Fasting is something that should be done regularly—not just when there is a desperate need. Granted, it is easier to fast when there is a situation for which you are burdened, but the Word teaches us we need to fast regularly to bring our bodies under subjection to the Spirit. It is a good idea to fast one day each week. The benefits are tremendous!
By Roffie Ensey
Fasting is a very essential part of our walk with God and one of the most powerful forces that can be employed against the enemy. Through this means, victories are won and deliverance is obtained, and power for a closer walk is gained.
It is interesting that in the sins of Adam and Eve, the people of the day of Noah, and those of Sodom and Gomorrah, you will find that in each situation eating was involved in what displeased God. Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree they were instructed to avoid. The men of Noah’s time were “eating and drinking,” ignoring the prophet’s warnings. One of the problems with the people of Sodom and Gomorrah was “fullness of bread.”
God would not condemn without just cause something as necessary to human life as eating. Eating was not the real problem. What God condemned was eating to excess, which indicates a lack of self-discipline.
Fasting requires self-discipline. It is a time for denial of the flesh in the interest of more spiritual pursuits.
Fasting is not a time of letting others see your dedication to God. The Bible tells us to wash our face and anoint our head with oil. In other words, we should comb our hair, get dressed, and not go around all day with a down-and-out or a starving look about us! If we fast only so we can tell others about it—how long we fasted, how hard it was, how much weight we lost, etc.—then we receive our only reward in the telling. When we fast, we should appear as though we fasted not. Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly (Matthew 5:16-18).
Fasting should not be viewed as a way of getting God to change his mind about something, but a way of us getting ourselves in a condition to accept His will for our lives.
Fasting is not a dieting process or to be done just for our health, even though in some cases it is healthy to fast.
Fasting is done to bring your body—the flesh—under subjection. There are three basic types of fasts: normal, doing without food and drinking water only; absolute, no food or water; partial, denying yourself something you really enjoy (e.g., doing without sweets or meats or any solid foods, consuming only clear soups or broth for a period of time). Extreme fasting is for extreme situations.