As strange as it may sound, the three words that I used to build the title of this article took a bit of thought. Believers in Yeshua look to fasting as a way to do many things and the topic is both extremely complicated and exceptionally simple. Those three little words, “fasting facilitates change,” were chosen very carefully.
It’s important to state up front that I’m not an expert on fasting. I’ve done it twice and I’m about to start again, so at least a little of this article is geared towards helping me to focus my own thoughts on the matter. Hopefully, it can be a blessing to you as well.
The reason that fasting is so important to modern day Christians is a little different than it was in the time before and during Yeshua’s walk on the earth. The presence of “the world” is so much stronger today in that western society has positioned Christianity and pretty much all religions as a pastime rather than a way of life. We are drawn to this world due to perceived financial obligations, an unbelievable availability of distractions, and a general sentiment that is pro-secularism and pro-humanism. As a result, our own walks with the Lord face worldly roadblocks… at least that’s the perception.
Let’s discuss what fasting is and isn’t.
What fasting is
I have done a little research. Not enough. Everything from here on out is not very scriptural nor is it purely doctrinal based upon the writings of experts.
We know that fasting was used in the Bible to deprive the body in a way that would allow a clearer connection with the soul and spirit. It’s like turning down the signal between the world and the body so that we can hear the other two signals better.
Our bodies need nourishment and depriving it of this nourishment allows for clarity of message. It is a powerful tool for change, one that I believe can have a similar but slightly different effect as prayer alone. In a way, it’s the humbling demonstration of physical weakness that allows us to be more in touch with the Holy Spirit.
We are a haughty people. Stiff necked. By allowing our bodies to enter into a state of weakness, it makes true supplication possible and allows our Father to work through us to purge ungodly spirits at work on us daily.
What fasting isn’t
I’ve read some about the psychological effects of fasting. It bordered on heresy because it focused on concepts like hallucinations, harnessing raw emotions, and spiritual enlightenment. I cannot say for certain since I have not experienced those things first hand but the descriptions certainly made it seem as if fasting was being used to allow the wrong spirits of disillusion and corruption go to work on us rather than the Holy Spirit.
This is not a vision quest. It’s not about looking in. This is about opening up through utter humility to let the Holy Spirit be our guide. Fasting with prayer to the Father in the name of the Son and supplication from a perspective of lowliness and humility are the things that allow a fast to work in us properly. Denying our bodies of food and drink will open us to many spirits. Prayer to the one true God is the only way to make sure it’s the right spirits that fill us through our physically weakened state.
Fasting is not casual. It’s not a diet. It’s not a status symbol or something that we should discuss with others unless absolutely necessary.
Fasting is you and the Holy Spirit on a personal journey to cleanse your own spirit and prepare it to do the work of the Father. Anything else added to it diminishes it.
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