Quit playing, start praying. Quit feasting, start fasting. Talk less with men, talk more with God. Listen less to men, listen to the words of God. Skip travel, start travailing. -Leonard Ravenhill
Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter -when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that has been practiced by people of faith for thousands of years. In the Bible, fasting is often associated with seeking God's guidance, repentance, and spiritual breakthroughs. Two key passages in the Bible, Isaiah 58:6-7 and Matthew 17:21, provide profound insights into the significance and power of biblical fasting. In this blog, we will explore these passages and glean valuable lessons about the practice of fasting as a means of drawing closer to God and experiencing His transformative power.
The world has adapted fasting as a means of weight loss Intermittent fasting. The difference between Intermittent fasting and Biblical fasting, you’re not just refraining from eating, but you are spending time in prayer and studying God’s word. Without spending the time with the Lord, it is not considered a Biblical fast. With a Biblical fast, the word becomes your food.
The true nature of fasting that is found in Isaiah 58:6-7 offers a powerful perspective. Isaiah reveals that God is not merely interested in the external observance of fasting, such as abstaining from food, but He desires a fasting that is accompanied by genuine acts of compassion and justice. "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?".
It is about aligning our hearts with God's heart for justice, mercy, and compassion. When we fast, we are called to seek the welfare of others, to alleviate suffering, and to advocate for the less fortunate. True fasting involves a transformation of the heart that leads to tangible expressions of love and care for those in need.
In Matthew 17:21, Jesus speaks to his disciples about the power of fasting and prayer in the context of spiritual warfare. He says, "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting". This verse took place when Jesus was casting out a demon from a boy, and it showed the spiritual authority and breakthroughs that can be achieved through the combination of fasting and prayer.
Matthew 17:21 lets us know fasting is a spiritual weapon in confronting challenges, overcoming spiritual obstacles, and experiencing victory in the face of adversity. Fasting, when coupled with earnest prayer, intensifies our focus on seeking God's intervention and aligning our will with His purposes. It is a powerful means of deepening our reliance on God and inviting His transformative power into our lives and circumstances.
These passages of scripture allow us to see our spiritual authority, and the breakthroughs we can have when we add fasting to our prayer life. As we consider these passages, may we be inspired to engage in fasting with a renewed understanding of its profound significance. Let us embrace fasting as a pathway to align our hearts with God's purposes.
If you are in need of a tool to help you with fasting, feel free to check out my book Feasting on the Word of God.
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