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The Truth About Fasting

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Date: March 22, 2012
Blog: “The Truth About Fasting” by Michelle Zenteno

Type of Fast: Water and fruits all day until tomorrow
Target: Provision for jobs and personal finances for the Victory Outreach family

Fasting from a Christian, Biblical perspective is so much more than just that act of abstaining from something like food. There are spiritual elements at work when we fast from a Christian perspective. The truth is that fasting can be summed up as this; it is denying myself of something natural in order to lay hold of something supernatural.

Fasting also brings about the element of humbleness. When we fast we humble ourselves before God. It is a form of proclaiming that though we may be made of flesh and blood our true strength isn’t dependent on that which is temporal and perishing but on God Himself. It is through this act that we turn the focus from our needs and ourselves to Him and His power that is at work within us. This is an invitation for the Holy Spirit to come and perform the miraculous within our lives.

We see that the psalmist David expressed the coloration of fasting and humility; “Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered,” (Psalm 35:13)

When Daniel received a vision and did not understand the meaning of it, he prayed and fasted from certain foods and wine for three weeks and then an angle of the Lord came to him and said; “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” (Daniel 10:12) Daniel fasted and it was a humbling act before God. He recognized the reality of his human nature and understood that it was God and nothing else that could bring about the understanding of the vision. Many times we find ourselves with a blurry vision of our lives and we live with an unclear understanding of His will for us. Through fasting we humble ourselves and allow God to begin to dictate the paths that we ought to take. This is the sensitivity that allows the Holy Spirit to lead us through our spiritual journey, which comes through prayer and fasting.

There, by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. (Ezra 8: 21-23) Ezra had boasted about God’s power and strength and now found himself in a situation where He needed God to come through for him. We read that he humbled himself through prayer and fasting and God answered his prayer. I wonder how many of our prayers go unanswered because we fail to humble ourselves. It is in our greatest needs that we need to boast about our God, for there is no limits to what He is able to do. Never exalting ourselves, but glorifying Him through humility in prayer and fasting.

I conclude with this; Fasting is not about the mechanics of going without something natural. Its nature is spiritual. Ultimately is about changing us so that we can glorify God and seek His Kingdom and Righteousness.

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