Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
*The thing that separates physical starvation from fasting is that fasting must be rooted in seeking God. That is the first and most important aspect of fasting. We can’t just give up food and that’s it. It has to be connected with seeking God through prayer, worship, journaling, and reading the Bible.
What the Bible Says about Fasting
*Richard Foster asks this, “Where are the people today who will respond to the call of Christ? Have we become so accustomed to ‘cheap grace’ that we instinctively shy away from more demanding calls to obedience? Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross. Why has the giving of money, for example, been unquestionably recognized as an element in Christian devotion and fasting so disputed? Certainly we have as much, if not more, evidence from the Bible for fasting as we have for giving. Perhaps in our affluent society fasting involves a far larger sacrifice than the giving of money.” (1)
*Pastor Franklin stated, “When I feel myself growing dry spiritually, when I don’t sense that cutting-edge anointing, or when I need a fresh encounter with God, fasting is the secret key that unlocks heaven’s door and slams shut the gates of hell. The discipline of fasting releases the anointing, the favor, and the blessings of God in the life of a Christian.”
*During the years Jesus walked the earth, He devoted time to teaching the principles of the kingdom of God, principles that conflict with those of this world. The Beatitudes (Matthew 6) Jesus talked about the pattern by which each of us should live by. The pattern addresses 3 specific duties of a Christian: Giving, Praying, and Fasting. They each begin with the sentence “When you” not “If you”. He is making it clear that in addition to giving and praying you should also be fasting as a normal part of the Christian Life. Read Matt. 6:1-18 for further study. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights without food before his ministry to the world. If Jesus could have accomplished all He came to do without fasting, why would he fast? He did this because he knew there were supernatural things that could only be released that way. How much more should fasting be a common practice in our lives? (2)
*It enables us to surrender our lives to God in greater measure and we find more control over our tongues, our minds, our attitudes, our emotions, our bodies and all our fleshly desires. It also helps us to submit our Spirits to God completely so He can use them for his purposes.
*The only real way to build Godly Character is by spending time in the presence of God. (3)
Loosens the Chains of Bondage
*Do you struggle with addictions or addictive behaviors? Sometimes addictions can even show up in our personalities rather than behaviors such as alcoholism. An example might be if your in a room full of people and you constantly need to talk or need to run everything or everyone in sight. An exaggerated need to control others or circumstances can be just as much of a bondage as a drug addiction. (Maybe you know of a loved one who is bound by addictive personalities or behaviors, such as drugs and alcohol, homosexuality, pornography or some form of rebellion. Fasting can break any spiritual stronghold so that peace and harmony can return.) (4)
Humbles us (5)
*”Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
*When you are making a critical decision such as choosing a mate, changing a job, deciding to move or other life impacting decisions you need God’s divine guidance.
*”However, when he, the Spirit of Truth, has come, he will give you into all truth; for he will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; he will tell you things to come.” John 16:13
*Regular fasting can protect us from the blindness of our own opinions and desires. (6)
*Fasting is a powerful tool for healing and restoration. “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (7)