1 Peter 4:1
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
What is your fasting life like?
Is it hard for you to fast? Do you sometimes decide you’re going to fast and then you become overwhelmed with intense hunger? You are not alone. Fasting is not comfortable, which is why it seems as if you can’t do it. It is just as much mental as it is physical. The enemy will attack you just as he did Jesus.
There is nothing the devil hates more than when you do what is necessary to build your relationship with God and grow in your faith. When Jesus was about to begin His public ministry, the devil attacked Him during His time of fasting. However, the devil did not deter Jesus. When you begin your fast, the devil will attempt to sabotage and distract you. He does not want you to grow closer to God nor to expand the mission of Christ. You have done your reconnaissance. You know what devices he will use. There are two things you need to do.
- Prepare to fast. Plan your success.
Fasting isn’t merely an act of self-deprivation, but a spiritual discipline for seeking more of God’s fullness. Which means we should have a plan for what positive pursuit to undertake in the time it normally takes to eat.
Luke 14:31 “Have you ever heard of a commander who goes out to war without first sitting down with strategic planning to determine the strength of his army to win the war against a stronger opponent?” (The Passion Translation TPT)
- Step 1: Set a Purpose for Your Fast.
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, for guidance, for healing, to resolve problems, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify what He wants you to take away from this time. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically.
- Step 2: Commit to Your Fast.
Pray about these questions:
* How long will you fast, one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days? (Start slowly and build up to longer fasts.)
* What type of fast is God calling you to, such as water only, water and juices, withdrawing from certain foods, social activities, and/or physical activities?
* How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word.
- Step 3: Prepare Yourself Spiritually.
The foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
* Confess your sins, ask God to cover those you know about and those you don’t know about and accept God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
* Seek forgiveness from anyone you have offended and forgive anyone who has hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master and refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1-2).
* Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6).
* Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16-17).
- Step 4: Prepare Yourself Physically
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Ask God first and consult your physician, especially if you take prescription medication or have a chronic ailment. God will not lead you where His grace will not keep you.
- Step 5: Create a Schedule
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.
2. Prepare for his attack and do not let him defeat you.
You are a triune being. He will attack your mind, body, and spirit.
- Mind -He whispers lies into your spiritual ears to get you to quit the fast. Telling you how hard it is and how fasting is not really necessary.
1 Peter 1:13 So then, prepare your hearts and minds for action! Stay alert and fix your hope firmly on the marvelous grace that is coming to you. For when Jesus Christ is unveiled, a greater measure of grace will be released to you. (The Passion Translation TPT)
- Body – He attacks your body with discomfort and challenges, causing you to want to stop following the fasting guidelines. Your head begins to hurt, your blood pressure goes up, your sugar levels go down.
Galatians 5:24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires. (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition AMPC)
- Spirit – He will push those buttons he knows will cause you discouragement. You won’t “feel” as if fasting is working. You have not noticed the spiritual change you were expecting.
Joshua 1:9 This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go. (The Voice TVT)
The benefits of fasting far outweigh the sacrifice. Fasting crucifies the flesh, releases you from the control of the enemy, eases the heavy burdens you carry in this warfare, removes the oppression inflicted by satan, and breaks every yoke. It is through fasting you can hear what God is saying to you clearly. It doesn’t inspire or provoke God to do what you want Him to do. It inspires and provokes you to do what God wants. This is the life Jesus led, and this is the life God is calling you to lead.
Please agree with me as I pray:
Father, I know I need to fast. I repent for every time I allowed my flesh to rule over me, for the times I would think about food and eating instead of praying, for the times I justified eating because of health reasons, and especially for the times I just don’t want to. Thank You for giving me understanding. Fasting is not just going without eating, it is submitting myself to You. Thank You for calling me to fast and giving me the strength to do what You have called me to do. Thank you for showing me fasting allows me to put aside what I want emotionally, naturally and physically. I can then seek what You want from me emotionally, naturally, physically, and, all importantly, spiritually. When I fast, I can hear You which such clarity I make choices that give You glory. I grow and become more powerful and stronger in my faith. I draw closer to You. I can take your authority in Christ. I submit all of who I am to all of who You are as I dedicate myself to You. Help me live a lifestyle of fasting…
Ask the Lord what He wants to say to you about today’s devotional and journal His response as described here.