Theme: THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF HIS GRACE
DAY 12, Read Isaiah. 58:3-7
THE GRACE TO FAST
Key Text: “ Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16).
God’s grace is given to us to enable us live a victorious Christian life. A weekly or monthly fasting is one of the disciplines that requires grace if we are to maintain a healthy Christian lifestyle. We all need grace to fast for thirty days in this month of July. Left alone, many of us would not want to fast for one month. This is why we make it a collective responsibility in July of every year. Fasting is needed to experience the full blessings of God and to engage in spiritual warfare; and grace is needed not only for the blessing of God, but also to fast.
Though all Christians are expected to fast, some have the grace to fast for a much longer period than others. For instance, some go through a dry fast with some measure of ease than others. Some make it a habit to go through a forty day dry fast annually. While other Christians for different reasons cannot go through such a long fast.
Fasting is one of the effective ways we tame our insatiable appetite. Adam and Eve fell to the temptation of the devil by what they ate, that is, their appetite. On the other hand, Jesus overcame Satan by fasting and controlling his appetite. Any Christian who desires to overcome temptation must discipline his appetite. Fasting disciplines the flesh so that we can live a holy life. For some, fasting imposes on them the discipline to study the word of God.
We fast for different reasons. Jesus fasted for two main reasons; first, for power to overcome temptations. Second, he fasted for power to do the work of the ministry. These should be among the reasons why we fast. We can also fast to gain power over the forces of darkness like Daniel did. Like Esther, we should fast before making a major decision. Isaiah 58 gives other reasons for fasting. Paul fasted for spiritual direction and when he sought the face of the Lord to know his will.
Some say that the older you get in life the more difficult it is to fast. Medically that may be correct, otherwise, it is not completely correct. Pastor E. A. Adeboye is one of the living legends of our time, yet he maintains a disciplined fasting lifestyle. The truth is, whether young or old, we all need grace to keep up with a disciplined fasting lifestyle.
PRAYER: Father, I receive grace to bring my body under the discipline of regular fasting.