Without vice, there is no release. The struggles of man allow also freedom to be known. It is the natural man that falls to the temptations of the natural, for flesh draws flesh. This is why flesh alone cannot experience the Kingdom of Heaven. Spirit gives birth to spirit, and then there is draw to what is of spirit. God is Spirit, and the reflection of God in man draws Him closer. The flesh must be made weak that the spirit would grow strong. This is the essence of sacrifice, of the fast, of the deprivation of the body. To crucify the flesh is to allow the power of the Spirit, and in this, the upward call to God is desired, and the journey to heavenly things. Remove the earthly desires, and you will find the strength of angels. Turn away from the lust of the eye, and eternal light fills its place. Find strength in what truly makes you strong. Feed not the body, and the soul leaps forward.
Joel 2:12 (ESV) – “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
Daniel 10:3 (ESV) – I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.
Acts 14:23 (ESV) – And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Isaiah 58:6 (ESV) – “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”
Bottom Line: It is said that fasting is like turning the volume knob down on our flesh, and turning it up in the spirit. We gain authority, clarity and closeness with God. Sadly, it is not practiced much anymore, but those who do practice it, know its power. If you are at a place in your journey where you feel stuck, if work, homelife and spiritual progress seems plateaued or even hindered, and especially if the sins of the flesh are sneaking back in, try a very old remedy that the saints have used successfully for centuries, even Jesus Himself. Call a fast. Somehow, by God’s design, in the weakness of our flesh, it creates a strength in our spirit that propels us upward and closer to God. Strange as it may seem, and uncomfortable, it may be the key to your next spiritual breakthrough that will lead every other part of your life.