The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 gives us some very clear teaching from Jesus about how to live in such a way that we will build our lives on a rock, a strong and firm foundation which will not give way when storms come (Mat 7:24-25.) In the central part of this teaching Jesus talks about praying, giving and fasting. He doesn’t say “if you pray, give or fast” he says “when you pray…, give…, fast…” (Mat 6:2,5,16.) Fasting should be as key a part of our walk with Christ as prayer and giving if we desire to build a rock-solid life.
Fasting is abstaining from food for spiritual purpose. We do it in faith that we will draw closer to the Lord and see breakthrough and growth in our lives as a result. It is not an exercise in willpower, rather it is an exercise in humility. We submit our fleshly desires to God in order to strengthen our spirit that we may commune more closely with God’s Spirit. We go without the things which ordinarily bring us comfort, strength and nourishment in order to seek comfort, strength and nourishment from the ultimate and perfect source, God himself, through the Holy Spirit and the word of God.
The result is a spirit once again alive to the power and blessings of God, our faith renewed to truly believe that with God all things are possible. So as we fast let’s do so with faith. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, believing to see the breakthrough our hearts long for in order that we may become more like him whose own flesh was tortured and crucified for us.