Biblical fasting refers to abstaining from food for spiritual purpose.
Fasting is a private matter between an individual and God.
Jesus expected his disciples to fast after he was gone.
Fasting must be God-initiated, God ordained, and forever centered on God.
Fasting helps us to keep our spiritual and physical balance in our life.
Reflecting on Fasting
My fasting experiences have been fruitful for my spiritual and physical health. When I fast, it has been a great help for me to concentrate on God’s Word and reflect upon his work in my life. It also helps me know how I am doing with my personal relationship with him, and respond to him accordingly. At the same time, it has also proved good for my physical health in regards to digestion. A week long fasting could be a little bit painful for first two days and which it was. But it became normal after two days. I felt as if I were flying in the spirit during those days. My personal behaviors were under control of the spirit. However, a normal fasting has been helping me to balance my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual life.
The purpose of fasting is to discipline our spirit and body. Fasting reminds us that we are sustained by God’s word. Fasting is also another form of devotion to God by expressing our abstinence from food and other normal activities. The very purpose of fasting is to transform our outward and inward being to Christ-likeness.
A Light for the Path
In the passage, Jesus was tempted in hunger right after his forty days of fasting. Hunger preoccupies one’s mind, and spirit of anger also becomes active quickly at that time. Yet Jesus did not fall apart from his purpose. He said that man does not live only by bread, but by every Word of God. Many times, we are also tempted by food. When we declare our fasting, we feel much hunger than other usual days. Our stomach demands much more than before. We feel “burning fire” in the stomach. Ironically, we may not crave for food due to busyness or fun or just skip our meal on other days, but on the we declare fast, it becomes challenging! Our flesh tries to resist us from overcoming our carnal nature. Basically, food appears as a tempter for fasting. Fasting and meditating on the Word of God sustains us and can lead us to victory as Jesus did.
This chapter is very helpful and motivating for me to fast at least a day in a week. It reminded me of my spiritual necessity. Fasting in the modern day is challenging too. We are surrounded by tempting stuffs – varieties of dishes, beverages, and entertainment. These stuffs try to come in mind to defile our spiritual thoughts during fasting. They keep us from close relationship from God. We have to break the bondage of their power through fast. Thus, our God-centered, God-initiated, and God-ordained fast can transform us.
My experiences are blessing to me. In the midst of busy schedule, I have separated time for prayer; to spend time with family in devotion; fellowship with other Christian friends; and meditate on word of God. These disciplines have helped me to develop intimate relationship with God.