Fasting and praying is inconvenient and difficult. It takes resolve and determination to choose to turn away from things of the world and embrace God through fasting and prayer.
Take a close look at this passage from James:
Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up. – James 4:4B, 7-10 NIV
This passage shows us three choices you make when you choose to fast:
- You choose to surrender to God. Who controls your life? James makes it clear that we either surrender control to God or we surrender control to Satan.Look at how James says it:
- You are either a friend of God and an enemy of the world, or a friend of the world and an enemy of God.
- You are either resisting God or resisting the devil.
- You are either drawing closer to God or drifting farther away from Him.
Fasting is a choice to turn away from the world and submit to the authority and rule of God. When you choose to fast, you choose to surrender complete control of your life to God.
- You choose to embrace emptiness. Fasting is not happy hour; fasting is a time when you embrace brokenness and emptiness. When you fast, you become more and more sensitive to the Spirit of God, often to the point where crying is the only expression of what is happening in your heart. There is a time for joy and laughter, but there is also a time to repent, mourn and seek cleansing. When you choose to fast, you choose to empty yourself before the Lord so that He can fill you with His Spirit.
- You choose to humble yourself. Human nature is to try to be exalted, not humbled. We want to promote ourselves, to make ourselves look good. We want to be important. But when you choose to fast, you go against your nature by humbling yourself before God. In the presence of God, it’s difficult to feel anything but awe and humility. When we realize how awesome God is and how small we are in comparison, we become a vessel that God can use and God will lift us up. When you choose to fast, you choose to let go of your pride, humble yourself, and allow the Lord to exalt you in His time and His way.
A bad choice is one that may be easy, but will result in negative consequences. A good choice is one that may be difficult, but is ultimately rewarding. When you choose to fast, you are making a very good choice – one supported by the promise of reward from God. Fasting may be difficult for a short time, but will result in abundant blessing and increase in your life.