BIBLE READING: ISAIAH 58:1-14
“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12 (NKJV).
As we start this season of seeking God’s face in fasting and prayer, it is important that we take note of certain very important things regarding fasting.
To fast means to afflict the flesh and deny it pleasure while consciously feeding our spirits. Feeding our spirit man weakens the flesh and makes the spirit come alive and become more sensitive to God.
A fast also plays the role of showing God that we choose to humble ourselves before His presence and deny our flesh, so that we can seek His face. “Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.” Daniel 9:3 (NKJV). Fasting has also been recognised to have health benefits, like the detoxifying of the body, the breaking of wrong habits, and others.
However, as we fast and seek God’s face, there is a proper way to fast so that we will reap the benefits of fasting and not water down the experience:
- FAST PLEASURES: A fast is a period when we subdue our flesh and deny it pleasures so that we will become more alive to God. This means that food is not the only thing we fast. For some people who hardly eat, abstaining from food might not necessarily be the right thing to fast. The question is, what is that thing that you do or take regularly which brings your flesh pleasure? That is what you need to give up to approach God in this season. For some, it might be food, but for some others it might include movies, novels, social media, T.V or anything that gratifies the flesh. For couples, they may have to mutually agree to abstain from sex in order to subdue the flesh and draw closer to God in this season. (1 Cor.7:5).
- SEEK GOD: A lot of people spend their fasting season sleeping or watching movies and counting the hours till they will break the fast; that is not fasting but a hunger strike. To truly benefit from this season of fasting and prayer, spend time on your knees in the place of prayer, spend time studying the Word of God to know Him more and deepen your relationship with Him. “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12 (NKJV).
As we fast and deny the flesh, it becomes weaker, but we must replace it with spiritual strength and that comes from fellowship with the Holy Spirit and study of the Word. As we fast, let’s make sure not to miss times of prayer in our local church so that we will be strengthened for the journey ahead.
Take time to be a part of this fasting experience, join in the prayers, Bible study and see things fall into place for you this year.