Continuing on in this series regarding the role of fasting in the life of a Christian, today, we will look at:  What does fasting do?  What do we actually accomplish when we fast?  Here are 4 things that happen when we fast:

(1) Fasting is a submission of my will & ways to God’s will & ways.  “Not my will, Lord, but Your will be done.”  When we fast, we say, “it’s not about what I want, God, but what You want for me.”

(2) Fasting is exercise for your spiritual muscles.

  • It is a way to stretch and strengthen your self-control –
  • it’s like doing an intensive workout for the muscle of self-discipline.
  • It helps stretch, grow, & strengthen those spiritual muscles.

(3) Fasting is a strong message to my flesh, to my desires.  All day long, my flesh is constantly filling me with cravings: “I want chocolate, I want soda, I want entertainment –”  I want, I want, I want.  When we fast, we effectively tell our flesh:

“You are not the boss of me!  I will not be ruled by my desires.  I will not let my appetites control me.  I willfully choose to have Something else be in control of me – SomeONE else.  I submit my flesh and my desires, Lord, to Your Spirit and to Your desires for me.”

That’s the powerful message that fasting sends to my sinful nature. Hungry for God graphic

(4) And fasting is also a message to Christ that says,

“I am hungry for You!  I am craving You more than anything else – more than lunch, or dessert, or the internet, or TV – or anything else!  I am hungry for You, God.”

It is a demonstration of devotion to Jesus over anything else that may clamor for your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection.

In the final post of this series, we will cover a few of the practical logistics related to fasting.  Just a few suggestions – and a few precautions as well.

Other Links on Fasting: