Why fast?

Moses and Jesus fasted 40 days without food or water.

Moses was on the mountaintop as Yahweh revealed Himself, the glories of Heaven, and His commandments.  Let’s face it, if we could somehow see what Moses saw the last thing on our mind would be pizza.  He was feasting upon the grandeur and majesty of the Almighty.  He lacked nothing for 40 days and nights.

Jesus fasted in the wilderness.  Unlike Moses a mere man taken up to see glory, Jesus was Glory adjusting to wilderness life.  He endured a fasting that showed Him the evils of this fallen earth and the vileness of the enemy.  His fast was a battlefield and He won in His weakness.

These two totally different fasting experiences prove we cannot define fasting in legalistic guidelines.  No two fast will be the same.  Several times I have fasted 40 days.  One was a mountaintop encounter.

For those weeks, I had the strength of Samson, the Wisdom of Solomon, and the passion of Paul.  I slept little and worked hard.  I recorded volumes as His Spirit filled me with deep insights from His Word.  I witnessed to everyone in my path about the power and grace of my Lord.  If all fasts were like this, I’d never eat again.

But they are not.  I have endured fasts when I felt I would surely die.  The weakness and nausea consumed me.  But oh, during those times, I learned the power of His name.  “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” I would start out weakly whispering but with each uttering of His name my strength grew until I was shouting for all to hear.  Jesus!

Most fast have moments of mountaintop grandeur as well as times of wilderness suffering.  But one thing I can guarantee, all true fast will bring you closer to our Lord.  I know He leans close to the ones who deny themselves for a taste of Him.

Fasting is akin to adding turbo boosters to your prayers.  Now remember, prayer is an encounter with God.  So when we add fasting to our prayers, we have more intimate encounters.  We hear His voice, we discern His will, we pray with confidence, and then His answers come quickly and powerfully.  Oh, that alone is worth all the foods of this world.

In case that last paragraph didn’t entice you to give up your next few meals, maybe the following benefits will.

  • For renewal.  When my soul begins to feel a distance from the Lord and I desire more intimacy.
  • For wisdom.  At those times when I truly don’t know what God is saying to me and I want to hear clearly before moving forward.
  • For strength.  Strangely, when I need His supernatural strength to complete His mission, I deny human strength.
  • For direction.  When the path seems unclear and I need to know where He wants to plant my next step.
  • For protection.  Like Ezra, when I’m facing the evils of this world, I need to know I have the supernatural protection of the Lord.
  • For power in prayer.  When my human words need the power of divine intercession.
  • For the love of Him.  When my heart is overflowing with His grace and mercy and I want Him to know the extent of my love.  These fasts are precious beyond words.

I can’t imagine any believer not finding themselves in one of these scenarios on a regular basis.  These are the challenges of the Christian walk.  Could it be the reason we find so many defeated Christians is because we either refuse to fast or just don’t know the benefits of fasting?

If you knew that denying your desires would help you to receive revival, wisdom, strength, direction, protection, and power wouldn’t you eagerly fast?

Holy God, teach me to fast.  The next time I am faced with questions, despair, weaknesses, and fears please guide me closer to You.  Allow my soul to feast upon your provisions and fulfill all my needs.  May I be so full of You, I lose all temptation for things of this world.  Amen

 

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