The Release of The SPIRIT
Starve the Body
In a culture where the landscape is dotted with shrines to the Golden Arches and an assortment of Pizza Temples, fasting seems out of place, out of step with the times.
—Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline
Fasting is not always a popular subject, but it is a subject that can open up a whole new world of spiritual growth for us.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
Fasting redirects a hunger for bread to a hunger for God. It leaves space for a yearning for the presence of Jesus. He declared it inappropriate for His followers to fast while He was with them. But the day has come when we should yearn for His presence, and fasting redirects physical hunger into spiritual hunger, giving power to our prayers.
For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18, 19)
Fasting confronts the ungodly appetites in our lives. The stomach can be a principle source for those appetites, where eating becomes a way to fill up emotional potholes. When we fast and pray, we draw attention away from those potholes of lust and greed, comfort and security, happiness and pleasure of this earth, and we draw our attention to God.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:2, 3)
Fasting sharpens our discernment and releases God’s power. It affixes us to spiritual realities and gives us sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Fasting sharpens us to the direction and word of the Lord.
Pray the Scriptures:
Joel 2:12, 13
2 Corinthians 12:9, 10
Fast something today, be it food, coffee, or entertainment, and give the time you would spend enjoying those things to prayer and God’s Word. Don’t be surprised if God confronts you about other unhealthy appetites in your life.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)