Fasting is a vital part of the Christian walk. It, ultimately, is surrendering your physical needs (flesh) to seek the Lord (Spirit). I picture in my mind emptying a vessel filled with trash for actual use. We must empty our flesh out for God to fill us with His word, will, and way. Scriptures give us many examples/commands for fasting. This was just a quick topical study, so I encourage all to actively seek further information regarding fasting.
- Jesus did it. Matthew 4:2. Jesus fasted for 40 days. He knew His time for testing was coming. Satan was around the corner seeking to devour the very Son of God. Jesus prepared Himself through prayer and fasting. Fasting declares, “I don’t care what my physical needs are! I need God! I want all flesh to be removed, so Christ can fill me!”
- It empowers. Matthew 17:21. Jesus said there were certain spirits that could only be removed through prayer and fasting. This means we have to pray and fast to be prepared for full battle. I’ve seen firsthand how cunning the devil is, I don’t want to be caught off guard by strong spirits. If fasting makes us more effective in God’s army, then we should be fasting!
- God speaks through it. Acts 10:30 & 13:2. Cornelius had a vision & Barnabas and Saul were sent out as missionaries. We fast…God speaks.
- It brings understanding. Daniel 10. Daniel had fasted and sought the Lord for understanding for these overwhelming visions. It took Michael, the angel, fighting through the heavenlies to get there, but he came to speak to Daniel and encourage him.
- God moves after it. II Chronicles 20:3. The bible is full of examples of God’s mighty hand moving after fasts. Here, He fights the battle for the Hebrews after they fast. When I fast, I want to see God’s hand move!!
- It’s expected. Matthew 6: 16-18. Jesus explains what our fasts should look like. In I Corinthians 7:5, we’re told to only separate from our spouses for a time of prayer and fasting.
It’s like water baptism. I don’t really understand all the reasons for it, I just know that it’s important. It’s spiritual “stuff” I don’t fully grasp, but I don’t have to understand to obey. If it’s important to God, shouldn’t it be important to us?