Seek From Him The Right Way
Do you fast? Restraining yourself from food for a period of time has been a common religious practice for thousands of years. Other religions practice fasting for many different reasons. For us as Christians, should we fast? And what is the purpose of fasting?
We find some insight on the purpose of fasting in Ezra’s example. As he was preparing to lead a group of people across the wilderness to Jerusalem, he took some time to fast and pray.
Ezra 8:21, Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.
Ezra gives us two objectives in fasting. The first objective in fasting is to humble ourselves before God. By denying our body its normal appetites we are declaring that God is more important than our own desires and cravings.
The second objective in fasting is to seek from God the right way. A time of fasting is not just about not eating. It is about taking time apart from normal routines to be in the presence of God. In fasting we are replacing the feeding of our body with the feeding of our spirit.
These are simple and basic objectives in fasting. There can be some distortions or perversions though. For some Christians, fasting is a point of pride instead of humility. They become proud at how self-disciplined they are.
Some believe that fasting is a way to get God to answer prayers. Ezra goes on in chapter eight to declare that God did answer their prayers, but do not get confused here. Fasting is not a way to strong arm God to do things your way. Prayers are answered when they are in agreement with God’s will! Fasting helps us to be aligned with God’s will, so that our prayers are for His will. It is no surprise that He answers those prayers! 1 John 5:14-15
Do you fast? Are you in alignment with God’s will? As need arises and as God leads, skip a meal or two and spend the time humbling yourself before Him and seek from Him the right way for you, your family, and all that you have.