“God is not moved by your fasting! Your fasting doesn’t change God!…” This was my Pastor’s voice resounding loud in the huge auditorium. It was the seventh day of the yearly prayer convention at my local church. We were required to fast from the previous day which was a Sunday from 2pm to 7am the next morning when we were to converge and pray.
As expected, I was spent and I just managed to get myself to church. I was very weak but when the pastor teaching said the above statement I sat up. Then I realized he was correct. God is God, a good God. He doesn’t to be “bribed” or “whined” with my sad, long hungry face that is a result of 24 days fasting before he blesses me.
I felt bad. All this while, I was fasting to “impress” God and now I see how my fasting wasn’t for God as much as it was for me. Then I started to question myself, why fast?
As I sought answers in my heart, I stumbled on someone who said she didn’t think fasting was for believers as Jesus had done it all. She also stated that there was no express command for Jesus or in the new commandment that we should fast. If I was confused before, I was doubly confused now.God isn't interested in mechanical motions of religion. God is interested in the state of your heart and your willingness to receive of him and grow. Click To Tweet
Then I started to pray and search. A few things struck me on fasting.
Reasons why the coming of Christ doesn’t cancel out fasting
- Yes, Jesus didn’t expressly ask us to fast but we can see it implied a few times in the Gospels.
The first being in Matthew 6:16-17 when he was teaching. He said, “When you fast…” This means Jesus knew that we would be fasting and he didn’t disapprove of it. Instead, he gave guidelines on how to fast aright. If Jesus knew his sacrifice on the cross would cancel out fasting, I don’t think he would have gone ahead to give us guidelines on fasting aright.
- We see fasting patterns in the early church. Let’s take a look at the early church and instances they fasted. In Acts 13:2-3, 14:23 we see that after fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit spoke and was heard by the church as a whole. We also see we see fasting and prayer before the church appointed people for important roles. All in all, we see the early church fast and pray and produce reports. Fasting was both of individual benefit (as at the laying on of hands) and also for the church (as in the Holy Spirit directing the church)
If fasting was outdated with the coming of Jesus, then how do we explain recordings of the early church practising it and not just practising - getting visible results? Click To Tweet
- Yes, I agree that fasting doesn’t change God. But fasting changes us. Man is a spirit, lives in a body and has a soul. Remember God is spirit and when He was to create man, He said, “Let us create man in our own image”. This means man also is a spirit. At new birth (salvation), it is the real man (the spirit part) that is recreated. The flesh remains the flesh and needs to constantly be put under control.
What then does fasting do for us?
What fasting does is: it helps put our flesh under control. Ever notice how light and how connected to the spirit realm you are when you fast? It is as though the weaker the flesh, the more sensitive and active your spirit becomes.
- Fasting makes you more sensitive for you to pick spiritual signals, directions and leading.
- Fasting helps you overcome temptation and gain spiritual strength.
- Fasting also has health benefits
- Fast can help make you more disciplined and exercise self-control. Many people have food as their appetite. It is good to keep this under.
It doesn’t matter if you have gone on for a year. Fasting for us as believers is not about fulfilling laws or just for celebrating special days. Fasting is an intentional act of devotion. You must be intentional about it.
I hope this blessed you.
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