What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without eating? What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without drinking anything? Without sleeping? These are all things that come naturally to us; they are normal needs. Our bodies require a certain amount of food, liquids, and sleep just to function. If that’s the case, then what’s the point of fasting?
If you’re anything like me, there was a point in time where you wondered what the point of fasting was. We see it in the Bible at times but it’s not necessarily a command that we HAVE to fast. When we see fasting in the Bible, it’s almost always linked to God doing something miraculous. So is fasting supposed to be one of those things for the hyper spiritual or does God hear us more when we fast?
When we see Jesus being taken by the Spirit into the wilderness in Matthew 4, the passage says that it was for Him to be tempted and it wasn’t until He had not consumed any food for forty days and the hunger started to kick in again (because when you fast for a long amount of time, there is a point, where you no longer feel the hunger) that Satan came to tempt Him. So when Jesus was at His physically weakest point, before the cross, Satan came to tempt Him. At a point where His body would be screaming out at Him to give into what Satan was tempting Him in, Jesus persisted and did not give into the lusts of His flesh.
Fasting can be the same for us, that when we fast and pray, that it removes power from our flesh and strengthens our Spirit. It’s like working out a muscle, the more you work on it and build it up, the stronger it’ll be. We don’t have to let our flesh control us. We don’t have to give into every desire of the flesh. If we get angry, we don’t have to go crazy and throw things or start cursing “like a sailor.” If we see someone attractive, we don’t have to lust after them or long for them. Trust me, I’m not saying that food isn’t good or that it’s not refreshing to drink water, but I just want to encourage you to start challenging your thinking. Let’s not put our physical cravings over spiritual ones.