Every year I start the year off with a 40-day fast. I get some questions as to why a fast and why 40 days. I do 40 days because it is a tithe of the year (365 days. 10% is 36.5, I round up to 40). I do a fast because there were three things Jesus taught on the most during His earthly ministry: praying, giving and fasting. Consequently these are three things Christians today still struggle with. We are in good company. Even the disciples- those closest to Jesus- had questions and struggles regarding these three things. However just because there have been struggles with them in the past, does not mean we cannot have victory in them today.
The question still remains: Why fasting? Simply put fasting is abstaining from something for a period of time to realign and refocus our spiritual pallet. Have you ever been in a rut spiritually? Have you ever struggled with the same thing over and over again? Have you ever needed God’s direction in your life? Fasting is a good way to reset your spiritual pallet, tune your ears and heart to God’s voice and leading in your life.
In the beginning after God had created everything, He instructed Adam and Eve to not eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. The enemy deceived Eve by getting her to buy into the lie- “God is withholding something good from you.” This lie was sold with the currency of food. Esau exchanged his birthright and the currency was food. Daniel found favor after being taken into captivity and it started with food. The enemy in the desert tempted Jesus; the first item He was tempted with- food. With all this in mind I am not shocked when I hear statistics about Christians who struggle with gluttony or eating disorders. There is something spiritual in the exchange of food. I know this statement raises some questions but let me prove it with one verse of scripture: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
Why fast food? Something spiritually happens when we conquer king stomach; as our body hungers for food- our soul hungers for the presence of God. Our body is being disciplined so our spirit’s can be satisfied. I believe you can have a good fast if you take a break from texting, Facebook, running or the likes. When you chose to lay down that one comfort food you go to every time you need some emotional healing. When you lay down that late night snack or that nice hearty breakfast. When you decide to give up Starbucks or anything else that pleasures your taste buds and fills your stomach, a release in your spirit occurs. Clarity, focus, vision and God’s voice come screaming to you unrestricted. Your stomach may growl- but your soul will sing and be satisfied.
Here are some helpful verses and other things fasting brings:
- Fasting and Prayer realigns our obedience- Isaiah 58
- Fasting and Prayer Changes our focus- Isaiah 58
- Fasting and Prayer opens up doors in the physical world- Esther 4
- Fasting and Prayer opens up doors in the spiritual world- Daniel 1 & 10
- Fasting and Prayer releases a new ministry- Acts 13
- Fasting and Prayer allows us to not only be led by the spirit but to operate in his power- Luke 4
- Fasting and Prayer defeats the enemy- 2 Chronicles 20
- Fasting and Prayer shows us the battle is not ours- 2 Chronicles 20
- Fasting and Prayer gives us on outward focus- Isaiah 58
- Fasting and Prayer allows us to hear God’s decrees- Exodus 34
- Fasting and Prayer restores nations- Nehemiah 1
- Fasting and Prayer allows us to face the lions- Daniel 6
- Fasting and Prayer brings repentance- Jonah 3
- Fasting and Prayer brings salvation- Acts 9
- Fasting gives us a front row seat to see the redeemer- Luke 2