Did He Really Say Fast?

empty the refrigerator

Did He Really Say Fast?

In prayer one night, I felt impressed to go on a three-day fast. With almost a dormant fasting life, I continued in prayer to make sure I had heard correctly. I could barely skip two meals, maybe a whole day if I did nothing to exert myself and went to bed early. Counting on one hand how many times I had fasted so far that year, I went to the Bible.

“Moreover when ye fast . . .” (Matthew 6:16). When Jesus spoke these words, He was in the middle of a great sermon to His disciples on the character and conduct of true believers. Matthew 5-7 is a “How To” on Christian living. The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) is known by believers young and old, and right after it comes to a reminder of God’s forgiveness and our duty to forgive others. So we’re ready to go face the world and save the sinners, then Jesus slips in “Moreover when ye fast,” like without question this is going to occur.

I know prayer and fasting move the hand of God, yet I relied heavily on prayer to do most of the work. Prayer does work mightily and should never be taken for granted. The power we can tap into during prayer will bring forth miracles and fulfill our needs. But Jesus asked me to fast, not just pray, this time. The American Century Dictionary gives the definition of moreover as “in addition to,” so obviously there must be a divine purpose, even though we feel the divine has forsaken us around noon when we walk past the snack machine at work.

In Mark 9 the disciples were relying on prayer. Why couldn’t we cast out that devil? “And He said unto them, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (verse 29). When it comes to soul saving, setting someone free from the devil’s hold, it takes fasting.

Fasting is not easy. When Paul wrote of his sufferings in II Corinthians 11:24-28, he listed fasting right in the middle of being beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, robbed, perils, cold, and nakedness. By the end of day one, I was hungry and went to bed early. Day two, I had a headache and my body was screaming for caffeine. I woke up day three not refreshed or a spiritual giant. I was pleading with the Lord to help me get through it (which He did). My victory didn’t come during the fast, but it was made evident later in a healing I didn’t even know I needed.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the ruler of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). The devil did not want my fast to be easy. If he was brave enough to tempt Jesus, I didn’t have a chance in my flesh. But I went armed with the Word of God, just as Jesus did. Even though it did not seem like it at the time, my faith was breaking strongholds.

“And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness” (Colossians 3:14). The definition of charity is “giving voluntarily to those in need.” The Greek word is agape meaning “love.” Are we willing to voluntarily deny ourselves for someone in need? Fasting was never meant for just the “spiritual greats” or “in case of an emergency.” It was intended to be as normal as prayer in a Christian’s life.

I pray that this encourages someone to step into battle with prayer and moreover fasting. Dinner time is sure to come, but we’re in this together. God is pleased that we’re feasting on His Word instead of that chicken leg.

by Christy Miller


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