“Jesus answered, “Do you think you can make the guests at a wedding party go without food as long as the bridegroom is with them? Of course not! But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (Luke 5: 34 GNB)
Fasting from food can bring feasting for the soul. Yet, there is evidence that fasting can be abused. Lord, my prayer today is that we not allow past spiritual exercises (like past sin) to keep us from the true purpose of our fast. Let us use the fast as Spring Cleansing.
A dear friend and prayer partner, Nedda Horvath, gave me some books when she moved from Muskogee. One was “God’s Chosen Fast” by Arthur Wallis. It was a paperback first printed in 1968. My gift copy is yellowed and now greatly worn and marked. God continues using this to “show and tell” me where I’ve been. He’s still leading me into the new and higher ground.
One personal revelation came to me when Arthur Wallis listed 5 questions to help us in our personal choices. The 5th question ignited my spirit: Am I determined above all else to minister to the Lord in this fast? “They were worshiping the Lord and fasting.” (Acts 13:2, GNB)
Wow, for years I’ve been swimming daily while praising and worshiping God. I also fast and pray every Monday as God has directed me. My daily swim is healthy for my body, and how the pool water and fast/praise washes me clean! Daniel 9: 2-3, 21 & 22 states, “I, Daniel…turned my face to the Lord God, seeking Him by prayer, supplications—with fasting… Gabriel…said to me, ‘O, Daniel, I have now come out to give you wisdom and understanding.’ ”
True worship fasts negative talk, thoughts and actions. I desire the same in my life. Do you? Joel (and also Luke) spoke: “This is what I will do in the last days, God says: ‘I will pour out my Spirit on everyone. Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message; your young men will see visions, and your old men have dreams. Yes, even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will proclaim my message…I will perform miracles. Whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.’ “ (Acts 2: 17-21, GNB)
Today, self-control is so difficult because in the USA many tables are full and readily available – but not to all. Self-discipline and spiritual order may not be expressed in fasting. It is not to be done for public gain or to advertise piety.
Fasting is needed today to practice self-denial, usually of food or other pleasures, in order to concentrate on what is Spiritual. The fast that Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit want from us is to seek His true purpose and develop an attitude to the things of God! Are we willing to stand in the gap and intercede for multitudes of lost, hungry people? Fasting before God is a matter of true pressing interest. It can be done without words in open and sincere praise.
Are you willing today to be used of God in such a ministry? We can grow in His power and effectiveness to deliver and redeem even as Jesus grew and was made perfect (Hebrews 7:28) by Father God.
“Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them because they were too stubborn to believe…He said…’Go…preach the gospel to all people. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. Believers will be given the power to perform miracles…drive out demons…speak in strange tongues…place their hands on sick people, and these will get well.’ ” (Mark 16: 14-18 GNB)