There is an innate yearning for the spiritual inside us. God designed us to be in relationship with Him, and there’s an emptiness that can’t be filled with material gain or carnal companionship. Even as believers, our relationship with Jesus can be interrupted with the noise of life. But deep calls to deep (Psalm 42:7), and we can make up for that distance through fasting.
In Ruth chapter 3, Naomi gave Ruth instructions to prepare to meet her bridegroom. She was preparing to devote her life to Him in the same way we are preparing to devote ourselves to God through fasting in a few short weeks for our annual 21-day fast.
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.” And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.” —Ruth 3:1-5 NKJV
When you fast, there are five things happening that draw you back into intimate relationship with God and prepare you for the greatness He’s called you to.
- Freshly Cleansed: In verse 3 Naomi tells Ruth to wash herself. That’s what we do when we fast. It’s a spiritual cleansing. James 4:8 tells us to cleanse our hands and purify our heart. That’s how we draw near to God. We know that the blood of Jesus is what washes away or sins, but over and over in scripture we’re instructed to cleanse ourselves and we do that through the washing of His word (Ephesians 5:26) and removing the filth of our flesh (2 Corinthians 7:1). When we cleanse and empty ourselves, we’re making room to be refreshed and renewed by the Holy Spirit.
- Fragrantly Anointed: For Ruth to anoint herself, was a reference to wearing perfume and bringing a pleasing aroma to the room. As we fast, pray and draw near to the Lord, he bestows on us a fresh anointing—a new grace to be where He’s called you to be and do what He’s called you to do. 1 John 2:27 says our anointing is from Him and it abides in us. As we fast, the anointing in us raises our awareness and sensitivity to the things we need to remove from or add to our lives.
- Fitly Clothed: When we fast, we’re putting on God’s best! Ruth was a widow who had been dressed in mourning clothes, but Naomi said it’s time to put on your best garment! Fasting puts off despair, defeat and discouragement and puts on the garment of praise! When we fast, God changes our wardrobe. “To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness . . .” (Isaiah 61:3).
- Fully Commit: To lay at someone’s feet was a sign of submission. When we fast, we’re giving our all to Him. It’s a sign of surrendering our will, our desires and our dreams to place them at His feet. As we humble ourselves before Him in fasting, casting away our cares and worries and seeking Him first, He’ll add to us all that we need (Matthew 6:33)!
- Faithfully Compliant: Ruth committed to Boaz and because of her compliance and humility, He committed to be her redeemer. The Lord says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” When we fast, we are doing more than lip service to God, we are committing ourselves in obedience to His word and therefore showing our love to Him. In return – He will manifest Himself to us! Get ready for miracle answers to manifest in your life!