Fasting is a spiritual discipline that has been practiced by people of various religions for centuries. For Christians, fasting is a way to draw closer to God, seek wisdom and direction, and experience physical and emotional healing. Fasting is mentioned numerous times in the Bible and is considered an important part of a Christian’s spiritual journey.
In this blog post, we will explore the rewards of fasting in the Bible, including drawing closer to God, spiritual strength and renewal, gaining wisdom and discernment, breaking strongholds and bondages, and physical and emotional healing. We will also look at Bible verses on fasting, how to fast, and common misconceptions about fasting.
Whether you are a seasoned faster or a beginner, this blog post will provide you with valuable information on the rewards of fasting and how to incorporate this spiritual discipline into your life. So, let’s dive in and explore the spiritual benefits of fasting in the Bible.
What is Fasting?
Definition of Fasting
Fasting is the act of abstaining from food and drink for a certain period of time. The purpose of fasting is to draw closer to God and seek His will and direction in your life. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is often done in conjunction with prayer and scripture meditation.
Types of Fasting
There are several types of fasts that you can choose to do:
- Water Fast – This is a fast where you only drink water for a certain period of time.
- Partial Fast – This is a fast where you give up certain foods or drinks, but not all food and drink.
- Juice Fast – This is a fast where you only drink juice for a certain period of time.
- Daniel Fast – This is a fast where you only eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for a certain period of time.
- Absolute Fast – This is a fast where you give up all food and drink, including water. This type of fast should only be done for a short period of time.
Biblical Examples of Fasting
There are many examples of fasting in the Bible. Here are a few:
- Moses fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28)
- King David fasted and prayed for his sick child (2 Samuel 12:16)
- Queen Esther fasted and prayed before going before the king to save her people (Esther 4:16)
- Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights before beginning His public ministry (Matthew 4:2)
The Rewards of Fasting
Drawing Closer to God
Fasting is a way to draw closer to God. When you fast, you are putting your physical needs aside in order to seek God’s will and direction in your life. Fasting can help you focus on God and increase your spiritual awareness.
Spiritual Strength and Renewal
Fasting can also provide spiritual strength and renewal. When you fast, you are relying on God to sustain you instead of relying on food and drink. This reliance on God can help increase your faith and trust in Him.
Gaining Wisdom and Discernment
Fasting can also help you gain wisdom and discernment. When you fast, you are seeking God’s will and direction for your life. This can help you make important decisions and discern the right path to take.
Breaking Strongholds and Bondages
Fasting can also be a way to break strongholds and bondages in your life. When you fast, you are putting aside physical desires in order to seek God’s will. This can help break the power of sin and temptation in your life.
Physical and Emotional Healing
Fasting can also provide physical and emotional healing. When you fast, your body is able to rest and focus on healing itself. Fasting can also help reduce stress and anxiety, and promote emotional healing.
Bible Verses on Fasting
Here are a few Bible verses on fasting:
- Isaiah 58:6 – “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?”
- Matthew 6:16-18 – “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
- Joel 2:12 – “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
How to Fast
Preparation for Fasting
Before you start a fast, it’s important to prepare your heart and mind. Here are a few steps to take:
- Pray and seek God’s will for the fast
- Set a specific goal for the fast
- Choose a type of fast that is appropriate for your health and lifestyle
- Make a plan for how you will spend your time during the fast (i.e. prayer, scripture meditation, journaling, etc.)
Choosing a Fast
When choosing a fast, it’s important to consider your health and lifestyle. Here are a few options:
- A 24-hour water fast
- A 3-day juice fast
- A 7-day Daniel fast
- A 40-day partial fast
Fasting with Prayer and Scripture Meditation
When fasting, it’s important to spend time in prayer and scripture meditation. Here are a few tips:
- Set aside specific times of the day for prayer and scripture meditation
- Use a prayer journal to record your thoughts and prayers
- Choose a specific scripture or passage to meditate on during the fast
- Listen for God’s voice and direction in your life
Breaking a Fast
When breaking a fast, it’s important to do so slowly and with caution. Here are a few tips:
- Start with a small amount of food or drink
- Wait a few hours before eating a full meal
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
- Listen to your body and stop eating if you feel uncomfortable
Common Misconceptions about Fasting
Fasting is not for weight loss
While some people do lose weight during a fast, that should not be the main goal. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is meant to draw you closer to God.
Fasting is not a way to manipulate God
Fasting is not a way to manipulate God into doing what you want. Rather, it is a way to seek His will and direction for your life.
Fasting is not a way to earn God’s favor
Fasting should not be done in order to earn God’s favor or to impress others. Rather, it is a way to draw closer to God and seek His will.
In conclusion, fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline that can help Christians draw closer to God, seek His will, and experience spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. By putting aside physical desires and relying on God, fasting can provide a renewed sense of faith and trust in God. The rewards of fasting in the Bible are numerous and can be experienced by anyone who is willing to devote time and effort to this spiritual practice.
Whether you choose to fast for a few hours, a day or a longer period of time, the benefits of fasting are clear. Through fasting, you can deepen your relationship with God, gain wisdom and discernment, break strongholds and bondages, and experience physical and emotional healing. So why not try fasting for yourself and see how God can work in your life?
In the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:17-18, “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” May we all seek to fast with the right intentions and a sincere heart, and may God bless us with His grace and guidance as we draw closer to Him through fasting.