“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” –Matthew 5:6
Anyone who has fasted knows something about hunger. Sometimes it is only mild discomfort, other stages provide great aches and possibly even negative side effects. Our bodies revolt at hunger. But what about our spirits? Do we get hungry for God? In all reality, every human being is hungry for God. Many either do not recognize or choose to ignore the source of their hunger and so sate themselves with unsatisfactory substitutes– temporarily. But once you know Christ– really know Him– once you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, there is no more fooling yourself about what you are missing. Only one thing can make your spiritual stomach stop grumbling.
I said above that anyone who has fasted knows something about hunger. At face value, of course people experience physical hunger because they are going without food. But those who truly fast do so because of a hunger in their spirit. Where they are in their life is not acceptable. For me this is true. I have previously blogged about not being where I ought to be in my walk with God. Since then, my relationship with Him has deepened, but I still want more. There is a place that has not been breached, and I believe that the only way to get there is by fasting.
Jentezen Franklin, pastor of Free Chapel Church in Georgia says, “Biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. Fasting has always been a normal part of a relationship with God.” What makes this discipline so important?
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” –Romans 8:5
Firstly, fasting is a good reminder that man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. It is very easy to get caught up in the life we live on earth and so forget how dependent we are on Christ and how vital a close relationship with Him is. A fast sets the body on the backburner and reminds us to focus in on the Creator of our stomachs.
“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” –1 Corinthians 9:27
We need to remember that we serve a purpose here on earth: to preach the Gospel, make disciples of all men, and to be active participants in the Kingdom of God. It is easy to point fingers at people with addictions such as alcoholism or drug abuse, or even smoking. But what about obesity? Is that not also an undisciplined body? Food can be an addiction the same as anything else, and Christians would be wise to remember that once you claim you claim yourself to be one, the world is watching you and will be quick to ask you why your all-powerful God couldn’t help you lose weight. Even if you aren’t overweight, you may be consuming foods that are detrimental to your body. A fast is not only a good cleansing tool, but also a way to remind your flesh who is in control, or at least who ought to be in control: your Spirit.
Fasting took place in the lives of so many people in the Bible, that it is hard to ignore. If you are looking for a breakthrough, set your mind to do it and begin to fast. Fasting is not just a diet. God is not impressed with just a denial of foods. Pray, read the Scriptures, listen to worship music, get yourself away from the things of the world and refocus on Him. He honors obedience, He honors sacrifice, and He gives Himself to those who diligently seek Him.