We now know that prayer without ceasing and His Word is essential in our lives to strengthen, protect, and fill us with a new vision, hope, and peace.
Currently, we see so many plans and programs on our social media of Christians calling for a plan to achieve a particular result (usually financial abundance).
Besides prayer and the Word of God, really, what work can we do that will matter?
Jesus fasted before He began His public ministry (Luke 4: 1-2) to gain spiritual power by relying on the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
Luk 5:35 “then they WILL FAST in those days.”
Mat 6:16 “Moreover, WHEN YOU FAST.”
What is the Christian fast?
To refrain from food and drink, to concentrate for some time on spiritual growth. Specifically, we humbly abstain from the flesh to glorify God, strengthen our spirit, and go deeper into our prayer life. Christian fasting is not a type of “work” commanded by Christ or required by Scripture. However, this does not mean that fasting should not be part of our spiritual growth.
Wrong motivations during fasting:
- To be seen by others. Mat: 6: 16-21
- To be justified by God (Luke 18: 12-14). There were two men. One said, “I fast twice a week.” The other said, “God have mercy on me.” Only one justly returned to his home.
- Turning God’s arm (1 Cor. 8: 8) Fasting does not allow us to “earn” anything from God, but it does help us to be more receptive to what He wants to do in and through us.
Right motivations for fasting:
- Spiritual power against an enemy attack.
- To break demonic bondage. Matthew 17: 19-21 Then the disciples came to Jesus separately and said, Why could we not cast him out (the devil)? And Jesus answered them, “… But this generation (type) does not go out except through prayer and fasting.”
- To awaken a spiritual hunger for God that may have faded.
- To demonstrate our love and desire for God above all things (even His gifts).
- In Acts, believers fasted before making important decisions (Acts 13: 2; 14:23). Thus, fasting and prayer are interconnected (Luke 2:37; 5:33).
Unfortunately, too often, the focus is on the lack of food but rather on demonstrating to ourselves that we are serious about our relationship with Him. However, the purpose of fasting is to forget the things of this world and focus on God instead. Diabetics may not be fasting from food, but everyone can temporarily give up something for a specific period to focus on God, e.g., coffee, sugar, cell phone, television, etc. By giving up things in this world, we can better focus on Christ.
Don’t announce to everyone that you’re fasting. No one needs to know except your family. Still, try to do your daily chores in the house without being an extra burden for the rest of your family.
Mat 6: 16-21
Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Christian fasting is more than denying our food or anything else of the flesh – it is a sacrificial lifestyle before God. In Isaiah 58, we learn what a “true fast” is. It is not just a once-off act of humility and denial before God; it is a ministry lifestyle of serving others. This concept of fasting is not a one-day thing; it is a lifestyle of servant living for God and others.
Isa 58: 3-11
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’ “In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers. Indeed you fast for strife and debate, And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD? “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. The LORD will guide you And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail”.
How should I fast?
The problem with Christians is that they expect miracles during or after a fast. It is a way of life to seek His face, become more like Jesus, be filled with His wisdom, knowledge, love, and power. Then everything will fall into place, your finances, your problems, etc.
Fast for one day
Eat your last meal on Saturday night and dine again Sunday night. Spend as much time as possible in prayer during Sunday. Just drink water. You will start to get headaches in the afternoon if you are a coffee pot, but it will not be so bad, and you will survive. So do it every week, 52 days a year, and then you fasted for about 40 days. (2 meals x 52 days)
Fast for 3.5 days
For example, eat your last meal Thursday night and Monday morning, you eat again. Do this every month, and after a year, you fasted for about 40 days. Just drink Rooibos tea, especially in winter, without milk and sugar as your body temperature will drop. If you are a coffee pot, drink one or two cups of Green tea a day (without milk or sugar). It will keep the headaches away, and you can focus on prayer. Drink a probiotic tablet before fasting, and at the end, drink a glass of lukewarm water with a spoonful of honey and two spoons of apple cider vinegar before you start eating. That will take good care of your bowels. Don’t start with big meals; eat some fruit for breakfast. By noon you should be 100%.
After a few years of fasting, you will look back and see with astonishment the change in your life and not believe how good Our Heavenly Father is.
A regular fast will supernaturally change your life for His Glory.