Fasting slows us down. Busyness is not the same thing as holiness. Most of us are in need of wait training. But we’re not alone. The book of Acts begins with the disciples being told to wait (1:4). By helping us to humbly focus on God, fasting slows us down and can serve as part of the renewal process (Romans 12:1-2). The disciple’s answer to the world’s hurry, worry, and scurry is a fast-paced life that helps him live in rhythm with God.
Fasting is part of our spiritual weaponry. Jesus fasted for forty days in preparation for His ministry. He didn’t seem to think it wise to enter into His mission without serious reflection. Paul did something very similar (Acts 9:9-16). Then there is Jesus’ explanation to the nine disciples that the reason they were unable to cast out an evil spirit was because, “this kind can only come out through prayer,” (Mark 9:29). Although fasting isn’t mentioned in the better manuscripts, it’s presence in some of them would seem to suggest that many in the early church understood the “prayer” that Jesus spoke of to be the kind that was accompanied by fasting.
There’s much more—including the truth that fasting for the wrong reasons is a waste of time (Matthew 6:16). If the subject of fasting is new to you, I hope you’ve seen enough to want to pursue it more because fasting for the right reason can be highly beneficial (6:18).
When the Persian king, Cambyses II, wanted to move against the Egyptians, he knew any campaign would involve crossing the formidable Sinai desert. From a logistical standpoint, there was no way they could bring enough water to supply their needs. Instead, Cambyses II wisely befriended the Arabs who set up stations throughout the desert to provide his army with the water they needed. In the same way, prayer and fasting can greatly assist us through our spiritual deserts. Disciples down through the centuries have made God their bread and been blessed by doing so!