Everyone of importance in the Bible practiced fasting: Moses, David, Elijah, Esther, Daniel, Anna, Paul and Jesus, just to name a few. When Jesus taught on fasting, He would say "when you fast," not "if you fast." He assumed that we would fast. We were created with fasting in mind. Think about it; if you sleep eight hours a day, then you are sleeping one-third of your life. If you live, say, 75 years, that's 25 years, or 9,125 days, asleep. When you sleep, you are fasting. That's why the morning meal is called breakfast—it's when you break your fast.
4 Benefits of Fasting:
Helps Us Overcome the Calamities of Life
Fasting is the Biblical way to humble ourselves (Ps. 35:13, 69:10). Esther fasted when faced with danger (Esth. 4:16). Ezra fasted for protection (Ezra 8:21-28). Jehoshaphat fasted in the time of the invasion of the confederated armies of Canaanites and Syrians (2 Chron. 20:3).
Renews Our Connection with God
Jesus said that His disciples would fast when He was gone (Mark 2:20). When we fast, we get our hunger back for the presence of God.
Empowers Us to Fulfill God's Calling in Our Lives
Most of the people in the Old Testament fasted in a crisis; Jesus fasted for His calling. We should not fast only during problems but also for our purpose. Anna was fasting for the coming of the redemption of Israel (Luke 2:37).
Defeats the Devil
Once, the disciples of Jesus could not cast out a demon. Jesus said, "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting" (Matt. 17:21). Fasting enables us to break the bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens and break every yoke (Isa. 58:6).
For more on how the Lord wants to connect with you as you fast, listen to the Raised to Deliver podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.
Vladimir Savchuk is the lead pastor of Hungry Generation Church, an author of Break Free, Single, Ready to Mingle and Fight Back and a founder of virtual Vlad's School Online Training. To download free e-books, sermon series and small group study guides go to vladimirsavchuk.com.
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