Fasting is actually good for us occasionally. It has been found to help fight against cancer and of course we need to fast for certain blood tests and before operations but what about the religious practice of fasting.
How many times have you gone to church only to find the pastor or minister gets up and says ‘Hey, we’re going to pray and fast for a breakthrough for the next 2 weeks.’ Most people groan at the thought and yet, fasting God’s way is different from man’s way.
Seriously, for starters you can eat what you like. Did I just get your attention. Yep, eat what you like because the fast that God wants you to do has nothing to do with going without food. Now, fasting by going without food and praying does work and there’s a reason that it works.
Have you noticed that pastors and ministers say something like ‘I don’t know why it works but it does. Something happens in the spiritual realm when you fast.’ The reason it works is this.
God only commanded the Israelites to fast on one day of the year. It was the Pharisees that increased the number of fasts the Israelites did. Now the one day of the year that God commanded the Israelites to fast was on the Day of Atonement. If you think about it, every day is a Day of Atonement because of the death and resurrection of the Lamb of God – Jesus.
It isn’t possible to have nothing to eat endlessly, you will get sick and die, so what is the fast that God approves of, and says that He approves of. Well it’s found in Isaiah and Matthew.
Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?
(6) Is this not the fast that I have chosen
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
(7) Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
(34) Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
(35) for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
(36) I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’’
(37) Then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
(38) When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
(39) Or when did we see sick, or in prison, and come to You?
(40) And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.
And that is the true fast that God wants you to do and the true fast that He approves of. Be other people focused and be generous without expectation and it will be given back to you. Fasting God’s way is a lot more fulfilling than fasting man’s way.