The Power of Fasting! The Key to an Intimate Relationship with God
Fasting is giving up food or other things for a period of time to focus your thoughts and attention on God. It is an essential key for building an intimate relationship with the Lord. Often fasting is combined with prayer, and requests are made to God. In the Old Testament, fasting was common when times of grieving or repentance were necessary. In the New Testament, fasting is recommended as a way to grow in deeper communion with God. Similar to God’s instructions on prayer, fasting is to be a personal decision and spiritual discipline. I have found when I combine my prayer and my fast with the names of God, it’s like praying with power. It’s like a boost or spiritual charge because it reminds me of the capacity of my request and the faithfulness of God.
I did not grow up fasting. I know many religions and expressions of faith were taught to fast, especially during Holy Week, but that was not the case for me. I knew about fasting. I read about it in the Bible, and I was even taught the Scriptures in Sunday School, but it was not a personal practice. It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized the expectation and direction that God gives us to practice fasting. Jesus Himself said some things only happen by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21)
When you fast, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of temptation and weakness. Forgive those who have offended you, and ask for forgiveness from those you may have offended. Surrender your life fully to Christ, and examine your heart for anything that might hinder you from all God has in store for you. (Romans 12:1-2) Fasting brings a sense of humility, as we must rely on God alone. (Psalm 35:13; 69:10)
I reach out for You. I thirst for You as parched land thirsts for rain. Psalm 143:6
The Psalmist had a deep longing to know the heart of God. Intimacy with God starts with a longing and then becomes a lifestyle.
In the Old Testament, we often see people fasting in a time of crisis; in the New Testament, we see Jesus fasted for His calling. We should fast during problems and as a testimony of God’s power and sufficiency in our lives. Anna fasted as she stood at the gate, waiting to see the Messiah. (Luke 2:37) Fasting helps break the bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, and empower us to break every yoke. (Isaiah 58:6) Fasting is to be part of our lives. A personal discipline and action that we engage in with God. We are a tripart being. Body-Soul-Spirit.
Just as our bodies long for physical food, our spirits long for spiritual food. When Jesus was speaking to the crowd in Matthew 6:16, He said, “When you fast” (not IF you fast). Fasting causes us to believe God will meet our needs and increase our faith and trust in Him.
To read more from Tammy Hotsenpiller’s, "Fasting With God", visit MyCharismaShop.com