“I can’t eat from Midnight to 3 pm?” I responded.
Fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline in the life of a Christian. The spiritual benefit of fasting is evident throughout the Bible. Fasting and Praying offers a deeper understanding of God’s plan and purpose for our lives.
I experienced the hand of God move in my life four years ago when I was introduced to fasting and praying. It was one of the most challenging things for me to do. How could I possibly not eat food, which I love, and go to the Word of God to replace a meal?
Self-control was an attribute that would need to be massaged out of me to be successful.
It seemed impossible, but after several failed attempts and never giving up, I survived my first 21 Day Fast. I remember the final day of our 21 Day Fast ~ it felt like the weight of the shackles around my ankles (invisible strongholds were released) and I was FREE. That day; the song FREEDOM by Eddie James became my song of deliverance!!
Today we are fortunate to live during a time where we are surrounded by all kinds of foods. Our bodies need food to survive physically, just as our spirit-man needs spiritual nourishment from the Word of God.
We feast to celebrate. We fast to transform.
Moses fasted for 40 days and experienced the finger of God writing down the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34.28). Jesus fasted for 40 days and began a ministry that would forgive the sins of the world and reconcile all the earth back to God (1 Peter 3.18 & Colossians 1.20).
Powerful breakthroughs happen during or after times of fasting. When you fast, your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of the world, and you are better able to become sensitive to the things of God.
Fasting allows the Holy Spirit to reshape you into your true self by dealing with your wounds from the past that have distorted, stagnated, and stunted your spiritual growth.
Fasting is a Biblical principle, and one that I know is a lifestyle worth developing.
Four Benefits that I learned from Fasting & Praying:
As I started fasting and praying I learned several benefits that I wanted to share.
Fasting Will Cause Us to Rely on God
Food is a necessity, and when you are hungry, the flesh will cry out for you to feed it. It is not a pleasant experience. It may be challenging to endure, but God’s grace and mercy rise and provides comfort and strength. God will do the same thing in our everyday lives if we invite him to intercede in those situations. It is during difficult times that we must earnestly seek God. Fasting shows God that our hunger for Him is greater than food or any other “god” we put before Him.
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. “ Psalm 63:1
Matthew 4:4 “But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.“
Fasting will put bring focus and we bear the FRUIT of the SPIRIT
Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!“
Have you ever tried to show patience or love on an empty stomach that is “growling” for food? Well, I have, and I call that behavior “hang-ry”.
That’s when I’m so hungry that anger is showing instead of peace.
It is during this time that exercising self-control and praying for strength is essential. Fasting will cause us to dig deep inside and focus on the behavior we should be showing to those around us and produce goodness, kindness, and gentleness. We are to walk in the image of Christ.
fasting Opens our Hearts and Ears to hear from God
When we are fasting, there is almost nothing distracting us from hearing the voice of God. Our hearts and spirits are open to receive and hear from the Holy Spirit. There is an uncluttered space within us because we have emptied ourselves and positioned ourselves to surrender to His voice.
One of the best times to make those tough decisions is when you are fasting. I always begin the New Year with a Fast to obtain clarity on the direction the Lord is directing. When we walk in the spirit, we are not being led by the flesh, which can get us off course.
We are stronger and hear more clearly.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16
fasting Teaches Us to Feed on God’s Word
We are spiritual beings who live in a body and have a soul. Most of us feed our bodies, very well and often consume too much. Our starved spirits need the same care and attention from the word of God. When we fast our body from food; we open our spirits to consume God’s Word, providing it with the necessary nutrients and sustenance needed. Whenever we take something out of our lives, we need to fill it with something else ~ fill it with the Bible.
When we start to fill our spirit with the word of God, we grow spiritually, and it transforms areas of our lives for the better.
Ask yourself, do you want God to transform your life? What specific need do you have in your life right now? Please put that reason in your mind and begin fasting for God to meet that need.
I am praying for YOU!