There are various stories in the bible where people fasted so that God would intervene to save a nation, fight against the evil and to be strengthened spiritually. Fasting is a sign of humility before God. When we fast, we humble ourselves before God. It is a practice of abstinence from eating food for a period of time.
“When we fast we humble ourselves before God. It is a practice of abstinence from eating food for a period of time.“Glennavelle
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Before you fast, bring it over to God if He has prompted you to do so, and depending upon your health you must consult your physician before skipping a meal.
Jesus’ fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before he began his ministry and before he was tempted by Satan. I believe He was preparing Himself to be strengthened spiritually.
In the story of Queen Esther where she prompted her people to fast for three days for God to save their lives from being destroyed by a man named Haman who sought after the Jewish people to be killed. Esther put her life at risk by approaching the king even if her life meant to perish but she fasted and prayed firsthand.
Let’s not forget about Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael & Azariah who didn’t eat the portion of the king’s delicacies. They didn’t want to defile their body by eating the food that wouldn’t please God. They’ve requested to only eat vegetables. As it turns out, God was pleased by their decisions that they have found favor in the sight of the king. Furthermore, God had given Daniel dreams and vision due to his reverence to the Lord.
Why do we fast?
Psalm 35:13, “I humbled myself with fasting.” It is a sign of humility when we fast. If you wanted to hear God’s voice clearly and experience a breakthrough in your life, you may want to fast. When prayer is not enough, it must be combined with fasting as stated in the verse below.
“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”Matthew 17:21
How should we fast?
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” —Matthew 6:16-18 (NIV)
In Matthew, we are advised to fast by washing our face and fast out of pure motives. We must fast not because we want to lose weight. Fasting is for spiritual purposes. During the fast is when we wanted to aim to get closer to God and be able to hear Him clearly. Be aware; however, that during a fast, you will face temptation. I remembered the time when I was fasting for seven days by skipping dinner because I needed to be closer to God. That’s when my husband decided to order take-out. Ask God to equip you and let the spirit of self-control help you control your cravings and persevere to finish on your fasting journey.
In Isaiah 58:6-12 went on further that there’s another way of fasting. Although fasting brings us a breakthrough but it is for our own benefit. But God talks about in Isaiah that fasting also involves to loose the bonds of the wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, to share your bread with the hungry and bring to your house the poor and the outcast.
When we fast in this way as Isaiah talks about there are benefits:
What are the benefits when we heed the voice of God?
- Healing shall spring forth and
- Righteousness shall go before you
- Your light shall dawn in the darkness and your darkness shall be as the noonday.