As a rule we don’t practice fasting. Before I get too much hate mail, I realize that there are circumstances and health conditions that could make it unwise and even dangerous for some to fast. There are articles on WebMD warning of the dangers and mentioning the benefits of fasting physically, but Christian fasting is not about the physical, but the spiritual. One preacher said jokingly, "I fast every night from the time I go to sleep until I wake up." That is probably the extent of most fasting, but I want to give you something to challenge the status quo. If you have never fasted you have missed unlocking a key to God’s power in your life. I am not talking about when you go in for surgery and they say don’t eat anything after midnight. That is fasting, but not spiritual fasting. The purpose of fasting in the scriptures is two-pronged. First, it is to force the body into submission in the Old Testament Israel was commanded to fast and the term ‘afflict your souls’ is used to describe the process the word translated souls in the KJV is the general term that describes any breathing creature, even animals. It does not mean they are afflicting themselves spiritually, but that they were to suffer from the hunger. The second prong is to bring yourself closer to God, His will, and His word. Fasting is often associated with prayer in the New Testament for this reason. It is an act of submission to God.
Some will say that we are not commanded to fast and that is technically true. However, Jesus said His followers would fast. Consider what fasting is and look up some of the verses that speak of it and describe it. We will look a little deeper at fasting next time.