Why is Fasting Necessary?
The term ‘Fasting’ generally refers to a period of abstinence from food for the purpose of engaging in uninterrupted study, prayer and meditation with a clear objective and goal in focus.
Why is Fasting Necessary?
The scriptures are replete with numerous accounts of remarkable results and dramatic testimonies produced through Fasting. As Christians, Fasting is one of the godly exercises we should engage in regularly, with the promise of present and eternal benefits. The advantages are numerous, and here are a few:
Through Fasting, we can improve our effectiveness in the things of the spirit. In simple terms, Fasting helps you to tame the flesh and lift the spirit. As Christians, we are required to walk in the spirit, always. This means to be spirit-controlled and not flesh- controlled. This is important because Rom 8:6 says “…to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” and also in John 6:63 our Lord Jesus said “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing….”.
So how does Fasting help you to tame the flesh and lift the spirit? One of the cravings of the body is food. It is a craving that is connected to the senses. When we fast, we deliberately abstain from food even though our body craves it. We resist the urge to eat thereby improving our mastery over the cravings of the body, and instead focus on activities that build the spirit. Of course, we could engage in activities that build our spirit without abstaining from food, but the abstinence from food adds a level of ‘ seriousness’ and ‘discipline ‘ to the exercise.
Fasting helps to sharpen our ability to receive or hear from God. It is like raising a spiritual antenna to pick the finer signals of the Spirit’s communication.
But how does this happen? When we Fast, abstinence from food is a key characteristic but that is not all. The Fasting exercise promotes focus and undivided attention to study and prayer. There should be a deliberate cessation of all unnecessary activity and a conscious increase in activities of that engage the spirit. This helps to unclutter the mind and remove the ‘noise’ or interference that often prevents the hearing of God’s voice. During a period of Fasting, many have received clear direction and heard the voice of God in a more distinct way than before.
Fasting can be a vehicle to effect dramatic and urgent change in things that pertain to us or even in the circumstances of others around us.
In James 5:17 (amp) the scriptures assure us that “….the earnest (heartfelt)…prayer of a righteous man makes power available (dynamic)….” which means power to effect changes, shift things, re-arrange things in the present or in the future can be produced by me – when I pray a certain way. So how do I ensure my prayer is earnest and heartfelt.
When you declare a Fast, you are raising the stakes. It is a declaration of seriousness and urgency in addressing the matter at hand. It helps you to be earnest in your prayers and certainly it will be heartfelt. Your heart is in it to the point that you are giving up eating to focus on the matter at hand. And when you pray like this, the results are guaranteed!