Commitment Series #4

FASTING


Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6


Fasting can take on many forms but the most basic one is that of doing without food. When you deprive your body of food for a time and focus your attention on spiritual things, it strengthens you spiritually. There is no substitute for fasting. Remember that Jesus said in Matthew 6, that fasting is a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if.’ Why did Jesus include fasting as a necessary discipline? Because of our carnal nature which tends toward sin. The struggle within us between the flesh and the spirit can only be won through prayer and fasting.


Our scripture text helps us to understand the power of fasting. Notice the words…loose, undo, free and break, in Isaiah 58:6. These words indicate to us that fasting brings deliverance that nothing else can. If you are struggling with a temptation that you are finding it difficult to overcome, fasting will give you the victory. If you are carrying a burden that seems more than you are able to bare, fasting will give you the strength you need. If you feel oppressed by the devil, fasting will bring you freedom from his oppression. There are good habits and bad habits. A yoke can be a bad habit that is hurting your walk with God. Fasting will break that yoke and bring you liberty. 


We are living in an age of information. Knowledge is at our fingertips every hour of every day through cellphones, computers, video games, iPads, etc., Too much time spent on these can overload your mind with too much information. Many are doing what they call a media fast which is a time spent away from all forms of media. This good in that it helps to clear your mind and frees you to focus solely upon Jesus Christ. Fasting is not easy, but it benefits you greatly.

Pastor Jonathan Shoemake