physical.
One of the most telling passages in which fasting is mentioned is Matthew 6:16, where Jesus is teaching His disciples basic principles of godly living. When speaking on fasting, He begins with, “When you fast,” not “If you fast.”
Jesus’ words imply that fasting will be a regular practice in His followers’ lives.
It is a blessed occasion when and if we fast, we place the flesh into subjugation.
Fasting prepares you for the works God has ordained for you to do.
Wesley Duewel, a twentieth-century writer, said, “You and I have no more right to omit fasting because we feel no special emotional prompting than we have a right to omit prayer, Bible reading, or assembling with God’s children for lack of some special emotional prompting. Fasting is just as biblical and normal a part of a spiritual walk of obedience with God as are these others.”
Fasting was an expected discipline in both the Old and New Testament eras.
Fasting and prayer can restore the loss of the “first love” for your Lord and result in a more intimate relationship with Christ.
Fasting is a biblical way to truly humble yourself in the sight of God.
Fasting enables the Holy Spirit to reveal your true spiritual condition, resulting in brokenness, repentance, and a transformed life.
Fasting will encourage the Holy Spirit to quicken the Word of God in your heart and His truth will become more meaningful to you.
Fasting can transform your prayer life into a richer and more personal experience.
Fasting can result in a dynamic personal revival in your own life and make you a channel of revival to others.
Many times we don’t fast because we’ve lost our spiritual appetite. John Piper says, “The absence of fasting is the measure of our contentment with the absence of Christ.” Piper adds, “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”
Fasting is a much-needed discipline in the life of a believer.
It truly is the “path of pleasant pain,” as John Piper calls it. As you empty yourself physically and spiritually, you open the door for God to step in and do the miraculous. Your relationship with the Lord is taken to a whole new level. You also become more sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit, which enables you to hear God’s voice more clearly.
Anyone who has done a fast — whether absolute, liquid, or partial — would agree fasting is difficult. Physically, you may suffer from unpleasant side effects, such as headaches, fatigue, and intestinal discomfort, as your body attempts to adjust to the reduced caloric intake. Spiritually, attacks from the Enemy increase in frequency and intensity, resulting in a barrage of frustrations that can seem overwhelming. However, the same people who would be honest about the challenges of fasting would also concur that the sacrifices are well worth the rewards. So don’t resist the suffering that accompanies fasting. Rejoice in it! Fasting is a spiritual exercise which God honors. He promises to heap blessings on people who are hungry for Him (Matthew 5:6).
I will admit that the concept is foreign to many. In Islam, there is Ramadan (a period of fasting) we all find a way to be closer to our Creator.
Fasting is a much-needed discipline in the life of a believer.
Have you made fasting a part of your spiritual disciplines? Jesus instructed us that when we fast, we are to do it in secret, and not to be obvious to others that we are fasting (Matthew 6:16-18).
Fasting is a tool that has been widely used by God’s people throughout history, and it continues to be a powerful way for Christians to deepen their relationship with God.
Ezra proclaimed a fast when the Jews faced a hazardous travel situation as they returned to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon (Ezra 8:21-23). While the desire for safe travel was the immediate reason for the fast, Ezra stated the ultimate goal in verse 21: “that we might humble ourselves before God, to seek from Him the right way for us.” The fast of Esther 4:15-16 provides another example of drawing near to God when asking Him for protection.
In 2 Samuel 12:14-16, David fasted to seek God’s healing for his sick child. It was during this intense seven-day fast that David wrote Psalm 51, one of the most heartfelt expressions of repentance in the entire Bible. The overall purpose of David’s fast was not to get God to do what he wanted, but rather to be humbled and reconciled with God as he beseeched Him in prayer. Even though God chose not to save the child’s life, the fast still served its purpose of bringing David closer to God after being separated by sin. Isaiah 58:3-9 further elaborates on the proper attitude we should have when fasting.
Let us study examples of fasting in The Bible:
Some are repeated, but I just want to show how important it has been in His-story. We have examples and results, one of my favorite verses is Ecclesiastes 1:9-18
Mind you, I am not suggesting or asking what should be done, I am simply sharing what has been pointed out to me. My story for the most part is known, but I thank God for ALL He has done in and for me, Amen.
So many times, I am amazed when you place a simple request for an act in your life into action, how The LORD makes ALL come to be, Amen.
I wish to share of The Apostle John exiled to Patmos after being condemned to death by being thrown into a vat of boiling oil:
It is said that Roman emperor Domitian commanded that the apostle John be boiled to death in oil, but John only continued to preach from within the pot. Another time, John was forced to drink poison, but, as promised in Mark 16:18, it did not hurt him. Thus John, the head of the church in Ephesus at the time, was banished to Patmos in A.D. 97.
John survived all of this because God had not finished with him yet. A “revelation” still had to come. While he was in a cave on the island of Patmos, John received a vision. This vision became the book of Revelation—the book that would act as the driving force for evangelism in the church age. It prophesied the events that surround the return of Christ. John wrote of Christ’s second coming and welcomed his arrival. Even today his writings inspire believers to anticipate the glorious return of Christ.
Two years after John’s exile, the emperor Domitian died, and John returned to the church in Ephesus. The youngest of the disciples lived also to be the oldest, dying in peace in Ephesus at the age of eighty after over half a century of resilient service to Jesus’ church.
It’s impossible to retire from God’s service. Just ask John. At a time when the average age of death was much younger, John lived on to be eighty years old, faithfully serving all the while. Perhaps you have been struggling with your own usefulness in God’s service. Perhaps you feel too old and find yourself thinking God could use someone younger in your place. Or perhaps you are young and single and wonder if a married couple might be more what God has in mind. Instead of letting you quit on your own excuses, God wants to build into you a spiritual resilience that is not readily discouraged. Start asking today for God to reveal your next steps in service to him.
LORD ALL MIGHTY Father, we approach Your Throne of mercy, forgive our thoughts, actions, lack of action, our thoughts and when we have stepped away from Your path. Father. You are our ALL. Be Glorified in our all, we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
At this time, I commit my all into Your hands. Use me, create in me a new spirit. Move me, quicken me to do Your Will, Amen. In my ALL, be Thou glorified, Amen.