5 Reasons for Fasting
This post was originally part of an email series for a 21-day fast. See below for the series.
God gives us some reasons to Fast
There are many reasons why people fast: surgery, digestive cleansing or just to give their bodies a break from eating.
The Bible gives specific reasons why we should fast and the Bible repeatedly draws these reasons as spiritual connections to physical actions or in this case, inaction.
In Isaiah 58, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah to relay a message from God: You are fasting for the wrong reason!
God gives them and us a few reasons to fast:
- Overcome the presence of sin in our life, home, community and nation
- Break the life controlling addictions in our life
- Setting others free from our control of their life
- Destroy the life controlling addictions and habits in other people’s life
- Increase our awareness of the lost and increase our actions to reach them
In Isaiah 58:3-7 God is not giving us a definitive list, but He does paint a picture for us that fasting can turn into a ritual and become less of a spiritual event than He desires for us.
The people were asking God how come they fasted and yet, not seen God working through their lives and nation. God declared to them that they have not fasted correctly. They fasted for the wrong reasons.
God corrected them and told them that the kind of fast that he desires doesn’t only appear on the outside of a person, but impacts the spiritual side of a person’s life.
Fasting impacts us spiritually in five ways:
Loose the bonds of wickedness (v.6)
God does not want sin in a believer’s life. Sin can be present in our lives. These may be sins from our old life that haven’t been dealt with or newly added sins as we walk this life. Sin causes us to live mediocre or sub-standard Christian lives and hinder our relationship with Christ. God wants those sins out of our lives and fasting can assist us in overcoming sins control in our life.
Undo the straps of the yoke (v.6)
God wants to disconnect us from ungodly connections. The yoke is a piece of wood that was tied to a pair of oxen to keep them together for the purposes of pulling a plough. This connection (yoke) between the oxen controlled their movements. In our lives, we have connections to things, people, and sins that God wants us to disconnect from so that He might take us into a higher level with Him. Breaking these connections can be very difficult and fasting provides a time of spiritual awareness and spiritual strength that can break those connections.
Let the oppressed go free (v.6)
God wants us to set others free. We can hold people spiritual hostages by not forgiving. We can cling to the events or actions of people and not extend to them the forgiveness that God requires of us to set them and ourselves free. There are people in your life that you may have oppressed or are oppressing by keeping them tied to an event or injury. You are unable to grow in your faith because of it and God wants you to release that person or situation from being your spiritual hostage.
Break every yoke (v.6)
God wants to use you to disconnect others from ungodly connections. It is amazing how we can be connected to things in our life that now control our actions. These connections keep us bound and under the control of negative and sinful habits. Fasting for someone or with someone, will increase the faith needed to break these connections. Negative attitudes, addictions, compulsive behaviors, and demonic presence in a person’s life are a clear call to fasting.
Increase your compassion for the lost (v.7)
God wants us to focus on those who are starving for Him. The Bible is always clear that the kind of food that brings true life is Jesus Christ. Fasting is not just about going without food physically, but about feeding on Jesus and giving to others His food. More than ever, people are spiritually starving and God has given us the truth to proclaim and the power to fill their spirits with nourishment. Fasting should be the first action we take before speaking to others about Jesus Christ.
What will happen when we fast for any or all of these reasons? (v.8-12)
- God will let your light shine brighter than ever before.
- Spiritual wellness and physical wellness
- God will give you victory before you encounter problems,
- God will be more visibly present in your life,
- You, your family, your community and your nation will receive the victory that it needs.
Many of us have started this 21 day fast for many different reasons and I am sure many of you fall into the five reasons above. This time of fasting is going to be an amazing time for you as you focus less on your physical needs and more on your spiritual needs.
We want to encourage you through consistent communication so look for emails or text from either myself, Alex or others who are taking this journey with us.
It would make us happy to agree with you in prayer, so send us your prayer request by email or text or call.
Be bold, be strong for the Lord your God is with you.
Here are the links to the fasting posts in order:
5 Reasons for Fasting | Cleaning House | Breaking Point | Ask God |
Fasting Stories | Pray Fast, Pray Often | A Great Work | Christians Should Fast Differently | Fasting Stories | Believing Without Doubting | 40 Days, 40 Nights, then Satan