Fasting has been making the news in America lately, with a slew of diet plans which include fasting as part of their regiment.  The idea of these super diets is you eat a few days, then fast a few days. Repeat. Then,  you are sure to be trim and thin in no time. (Don’t believe everything you read!)

In the Church, fasting is one of those “have to’s”, which some resist and others grudgingly do. Fasting often occurs at specific times in the year, like Lent, Easter or the beginning of January, usually when church leaders request it.

The truth is, fasting is guaranteed to make you FAT. As your spirit grows bigger through fasting, your flesh grows smaller, and though physical weight loss may be a byproduct, the ultimate gain is YOUR closer walk with God.

When Jesus walked the earth, fasting was a zeal mark, a sure sign of devotion, designed to demarcate the “chosen” from the “less thans”, as Rabbis and Pharisees made it public practice to fast, and especially before an audience, that they might be revered for their religious fervour.

Not so, the disciples of Jesus.  In fact, the contrast was so LOUD and so OBVIOUS, that even John the Baptist’s disciples were left scratching their heads, as they wondered why Jesus followers weren’t throwing soot on their heads and denying themselves food, when fasting was mandatory for their school of devotion.

Mark 2:18 – 20 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to Him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.

When asked, Jesus explained:  I am right here. Reach no further. And He clarified further, “Once I am gone, then My disciples will fast.”

Two thousand plus years later, we the Church, His Bride, continue to fast until Jesus our Bridegroom comes once more.

So why do we fast?

Here are 7 Great Reasons to Fast:

1. Fasting brings direction and clarity. When Elijah lost direction and wanted to die, an angel of God appeared to him, ministered to him, then commanded, “Go up the mountain, and there, God will meet you.” (1 Kings 19:4-8). For forty days and nights, Elijah fasted and God appeared to him. Fasting prepares us to have clear direction for what God wants to do in our life.

2. Fasting makes one more attentive to Almighty God. When we forsake food, our spirit becomes more active, smart, intelligent and sensitive to God. When you feed your flesh, your spirit becomes weak. When we feed our spirit, our flesh becomes weak. The more we walk with God, the more our spirit will begin to understand what the Lord is saying. God will lead us.  May our spirit be finely tuned as we forsake food and choose His voice as our priority!

3. Fasting releases the power of God. Fasting is a kind of covenant, a promise of commitment between you and God, for a set period of time. Jesus, the Son of God, fasted for forty days. He did everything humans are supposed to do:

Luke 4:1-2 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, He was hungry.

At the end of the forty days, angels came to minister to him and Jesus came out with power.  If the Lord received power after fasting, then we may have this same expectation when we fast, that God’s power will be released in our lives.

4. Fasting brings divine encounter. As we fast and diligently seek the Lord, God rewards the hungry with Himself. This happens mostly on the mountaintop. We must go up, must ascend in prayer to Almighty God to encounter Him. There is something that happens when we fast and seek the face of God, when we make the decision to  set apart the time, to access the presence of the Lord.

Daniel of the Old Testament and John of the New, both these men had realtime visions and angelic encounters, during their seasons of fasting, prayer and isolation.

 What will God show you, if you set apart time to fast?

5. Fasting releases victory over our enemies. Tools and strategies that the enemy used around us, even without our knowledge, will lose their grip in our life with fasting and prayer. We will begin to flog satan as we fast.  Fasting will release the fire of God on all those who oppose, who stand against and deny our rightful inheritance. When we stay on fire, we stay near to our God!

6. Fasting brings Divine forgiveness. Throughout the Bible, we see chapters in Israel’s history when God was upset with a generation. Time and time again, Israel went on their knees, and the Lord forgave the nation. Judgement on a nation, on our household, can be shifted with fasting.  Generational curses, long suffered, can be demolished through fasting and prayer.

7. Fasting is part of God’s plan for us, His disciples. Jesus told John’s troops that once He was gone, fasting was a surety.  We fast because our Lord fasted.  We fast because our desire to draw near to God compels us to forsake food and reach for our King. We fast because we must become the spotless Bride, and let’s face it, we all have areas of our life that needs drastic adjustment.

Do you need spiritual authority to destroy the work of the enemy in your household?

Declare there will be no more spirit of resistance, no more spirit of infirmity, no lust, no lack in your household, according the mighty Name of Jesus.

Begin to fast for the victory that is yours in Christ Jesus today!