Growth Through Fasting
As you start this reading plan, strongly consider fasting alongside your reading. Fasting is an act of reverence through self-control. By disciplining the body, the spirit of God’s people gets stronger. Moses fasted 40 days twice while receiving the Ten Commandments from God. Elijah had a partial fast in which ravens fed him bread and meat, and he drank water from a brook (I Kings 17:5-6) and a 40-day fast before a journey (I Kings 19:7-8). These fasts prepared God’s prophets for their missions. These biblical examples are “supernatural fasts,” which run for a longer time and are overseen by God. Other types of fasts include a partial fast from a particular food, such as Daniel’s fast while in Babylon (Daniel 10:3), when Daniel “ate no choice food” for three weeks; a liquid fast without solid foods; a fast with no solid foods, which may be how Jesus fasted in the wilderness (Luke 4:2); and an absolute fast with no food or liquid.
Most people think of going without food when they hear the word fasting. Fasting has a broader meaning for Christians and in our common culture. To fast is to abstain from something important to you - whether a particular food or drink, social media, entertainment, or any uncritical, time-consuming activity. When the need to fill our stomachs with food or our calendars with activities is put on the back burner, we become more focused on our spirit. We are quieted to listen to God. We get direction on how to live differently, closer to how God would have us live. We become strengthened internally, and our hearts align with the will of God for our lives and His mission around us.
Fasting is the most stripped-back, basic way to worship God as it is submission in action. Fasting has led to breakthroughs, miracles, refreshments, and revelations because when we take ourselves out of the way and realise we are more eternal than this earthly tent, we have greater access to the spirit realm of God. Fasting leads to spiritual growth and power, and some things can only be shifted by prayer and fasting. Honour God as you read His word by submitting something to Him so that you may have more of Him.
God, you are the sustainer of my life. I know there are times I’ve found my significance or security in things of this earth like money, people, or achievements, but as I fast and as I lay down something for You, I pray You would strengthen me and guide me in life. Mould me and let me see You more clearly. Amen