Has God called you to a fast? If so then you know there is immense spiritual power in fasting. The sacrificial obedience and physical cleansing of a fast brings forth great clarity in hearing and understanding the voice of God in your life, as well as granting you a greater level of spiritual authority bringing release, breakthrough, and miracle manifestations. Just how powerful and important is fasting?
“And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” – Matthew 17:14-21
Jesus clearly states here that there are some spiritual battles that you can not win except through prayer and fasting. I would like to point out that the NIV (the most commonly used bible in the world today) and many other modern translations have completely omitted this verse, effectively removing people’s knowledge of how to fight the enemy, and we wonder why people can’t seem to overcome some of these strong holds? Think about that for a second. Fasting is so powerful a force that the devil has put forth all his efforts to have it removed from modern translations. Jesus Himself said, some demonic strongholds can not be overcome except through prayer and fasting. That’s an undeniable testament to the purpose, power, and necessity of true God ordained fasting.
So who should be fasting? In Matthew 6:16-18 we see Jesus giving instructions on fasting. He points out that if you do it to fit in, for people to feel sorry for you, or for people to praise you thinking you are so holy, then God will not honor your fast but if you do it with the right heart, doing it for God and not for show then God will reward you. But notice in his instructions Christ did not say “if” you fast, as if to imply that it’s optional, but rather He said “when” you fast. Fasting is just as required and expected of you by God as prayer is. There is not one righteous person in all of scripture that did not fast. Likewise, there is not one righteous person alive today that God has not called to fast, the question is, are they listening?
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” Joel 2:12-13
When one reads the bible there is no denying the requirement, nessesity, and power of fasting. Through fasting Ester and all of the Israelites were saved, Nineveh was spared, Daniel received understanding, Paul received healing, and the possessed boy received deliverance. Even Jesus fasted, how can anyone believe the lie of the devil that we don’t need to do it when even Christ the Son of the Living God fasted.
So now that we are all convicted for either fasting not enough or not at all, one might ask, “how to I know if God is calling me to a fast?” Well, if you find yourself thinking “I wonder if I should fast?”, but you really don’t want too… Then the answer is “yes”. It’s not your flesh putting that thought in your head because the flesh hates fasting as evidenced by your reluctance to want to do it, but you must because that’s kind of the point, to crucify the flesh and bring it into submission to the will of God where all power and victory resides.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” – Isaiah 58:6