Going without food alone has no real spiritual value. It may have some economic value as someone may conserve some fund by refusing to spend on food for a given period. It is not even a good strategy for weight loss because someone may lose some pounds fasting but gain double when he/she breaks the fast because of enhanced appetite as a result of a period of abstinence from food.
What counts in fasting is not just going without food but investing time in spiritual engagement of ‘feeding and exercising the spirit’ while one goes without food. The word of God is the food of the spirit. Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4. Spending quality time on the word of God is highly recommended to make the exercise of fasting worthwhile.
Bishop David Abioye said “fasting is fastening your flesh to fatten your spirit”. The spirit gets “fattened” as time is spent ingesting the word of God. A “fattened” spirit is an empowered spirit. It is natural for the flesh to be weak in fasting especially for rookies in this spiritual adventure. When the flesh is ‘protesting’, the spirit is rejoicing provided it is constantly fed as the fasting continues.
In a proclaimed fast, effort should be made to study the word and pray specifically for the agenda of God that orchestrated the proclaimed fast. For instance the purpose is to see the kingdom of God progress forcefully against the gates of hell. Matthew 16:18. Specific prayer on soul winning and establishment is an essential and inevitable part of this proclaimed fast. Therefore, collective prayer sessions in church and individual prayer time on the issue are necessities to make the time of the proclaimed fast highly rewarding.
It does not add up for a believer to be engaging in a proclaimed fast and at the same time ‘forsaking the assembling…together” of the saints. Hebrews 10:25. Fasting (among other things) is referred to as waiting on the Lord. The Bible says:
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
Waiting upon the Lord (among other things) connotes spending time talking to and hearing from God. The Bible says that is how to renew our strength. The Bible also says that we go from strength to strength when we appear in Zion. Psalm 84:7. The Church of Jesus Christ is the New Testament Zion. When we ignore what the flesh wants (ie food) to wait upon the Lord, the result can be amazing.
- Please do not wait on time;
- Do not wait for time to pass;
- Do not waste time on irrelevant.
Wait upon the Lord by spending quality time feeding your spirit (by the Word of God) and exercising your spirit (by prayer). The proclaimed fast would yield tremendous spiritual dividends.
Scriptures for meditation: Isaiah 58:6-14
Jesus is Lord!