By Funmi Komolafe
Good morning brethren, I hope the last week was filled with blessings for you. Whatever it was, please look forward to a better week from today in Jesus name.
Today, we are taking a look at the relevance of fasting to our spiritual life.
First, let’s consider the life of a peasant farmer who sows his seeds with hoe and cutlass. While carrying out this act, he does so painfully after about nine months or more, the same farmer, when he begins to harvest, he is happy taking away baskets of fruits.
In the same way, in our relationship with God, we must be ready to sacrifice something to receive his miracles.
Brethren, what have you decided to let go in order to have a relationship with God.
This is the second month of the year, what have you decided to do to achieve your breakthrough this year.
Right now, many churches have embarked on fasting of some days. Why do you think this is necessary? It is because you need to send your prayer arrows ahead of the storms that may rage in the year or that the enemy may plan against you.
Fasting is a period of self-denial. During fasting, you put the flesh under control and when the flesh is under control, the spiritual life is elevated. When the spiritual life is elevated, one would be guided by the Almighty God and life would be easy.
Let’s consider the Holy Bible’s record of fasting. Who fasted, what followed the exercise. Matthew 4 verses 1-11 . For this purpose, we’ll consider verses 1 and 2 “ Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungered”.
Verses 3-10 gives us a detailed account of how the devil came to tempt him and how he was able to resist the devil. What followed? The answer is found in verse 11 “ Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him”.
James 4 vs. 7 makes it clearer. “ Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”.
Brethren you cannot be said to have submitted to God without fasting and prayer. Create time to fast and pray. It is healthy for the body and the soul.
The first lesson here for us is that fasting, empowers us spiritually to overcome the devil and other forces of darkness.
In Exodus 34 v 25 & 26, we see the encounter of Moses with the Lord . “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he ( Moses) was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments”.
A clear lesson here is that fasting brought Moses closer to God and the result, he received the ten commandments that clearly states what God expects of us. Fasting is a spiritual magnet that connects us with the Lord.
Acts of Apostles 13 vs. 2 “ As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them”.
Again you see the connection, between fasting and the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Do you want to hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit? Prepare for it with fasting and prayer.
Another example is found in Ezra 8 vs. 2 “ The I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us and for our little ones, and for all our substance”.
Fasting makes the Lord to guide us. In other words, when we fast and pray, we are likely to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
As you take a decision to fast and pray, you will hear the word that will lead to your breakthrough in Jesus name.
Fasting and praying may also be used to seek forgiveness for our sins and seek his mercy.
The life of King David gives us a good example. Let’s look at what he did when he committed adultery and murder. David took Uriah’s wife and arranged his death in the battlefront. When confronted by the man of God, Nathan, King David said in 2nd Samuel 12 vs. 13 “ And David said unto Nathan, “ I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also put away thy sin; thou shalt not die”.
Though David committed grievous sins, God spared his life but David still acknowledged the gravity of his sins.
Verse 16 of the same chapter recorded what King David did. “ David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth”.
Note that David fasted to seek forgiveness for his sins. Even today, forgiveness of sins is one of the reasons why we should fast. Romans 3 vs. 23 “ For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.
More importantly, Romans 6 vs. 1. “ What shall we say, then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”.
Verse 2 gives the answer, “ God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”. The key word here for us here is God forbid.
It therefore means that for us to receive the grace of God, we need to confess our sins and show remorse. David showed remorse by fasting and prayer.
How have you been showing remorse for those sins that you committed and no one saw you but God did.
Bishop Wale Oke, President and Founder of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries based in Ibadan, Oyo State describes fasting this way, “ Fasting is a spiritual exercise that is extremely beneficial if done correctly”.
Bishop Oke also said of fasting, “ It is a mighty weapon of war that God has made available to His children that they may use it to effectively checkmate the devil and destroy all his works. It is a weapon they can use to make God’s good hand of blessing and favour to be constantly upon their lives”.
Fasting is spiritual seed that brings in bountiful harvest.
Brethren, you can choose to fast at any time. Just ensure that you also find time to pray. Fasting without prayer is an exercise in futility.
Take a decision today to set yourself apart for God and God will attend to your needs in Jesus name.