What does fasting personally mean to you? (comment under this post) Do you incorporate fasting in your walk as a Christian? Fasting is the act of denying yourself of food and/or water for a period of time and there are three main types of fasting and each brings its own rewards, hence, when you are fasting, you have to have a criteria and purpose for it. Fasting is not a means to go on a diet or a hunger strike. The 3 biblical types of fasts are as follows:-
To humble yourself
To humble yourself before God in the form of repentance. An example of this is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” This is when you are acknowledging your faults before Him and are seeking His face to change a situation that was caused by wrong doing. The wrong doing can either be direct or in-direct. For example, you may have grown up in a family that had children out of wedlock, so you can repent asking for grace on behalf of all your family that you and your future children may also not end up in this same pattern and situation. So you fast in repentance for an undoing of this pattern that the healing that took place when Jesus died for you may penetrate into your life and future children’s lives as well. This is representational repentance such as Daniel did as he prayed and fasted as recorded in Daniel 9:1-19. Even though you are a Christian, there are still some strongholds that you may still need to deal with. Your fasting can cause strongholds and thrones of iniquity to be abolished!
To kill carnality
To kill carnality and fleshly needs. An example of this is found in 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NASB) “but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” As an illustration, someone who might be having a sudden rush of lustful thoughts can fast and pray to silence the flesh. When it starves it will stop making a lot of noise and keep quiet. When you find that your flesh is overbearing, lecturing you and trying to make decisions for you, you ought to know that it’s time to fast so that you can hear God clearly and be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Your flesh must know that your spirit is the boss – see Romans 6:14. Some Christians choose to fast once a week or month to keep their ears more sensitive to God’s voice and to silence their flesh. This type of fasting causes your fleshy desires and needs to be more co- operative with your God given tasks and thoughts! However, as always, this fast must be led by the Holy Spirit.
To empower your spirit man
To empower your spirit man which enables spiritual victory over Satan and silencing of the powers of darkness. An example of this is found in Matthew 17:19-21 “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”” Therefore, this sort of fasting empowers your spirit supernaturally to walk in the authority invested through the Holy Spirit. Fasting releases spiritual power and evokes authority in the spirit realm this is why you see even those who are of other religions practice fasting e.g. Muslims. Even satanists fast because they know the power this births. If you want to begin to walk in authority over the devil in certain areas of your life, you will need to fast and pray.
Depending on what season you are in right now, make sure you invite the Holy Spirit to lead you. Do you include or consult with the Holy Spirit when you fast? It’s crucial to always allow the Holy Spirit to be part of your fasts! For instance, there was a time when I would do 3-day dry fasts. I was so zealous for God but I didn’t have the matching knowledge comparable to my zeal, so I would struggle during these fasts. By day 2, I would be crawling to get to the bathroom and I would eventually quit because I couldn’t endure the weakness and hunger in my body. These fasts were not Spirit led but they were led by myself, neither did I invite the Holy Spirit to lead me because I wanted to lead Him. When you invite the Holy Spirit Power of God, He makes it easier for you so that you can bear it. I remember another time, there was a 3 day dry fast and I was seriously dreading it but I just made a small request and asked the Holy Spirit to help me fast. Just like this:- “ Holy Spirit please, help me to fast”. I couldn’t believe this little small request was honoured! I was literally not weak or food hungry as in the past times. It’s like my hunger pangs were shut down and I was de-appetized like the lions in that den with Daniel. On day 2 and day 3, I was still able to do normal things I would do when not fasting. Although my flesh was getting a bit weaker, that fast was truly led by the Holy Spirit. It only takes a single request to Him and He will help you. Remember He is your Helper. Ask Him! Therefore, each time you personally feel like you want to fast, first consult the Holy Spirit. You can approach Him as your Helper to help you in your time of need, as your Comforter to comfort you or as your Leader to guide you. Whichever you prefer, depending on the purpose of the fast. Just say “ Holy Spirit please guide me or please help me or please lead me to fast for (insert the reason for your fast)!” Then trust Him and be sensitive to His voice. It’s that simple. He is always faithful…
This Fasting Excerpt Is From My Book Titled “A Woman’s Body Is A Temple – study guide & self reflection”. You can grab your copy on:
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