How Fasting Can Facilitate an Interaction with God

5 Mins read

For thousands of years, dating back to the Old Testament, God’s people have relied on fasting as a means of truly interacting with Him. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about fasting, and people often assume that fasting is either an outdated tool that Christians have access to, or that it’s something that only the “super elite” of Christians participate in. Fasting is a powerful tool that every Christian can use to experience a deeper interaction with God.

God’s design for His relationship with His people includes a deep, intimate relationship in which both parties know one another on the deepest level possible. Of course, since God is all-seeing and all-knowing, He already knows everything about you. However, He wants you to have an intricate knowledge of His will and His thoughts.

While the Bible serves as a great way of gaining a better understanding of God, there are ways that we can gain an even deeper knowledge of Him. One of those ways is through fasting. One of the things that separates Christianity from the other religions of the world is the fact that our God doesn’t simply want us to know what His Word says. Instead, He truly wants us to know Him.

Dating back to the Old Testament, God’s people have chosen fasting as a means of entering into an even more intimate relationship with Him. When the heroes of the faith that we read about in Scripture needed a divine revelation, they fasted. When they needed to see God do something miraculous in their lives, they fasted.

This doesn’t mean that fasting is reserved for those who we have labeled as “Super Christians.” Instead, it serves as a powerful tool that can be used by those who have been following Christ for decades and those who just started their walk with God. That means that you can rely on fasting as a means of deepening your relationship with Christ and your knowledge of Him.

Controlling Your Cravings

Psalm 27:4 (TPT)
Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else: I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house, finding the sweet loveliness of his face, filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to him that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.

Have you ever had a craving for something? Perhaps a certain food item or a drink of your choice. Often, these cravings seem to come late at night, which is why many of us have found ourselves sitting in front of the TV in the middle of the night, watching infomercials, and eating ice cream straight out of the carton.

David spoke about his cravings, and they were not based on things in the natural. This verse is often used to endorse the importance of church attendance (which is certainly a vital part of the Christian’s life), but we’re going to look at the first part of the verse. “Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else.”

Craving something goes far beyond a want. Instead, it is something that we need. As Christians, we need a more intimate understanding of God, His Word, and His will for us. Christ is the center of what we need, not the person who we take our laundry list of wishes to when we’re facing a hard time.

The first step to embracing the concept of fasting is to get a control of your cravings. When you make the things of God the primary craving in your life, fasting is a natural byproduct. Instead of giving into the basic cravings of life, you allow your focus to shift onto craving the things that God has for you.

Embracing the Unknown

Romans 8:26 (TPT)
And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs too deep for words.

When God urges you to undertake a fast, you may not even know what exactly you’re fasting for. However, since we know that everything He wants and has for us is good, we can enter into a fast knowing that we are going to come out of it better than we were when we went in.

It’s normal for a fast to stem from a deep, internal longing for something. However, when you’re fasting in order to receive a deeper understanding of God, you may not have an intricate knowledge of what that’s going to look like. John the Baptist said that he needed to decrease within himself so that the power of God could increase in his life. If John the Baptist, the man who served as a forerunner of Christ knew that he needed to experience a deeper understanding of God, we can assume that we need the same thing.

One of the most effective ways to decrease so that Christ may increase is to fast. When you fast, you’re showing God that you’re willing to suppress your personal, physical longings in an attempt to further understand Him. When God sees that you’re willing to empty yourself so you can be filled with Him, He will respond in a way that goes beyond anything that you have imagined.

Fasting isn’t about knowing every detail of the end result. Instead, it’s about emptying yourself and completely relying on God, trusting that anything He wants to do in your life is an upgrade over the life that you’ve been leading. When you don’t know how to pray or what to pray, the Holy Spirit will pray for you. Fasting is about embracing the unknown and fully relying on God.

Go Into it With Prayer

Philippians 4:8-9 (TPT)
So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things.

Finally, it’s important that you enter into your fast in the right frame of mind. Before you fast, spend some time in prayer, asking God to help you fully embrace everything that He has for you over the time period in which you’re going to fast. Most of all, make sure that your thoughts are on the right things before and during your fast.

Your fast isn’t going to be easy. It’s not intended to be. Whether you choose to fast from food, beverage, social media, television, or something else that truly matters to you, you’re going to notice a void left by the thing that you’re fasting from. During that process, it’s crucial that you don’t become so focused on what you’ve given up that you miss out on the things that God wants to reveal to you during your fast.

Moses fasted for 40 days when he went onto the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments from God. He knew that he needed a fresh word to deliver to the people, so he emptied himself to the things of this world. Daniel fasted from certain foods and drinks for 21 days when he was trying to discern what God was trying to tell him. Jesus fasted for 40 days at the beginning of His public ministry so he could be more in tune with God. If those men fasted, we certainly should do the same.

A Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help me as I enter into this fast. Show me the things that You have for me as I pursue a better understanding of who You are. Help me to keep my thoughts on the things outlined in the book of Philippians as I pursue a deeper revelation from You. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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