Why Fasting?

16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

As believers, we need to understand what fasting means in the light of what the Bible teaches. The Master shows us the pattern of fasting in our opening Scripture. He emphasized the importance of having a time or schedule for fasting. Note what the Lord says, “But thou, when thou fastest…” Fasting is a spiritual exercise that must be scheduled to be consistent. Someone may say, “Well, I’m not under the law, I just want to fast as the Spirit of God prompts me.” You mean that for long now that you have not been fasting, the Spirit hasn’t prompted you to fast yet, and you are still waiting for Him to prompt you? Understand that being Spirit led doesn’t suspend sanctified common sense. When you choose to do a thing that is consistent with the will of God, or the Word of God, that is being led by the Spirit. The Spirit always lead us according to the Word, not contrary to it. People hardly say, “I will not eat breakfast, and lunch, and dinner until the Spirit of God prompts me to.” So, the challenge is not so much about the prompting of the Spirit, as it is about  the lack of desire to put the body under. Beloved, when you fast, you subject your body under the influence of the Spirit willingly. You ought to fast and pray in order to yield your body to God’s Spirit to flow through you to be a blessing to others; and that’s what your destiny is about. Understand that the just shall live by faith, so don’t subject your prayer and fasting life to feelings. Live by the Word.

On the subject of fasting, the Word of God is very clear. Yes, there are sometimes the Spirit of God prompts you to have a special fast. That’s okay, however you don’t wait until when that special time comes. Have a prayer and fasting schedule in your life that is consistent, since our devotion to God ought to be consistent, and not seasonal. Just as there is a schedule for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there ought to also be a time to fast and pray in our devotion to God. Matthew 6:17 says “When thou fastest” and this speaks of a personal fasting schedule, a personal lifestyle of fasting. You ought to have and observe a personal fast. Sometimes, you might hear some people say things like, “I don’t even know why people fast. Is it that they have problems?” Beloved, you don’t have to have an issue or a problem before you fast, just the same way you don’t have to be sick or weak before you eat. Fasting is a biblical way of inclining our soul to God in devotion to Him. Devotion to God requires prayer and fasting.  Don’t let your prayer and fasting life be provoked only by challenges and circumstances. Let the Word of God regulate your prayer and fasting life. The Word tells us that we ought to pray and fast, so we do it in faith.

In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I declare that I am given to spiritual things and my devotion is unto God completely and heartily in fasting and prayer! Amen!

Further Meditation: 
Psalms 69:10; Joel 2:12.

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