Yep, another blog on fasting. I don’t love a grumbling tummy anymore than anyone else but I know that there are so many benefits to fasting. It is a discipline necessary for discipleship.
I must be especially needy and quick to look to idols (yep, it’s true), I seem to need to fast on a regular basis. It doesn’t take long before I am leaning too heavily on ‘crutches’ in my life. We tend to look to the blessings in our life to tend to the deep needs of our heart that only God can fill. We default to wandering from His presence in favor of instant gratification. We may end up with extra pounds, maxed out credit cards, and addictions of every kind…and hearts that are still achingly empty. No shame people- that is all of us. We humans have needy hearts. We, in our human nature, just default to idolatry.
Idolatry- looking to other things, people, whatever to be ‘god’ to us. If you have an addiction in your life is has become a ‘god’ to you. It can be a scale, illicit books, a sugar fix, or a destructive thought pattern.
Fasting is being willing to offer that thing that has us in bondage back to God with open hands. If there is something in your life that God has his finger on- something that you have a death-grip on- well that is what you should fast or give up completely.
“Their god is their stomach” Phil. 3:19 By giving up food for a period of time you can aggressively weaken the hold of your fleshly appetites in all areas of your life. From gossip to anger to even a porn addiction. You need to starve an addiction to death. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14 Do what you need to do. Cut up the cards. Cancel your cable. Sell your laptop. Get drastic, people. That is what it takes.
When you are willing to fast you are taking a stand against the fleshly desires that ‘war against your souls.’ Yes, fasting involves some suffering. You will be cranky, a bit weak, and hungry. But there is a freedom that only come by being willing to take that step. “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.” 1 Peter 4:1 Fasting is willingly subjecting yourself to this suffering to have greater freedom in following Christ.
God honors a fast. If you need a breakthrough, if you are in bondage, or you just want to be obedient; then you need to fast fast. 🙂
Over the rumbling of your tummy and crankiness of your flesh you will hear God much more clearly. You will feel energized and renewed in your spirit. You may get fresh insights. That person might get saved. You may even get a miracle healing. Check out how many times ‘fasting and prayer’ preceded a breakthrough, healing, commissioning, or mighty move of God. http://biblehub.net/search.php?q=by+fasting+a+prayer We serve the same miracle-working God of Wonders, Amen?
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5
God wants you FREE. He will only ever ask us to lay something down so we can experience greater joy, blessing, and effectiveness. If you know in your spirit that God is asking you to lay something at his feet, then do it today. Don’t wait. There are things God wants to do in your life (and your loved ones) that can only come by prayer and fasting. Mark 9:29 God will send grace to help you as you move forwards in obedience. Join me in getting real about stripping off every hindrance that keeps us from Christ.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2