What is fasting?
Fasting is abstinence from food with a spiritual goal in mind. It is when we deny ourselves the most natural thing in order to pursue the God of heaven to do something supernatural in our life. When a pastor engages this age-old biblical principle, he will wake up and experience revival.
I received an email this past week from a pastor whose life was transformed by fasting. He had come across my book, The Power of Prayer and Fasting, and implemented it in his life and ministry. His testimony was strong. I have written on this subject for many years and am still amazed at the testimonies I receive about how God uses fasting in the lives of others.
What fasting means to me
As the sightless man whose only response to Jesus was, “Once I was blind, but now I see,” I can say I have been changed inside and out by prayer and fasting. I am not the same man, the same pastor, the same husband, or the same father I once was. Fasting and prayer have been a gateway through which God has done supernatural things in my life, my family’s life, and in my ministry. This is a credit only to the power of God. I am more convinced than ever that this miraculous gateway to God’s supernatural intervention in the life of the believer is not exclusively reserved for a select few. It is the power of God available to everyone who trusts Jesus.
While I began practicing fasting in college, God has developed it in my life and ministry continually. I have been on all kinds and lengths of fasts. While I will not discuss them in this article, I will testify to you that God is always faithful to me when I fast.
He sees me through the journey. He speaks to me in the midst of the journey. He blesses me because of the journey.
What fasting can do for you
Let me share three things fasting can do for you. Please know you do not fast for the purpose of these, but to pursue the Lord personally.
1. Fasting focuses you on the Lord.
When we fast with the purest of heart, it brings our focus on the Lord completely. I have found that the greater my need for this, the more it happens.
When you take the time to place your focus on the Lord alone, God steps in your life right there. Fasting makes us realize our great weakness in life; therefore, we lean with all we have in fasting toward the Lord.
As we refocus our life on the Lord alone, the voices of others are not quite as loud in our ears, but the Lord’s voice resounds clearly.
2. Fasting exposes sin in your life.
Fasting has a way to bring such focus on the Lord Himself that we view His holiness in a new way. When we are moved to this great attribute of the Lord, we also become very aware of our sinfulness.
When Isaiah saw the Lord, he saw Him as holy. As soon as he was aware of God’s holiness, he saw himself as sinful.
When the searchlight of God’s holiness is upon us, it exposes our weakness and sin. Deep within each of us things build up that we get used to living with. This sin becomes our frame of reference. This moves us to even more sin.
Fasting removes the scales of deception about ourselves and our lives. When this happens, we are moved to great confession and repentance of sin.
3. Fasting revives us spiritually.
Once our focus is back upon the Lord and our sin is exposed, resulting in us repenting, fasting revives us spiritually. We begin to experience a fresh manifestation of God’s presence in life. A time of refreshing comes again.
What is revival? It is the manifested presence of God in our lives. It is when we allow our heavenly Father to be free to live in and through us, move us, and shape us into the image of His Son. True revival will be akin to spiritual seismic activity, shaking us to our core, allowing us to see the profound overtake the profane, with the promise that our lives will never be the same. This is why we must pursue the God of heaven in prayer and fasting.
Pastor, will you practice it?
Only the Lord can move you to the place where you see the need for fasting in your life and ministry. It is a decision that only you can make. Fasting is not a hoop you jump through to get God’s attention. You have His attention already.
But pastor, if you desire a new intimacy with Christ personally, a fresh power you feel you have not had in a while, or just want to walk in this spiritual discipline of obedience in your life, begin to practice fasting in your life.
From one pastor to another, I do not think you will ever regret fasting. God will meet you at the level of your spiritual desperation.
In these desperate days in the world, we need pastors who are even more desperate to have the power of God upon their lives and ministries.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd