We often say, if you do it the Bible way, you get the Bible results. As we deal with life, fasting is a key tool in our spiritual toolbox with powerful results, when combined with prayer, study, and obedience to the instructions in God’s Word. What are some of the Biblical benefits of Biblical fasting?
- Fasting helps you get your soul under control. Are your emotions, thoughts, and desires running wild? Fasting, according to scripture, humbles and afflicts our soul (Psa. 35:13; Isa. 58:3, 5), enabling us to prioritize and operate in the Spirit rather than our flesh.
- Fasting helps you get right with God if you use your fast to humble yourself, mourn, and turn to God (Joel 2:12-13). Even wicked Ahab humbled himself and fasted, and God had mercy (1 Kings 21:27-29). When Ninevah fasted, turned from their evil way, and cried out, God saw their works and chose not to overthrow them (Jonah 3:4-10).
- God wants to use our fast to bless someone else! It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), so we must fast and pray for others (Psa. 35:11-13; Zech. 7:1-14) and make sure to give to the hungry, poor, and naked (Isa. 58:7-11). When we do, we get the blessing of being a blessing, those in need benefit, and God recognizes our fast.
- When there is a need and you fast right, the Bible says, “Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am” (Isa. 58:9). As you sacrifice, God responds to your cry, answers according to His will, and makes Himself available!
- Fasting is chosen by God “to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke” (Isa. 58:6). When we find ourselves or others bound, oppressed, and burdened, it’s time to fast!
- Fasting helps set us up for victory in the fight! In one fight when Israel had already been defeated twice (Judges 20:26-35) and facing another fight when they had to repent from sin (1 Sam. 7:1-14), after they fasted and came to God, He gave them the victory!
- As you really go after God with fasting, praying, and seeking Him, you’ll find out He can “satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isa. 58:11). As we sacrifice, He provides, satisfies, and fills us up!
- Fasting helps us to hear from God clearly and get His direction. When you fast, “the LORD shall guide thee continually” (Isa. 58:11). Ezra led the people in fasting and seeking God for a right way for them, their little ones, and their substance, and God was intreated of them (Ezra 8:21-23, 31).
- Fasting helps you defeat the devil! When a man brought his son who was vexed with a devil, the disciples could not cast him out. Jesus addressed their lack of faith and then taught them, “this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:14-21; Mark 9:17-29).
- Fasting is part of preparing the church for the ministry and the work God has planned for us. In Acts 13:2-5, as the church “ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” They then fasted, prayed, laid hands on them, and sent them out to do their assignment. Want to know your purpose, get clarity on next steps, or be more effective? Fasting can help!
When you fast unto God (and not unto men), God rewards you openly (Matt. 6:18). The long-term benefits far exceed the short-term cost. What is your favorite benefit of fasting? Have you experienced any of these results in your life? Share in the comments below!