Summary: One of the most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare that God has given to His children is fasting ... it will highly strengthen you spiritually. It is being hungry for God and feasting in the Holy Spirit leading to a REVIVAL.
Opening illustration: A priest and a rabbi are discussing the pros and cons of their various faiths, and inevitably the discussion turns to repentance. The rabbi explains Yom Kippur, the solemn Day of Atonement, a day of fasting and penitence, while the priest tells him all about Lent, and its 40 days of self-denial and absolution from sins. After the discussion ends, the rabbi goes home to tell his wife about the conversation, and they discuss the merits of Lent versus Yom Kippur. She turns her head and laughs. The rabbi says, "What’s so funny, dear?" Her response, "40 days of Lent - one day of Yom Kippur...so, even when it comes to sin, the gentiles pay retail....."
Let us turn to Isaiah 58 & Matthew 6 and check out what God’s Word tells us about ‘Fasting.’
Introduction: Biblical fasting is a spiritual discipline which was encouraged by Jesus, Himself, while He was on earth. When questioned as to why the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist fasted while Jesus disciples did not, Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” (Matthew 9: 15)
Jesus was teaching that after His departure, the entire dynamic would change and the disciples would need a different type of preparation and provision. Fasting was to be a vital part of this new preparation. The new covenant is based on the truth that we have received everything in Christ, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1: 3)
Fasts may last for varying lengths of time - one day, three days, seven days, and more. We should prayerfully seek the Lord about the length of our fast. Fasting should have an object in mind; we should have a clear idea of the need and purpose. One of the most pressing reasons for Christian fasting may be revival - “Will you not revive us again. . .” (Psalm 85: 6).
Nevertheless, we cooperate with the Spirit in the working out of our salvation with much prayer, meditation, and the study of God’s Word. In addition to all these spiritual practices, Christians should also employ the humbling discipline of fasting.
1. What is fasting?
One of the most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare that God has given to His children is fasting - a way of crucifying the flesh or denying your flesh the basic sustenance of food. Although fasting will weaken you physically, it will highly strengthen you spiritually. It is important to that fasting should be combined note with prayer for utmost effectiveness.
Fasting is a form of spiritual discipline that informs God that you are serious about repentance. Fasting is a significant part of your Christian walk just as praying and reading the Bible is significant. Fasting is for everyone who desires to draw closer to God.
When you fast, you do not have to give up just food; it can be anything of importance to you that you sacrifice by giving it up. Whenever you fast, you need to pray and seek the Lord, otherwise you are just depriving your body of food and not getting in touch with what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you.