Fasting is to voluntarily abstain from eating/drinking for an extended period. “Eating” and “drinking” can represent anything that is holding you back. What do you “consume” in terms of social food, intellectual food, spiritual food, and emotional food? Are these things distracting you from your relationship with God?

Are you relying on things that have nothing to do with God to get you through your day? You may not even realize you have an addiction. For example, if you “have to have” coffee every day, and you are not willing to give it up, you are addicted. Maybe your fast needs to just be about coffee. Ask God and He will show you.

Everyone doing a physical fast should consult a physician first. If you have medical issues, consider fasting TV or media. The point is, there is something God wants you to separate yourself from for three weeks so you can see Him more clearly. Don’t cheat yourself by removing yourself from the fast entirely.

You may experience many benefits from fasting (cleansing your body, breaking addictions, etc.), but the goal of fasting is to experience God. Right now, your life may be all about you, what you want, and when you want it. Imagine if you separate yourself from your perceived needs (such as food) … you may see that life is all about Him.

Examples of biblical fasting:

• Special revelation – Exodus 34:27-28

• In times of war – Judges 20:26

• Courage and wisdom – Esther 4:3, 16

• In times of grief – Nehemiah 1:4, 1 Samuel 31:11-13; 2 Samuel 1:11-12, 1 Chronicles 10:11-12

• Mourning – Daniel 10:1-3

• Repentance – Jonah 3:5, Daniel 6:18

• Ministry preparation – Matthew 4:1-2

• Spiritual power – Mark 9:29

• Ministry commissioning – Acts 14:23

• Set aside self for holiness – 1 Corinthians 7:5

• Spiritual discipline – 1 Timothy 4:15

• Spiritual recuperation – 1 Kings 19:1-9

Expect Results Spiritually

As you enter this time of heightened spiritual devotion, be aware that Satan will do everything he can to pull you away from your prayer and Bible reading time. When you feel the enemy trying to discourage you, immediately go to God in prayer and ask Him to strengthen your resolve in the face of temptations.

The enemy makes you a target because he knows that fasting is the most powerful of all Christian disciplines and that God may have something very special to show you as you wait upon Him and seek His face. Satan does not want you to grow in your faith and will do anything from making you hungry and grumpy to bringing up trouble in your family or at work to stop you. Make prayer your shield against such attacks.

Isaiah 58:6; 8-9: 6 No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 8Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ He will quickly reply.

Results of Fasting:

• Healing (Marriage, relationships, emotions, physical)

• Holiness (Not perfection, but that your life goes back on the right path)

• Protection

• Answers

• A deeper walk with God

For more in-depth information about fasting, click here.