Romans 8: 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Matthew 17: 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Amos 8: 11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord.
We fast by abstaining from food or from certain foods for a period of time. The basic idea is that by deliberately denying our physical needs for a time we become more attuned to spiritual things. By ignoring the voice of our bellies we are able to more clearly hear the voice of God. It works.
Jesus attested to the power of fasting in Matthew 17: 21 and Mark 9: 29 (some new Bible versions leave out these verses) when He explained why they were unable to confront certain kinds of spiritual opposition. In Matthew 9: 15, Jesus made it clear that His followers would practice fasting after His resurrection and ascension.
Fasting works. But, it works both ways.
A fast from physical nourishment weakens the physical body and nourishes a spiritual mindset.
Reciprocally, a fast from spiritual nourishment weakens the spirit and reinforces a worldly/ carnal mindset.
Romans 8: 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Think about it.
When you spend a day or so abstaining from prayer, when you fail to feed your soul on the Word of God, when you go for extended periods without one-on-one time with God you have put yourself into a fast of the spirit, a fast from spiritual nourishment.
The result is predictable. When we abstain from the spiritual disciplines our spirits grow weaker and our carnal/ fleshly/ natural/ bodily urges and tendencies grow stronger. Sin gets easier. Living holy gets harder.
The old-school advice of parents and Sunday school teachers is still valid. Read your Bible every day. Pray constantly. MAKE TIME daily to sit alone and commune with God.
I post this on a Sunday evening. Probably most of you have been spiritually fed in church today. Nevertheless, I hope you won’t go to bed hungry; and when you wake I hope you break-fast in more ways than one.
Psalm 34: 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!