Many of us welcome the month of January to shed the many pounds that we accumulated over thanksgiving and Christmas. Some of us join the local gym and work out, and many will participate in various types of “Fasts” depending on how quickly they want to shed those pounds.
Many Christians individually or collectively with their churches also participate in a Spiritual fast at the start of the New Year. For many of us it is the 21-day Daniel Fast.
There are approximately 99 verses in the bible that refer to “Fasting” and hence it must be of great importance. Although God commanded fasting by the Israelites in the Old Testament, we do not see Him commanding fasting in the New Testament or as a matter of fact forbidding it. Many early Christians did however practice fasting and prayer as a part of their spiritual lives and so should we. Having said this we should not participate in a Fast just to say we did a fast, but we should do so with a purpose of gaining spiritual strength, a deeper understanding of God and a closer relationship with Him. Sometimes we need clarity from God concerning our next steps, sometimes we need a breakthrough concerning situations in our lives (our health, issues with our children, our marriages or our career).
When we fast it is not about the length of time fasting but it is the effectiveness of it. Although fasting is generally abstaining from food, you can also fast from other things that will require some sacrifice such as watching television. If you have never fasted before and want to try it, you should start with a partial fast- such as abstaining for a few hours each day and not an entire day at once.
In His Service,