Today’s Scripture: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” (1 Cor. 10:31 NIV)
Fasting requires discipline. Webster’s Dictionary defines fasting as something that is firmly fixed, adhering firmly to something, a shortening of time. The purpose of fasting is to give up something in order to gain a greater purpose. Fasting is a commitment we make in order to discipline our fleshly desires. A desire is something that we want that is enjoyable, but not essential. Carnal desires gain strength by indulgence, therefore we should subdue them at first rise. Denying the flesh of its natural desires may cause us to be more in tune to hearing the voice of the Lord. Many Christians use fasting as a way to develop a deeper fellowship or relationship with God. By taking our focus off of worldly pleasures and focusing totally on the things of God we develop a closer connection to Him. Fasting also causes us to humble ourselves, to seek the Lord and His ways, to repent and confess our sins, as well as seek revelational knowledge, healing, provisions and protection.
In the first chapter of Daniel, while in captivity in Babylon, Daniel and his four friends made a commitment to denied themselves of the king’s delicacies in order to gain a healthier appearance and better nourishment. They ate vegetable and drank only water for ten days, (hence the term “fasting”). Giving up something and replacing it with another, for a greater purpose. At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his four friends, being disciplined and dedicated to the things of God, appeared healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. This being the results of their obedience and commitment to God and the things of God, in turn, God gave them wisdom, knowledge and understanding to all kinds of literature and learning, setting them apart from their peers.
Fasting is extremely valuable and an important facet of the Christian life, but it is not an infallible means of getting what we want. Fasting is not required scripturally, there is no place in the Bible where we are commanded or required to fast. With this being said, God does desire for us to be emotionally, physically and spiritually well balanced. If we apply ourselves and commit ourselves to our God given purpose and seek God for directions and guidance, fasting and praying is a way of developing a closer relationship with God, and tapping into His ways and His desires. There are multiple methods of fasting. Food seems to be the most common, but giving up something that we may deem necessary or pleasurable, whether it be time dedicated to reading our Bibles instead of watching television, visiting the sick or the elderly, giving of ourselves to helping others, thus taking our focus off of ourselves and refocusing on a great cause. This can be considered as time used wisely. Alone time with God, praying and talking to Him, is time well spent and considered to be needful as well as fruitful. This gives us a sense of wholeness and makes for a healthier and brighter life style. Take time out to reflect and grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the holy things of God.
Bountiful blessings from me to you!