Grace and peace be unto you.
“Yet even now declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning” (Joel 2:12).
Why do you fast? Believers engage in fasting for a variety of reasons. For example, Nehemiah mourned and fasted when he heard that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and its gates burned with fire (Nehemiah 1:1-4). In another instance, Ezra proclaimed a fast at the river Ahava, to seek safe journey from God for himself and the families that travelled with him from Babylon (Ezra 8:21). Irrespective of the reasons for fasting, we can concur that it usually attracts God’s attention and is therefore beneficial.
3 Benefits of Fasting
1. God is motivated to deliver a response to our request. Daniel fasted and the Lord sent Michael to release the answer to his prayer that was being held by the prince of the air (Daniel 10:12-14).
2. We receive spiritual strength to overcome temptation. Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights, after which he was tempted by the devil three times. He overcame the temptations and the devil left him (Matthew 4:1-11).
3. We are empowered to cast out evil spirits and strongholds are broken. Jesus told his disciples that “this type of demon” can only be cast out by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21).
Have you ever fasted and did not receive the expected results? Was it a fast unto the Lord or yourself?
2 Reasons Why Your Fasting Might Not Be Effective
1. You fast to be seen by others, as a result, you have a sad countenance. The Bible says, “But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:17-18).
2. When you fast you seek your own pleasure (Isaiah 58:3-4). Fasting must include true repentance and the desire to do God’s will. Scripture says, “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? (Isaiah 58:6).
Heavenly Father, I pray that we will fast to please you. By so doing, we will walk in humility, practice justice, and do kind deeds. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.