Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. ~ Joel 1:14
1. Jesus fasted.
Before He began His ministry, Jesus fasted forty days. He knew He was going to need spiritual strength to fulfill His purpose. Fasting makes us physically weak but spiritually strong and prepares us to do God’s work.
- Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. ~ Matthew 4:1-2
- Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through the whole countryside. ~ Luke 4:14
2. Fasting is an act of humility and consecration.
- . . . I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. . . .~ Psalm 35:13
Humility results in the grace of God. When we humble ourselves in prayer, we have instant access to the heart of God. As we deny ourselves as an act of consecration, we are able to exercise self-control. We can keep our emotions and desires under control.
3. Fasting helps us become sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
- While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” ~Acts 13:2
When we deny ourselves of our natural cravings, our spiritual antennas become sharper. We become more sensitive to His voice as we divest ourselves of worldly distractions. We are better able to focus on God and submit to His will. This opens the door for the Holy Spirit into our lives.
4. Fasting brings revival.
- . . . in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes. ~Daniel 9:2-3
Fasting helps us prevail in prayer and intercession. Daniel understood that Israel was headed for destruction. He also knew that in times like these, there is only one recourse – intercession through praying and fasting. Throughout human history, God has brought revival and delivered nations from destruction in response to prayer and fasting.
5. Fasting is healthy.
Fasting cleanses your digestive system from toxins. Doctors consider fasting a cure for certain allergies and diseases. By learning to deny ourselves and exercising discipline, fasting breaks unhealthy addictions in our lives.