I don’t like to fast. Period. But I do know the incredible benefits of fasting and that it is key to breakthroughs. So that is the reason why I fast even when I don’t feel like it, but feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to fast. Yes, it is uncomfortable and your flesh might scream “give me some food!”, but I can guarantee you that if you stick it out the rewards will be worth it.
I have received many breakthroughs and revelations during periods of fasting. It is a necessity for every healthy Christian.
Fasting is a powerful spiritual tool that can potentially change your life. The rewards are great and definitely worth the temporary discomfort.
There are times for all of us when it seems difficult to hear from God and to operate in the spiritual realm. You might feel like you’ve hit a brick wall spiritually. So you press in and read the Word more, and you pray more, but still nothing or just perhaps a trickle of something. Friend, that might just be the time when a period of fasting is needed to get the job done.
Scripture tells us of the many times when fasting resulted in incredible breakthroughs such as when:
- Moses fasted while he was preparing to receive the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 9: 9-18
- Esther fasted for the safety of the Jews in Esther 4: 15-17
- Daniel fasted when he needed revelation and answers to his prayer in Daniel 10: 1-3
- Jesus himself fasted for 40 days before embarking on His earthly ministry (Matthew 4: 1-2)
So when should you fast?
Isaiah 58 God gives us some of the reasons for biblical fasting. Others can be found modeled throughout the Bible. Here are some of the main reasons to fast:
- When you haven’t received an answer to your prayer
- When you are seeking direction from God
- When you need deliverance from a certain situation
- On behalf of a friend who is under a very heavy burden( So you can receive insight into their situation or for their deliverance from oppression)
Please keep in mind that you should always be led by the Holy Spirit before embarking on a fast and that you should always have a purpose for doing so.
You should never boast about fasting and be spiritually proud of fasting because it will destroy the whole thing and you will receive no reward for it whatsoever. In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus says: “When you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except the Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
What will your reward be for fasting?
It will be related to whatever motivated you to start fasting in the first place. So whatever it is that you are seeking from God, establish it by faith and proclaim it even before you enter into the fast. You must expect to receive it from God.
The three specific rewards for fasting
Fasting Subdues the flesh
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Matthew 26:41(NIV)
There are times when we really want to operate in faith and stand on God’s Word, but the problems or circumstances are screaming at us. And then we falter. God’s Word then is put aside, because you can’t focus on anything else but your problems or circumstances. I’ve been there. If you allow it, your flesh will take over your thoughts and your spiritual life. It is in those times when fasting is really necessary. Fasting will subdue the flesh and help to open your spiritual ears so that you can hear from God and receive the necessary direction that is required to take action in your particular situation or circumstances.
Fasting and praying are about putting everything aside and focusing on God so that God can have an opportunity to speak to you. It’s not that He has not been speaking to you all along, but rather His voice got lost somehow in the noise of the circumstances. Fasting produces heightened spiritual insight and often produces the breakthrough you have might have been seeking.
Fasting brings revelation
When you fast your revelation will often break through. God will give you new insight, understanding of a situation or circumstance and revelation when you fast. This will strengthen your faith and enable you to receive from Him.
When you fast expect to hear from God and expect a Godly revelation.
Fasting brings deliverance
“ Is this not the fast I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness…” Isaiah 58:6(KJV)
As believers, we have already been delivered from the power of darkness through Jesus’ work on the cross. The price has been paid in full. If there is still any form of an oppressive yoke in a believer’s life they can and should be set free from it. A biblical fast can help set you free.
When the disciples were unable to cast out a demon(Mark 9:28), Jesus told them that that kind of demon can only come out through “prayer and fasting.” So here we can see that fasting can and will indeed bring deliverance from evil.
Types of fasts:
There are several ways in which we can execute a fast. You need to decide together with the leading of the Holy Spirit which type of fast to undertake.
- A fast can be one meal, for a few days or longer as the Holy Spirit leads you.
- A regular fast – involves abstaining from all food and only drinking some water as the need arises.
- A fluid fast – involves abstaining from all food except juice and herbal tea
- Partial fast – fasting from particular items such as tea, coffee, desserts, television, social media, and internet etc.
Points to take into consideration before you embark on a fast:
In order for a fast to be effective, you need to get rid of all strife in your life. Gossip too. Otherwise, it won’t work. You must walk in love in order to see results from a fast. This prevents Satan from destroying the effectiveness of the fast.
Pregnant women and people with health problems should always consult their doctors before fasting from food.
The rewards of fasting can be tremendously beneficial and priceless. A moment of discomfort can bring about the breakthrough you’ve been seeking. It is worth it.
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