Why Christians Fast
Recently a reader of my blog claims her salvation is good news and as such, she does not need to fast. Therefore, this post is an attempt to assist that reader, and other readers like he, clarify why Christian fast.
Jesus, the First Century Church or Jesus’ disciples did not end fasting. In fact, Jesus reinforced the need for His Believers to fast. For example, Jesus encouraged his disciples to fast frequently to eliminate “unbelief”. Jesus encouraged his disciples to fast in the account of the man with the demoniac son, Matthew 17:21 and Mark9:29.
Recall, this man took his sick son to Jesus’ disciples for them to cast out the demons and heal him but they couldn’t. The disciples were disappointed and the father was hopeless. However, Jesus intervened and commanded the devils to leave the boy’s body and they obeyed.
Later, when Jesus was alone with his disciples they inquired of him why the demons did not obey them. Jesus told them something all Christians should learn from. Jesus told his disciples that they could not “cast out” the devils because of their “unbelief”, Matthew 17:20.
In addition, Jesus provides his disciples a solution for “unbelief.” He said, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting,” Mark9:29. At first, you may think Jesus was speaking about the demons. However, when you read Matthew 17:19 – 21, you will realize Jesus was speaking about eliminating “unbelief” from his disciples. He told his disciples this kind of unbelief will NOT leave them but by “prayer and fasting”.
In other words, a Believer has to do much fasting and prayer to replace his unbelief with faith in God to cast out demons. Believers who do not fast are powerless for fasting kills unbelief in a Believer. In other words, fasting nourishes your faith in God.
Fast: Controls Your Physical and Spiritual life
Similarly, if contemporary Believers should not fast, why would Jesus fast? The Apostle Paul fasted often, 2 Corinthians 11:27. He encourages the Corinthians Brethren to fast that the ministry of Christ be blameless, 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.
From my personal experiences, one of the best ways a Believer can take control of his life is to fast. David confesses, “I humble my soul with fasting,” Psalm 35:13. Believers who fast often learn impeccable self-control. I have learnt to control my tempter by fasting about it.
Eating is an important activity for any living animal. I have learnt by fasting often, any Believer who can control his eating by a fast, can control everything else about his physical and spiritual life.
By far the most important reasons why Christians fast are outlined in Isaiah 58: 6 – 7.
- Fast: to loose the “bands of wickedness,”
- Fast: to “undo the heavy burdens, “
- Fast: to let the “oppressed go free,”
- Fast: that you break loose from everything, which binds and restricts you.
- Fast: to feed the “hungry”.
- Fast: to provide shelter in our homes for the poor.
- Fast: to provide clothing for the “naked”, that we may cover him;
- Fast that we don’t avoid or “hide” ourselves from those persons who need our assistance.
A fast will equip me to inherit that which Christ has purchased with his blood, eternal life, by taking control over my carnal soul
We must fast about these things because we don’t automatically do them. Additionally, Believers may often forget to do these things if we don’t fast and pray about them. A fast is a powerful spiritual tool, which will aid the Believer, keep his carnal nature under subjection of his spirit.
In closing, Believers fast regularly, fast often, fast according to the Scriptures and fast with the understanding. Observe the people who fast frequently, in Scriptures, in your assembly or in your country or environment and you will notice they are powerful spiritual instruments in the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed, good news. However, what about Jesus death, his burial and his resurrection is good news? The fact that Jesus suffered and died in my place and conquered death and hell is the good news. A fast will better equip and enable me to inherit that which Christ has purchased with his blood, eternal life, by taking and maintaining control over my carnal soul.