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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights . . .”—1 Kings 19:8 (NKJV)
God has a way of making things real in our lives. The One who sits enthroned in heaven is able to touch us here in the terrestrial trenches of earth. And one of His most effective ways of doing so is through the practice of fasting.
Now, full disclosure, fasting is something I personally struggle with. I’d be lying if I claimed to be someone who fasts as a regular practice, or that I really enjoy or look forward to it. My flesh and blood body really resists the idea and implementation of fasting.
But it’s undeniable, both biblically and experientially, that fasting is an incredible way to connect with God. It acts as a bridge between us and Him . . . and truly moves spiritual matters from the ethereal into the realm of reality. Fasting is as real as it gets in our walk with God because its effects—both physically and spiritually—can’t be ignored.
God’s Word certainly doesn’t ignore fasting. In fact, when you look closely at the pivotal moments in Scripture, you often find fasting playing a part. For example, Elijah went without food and water for a full forty days as He fulfilled God’s commission to call Israel to repentance. Moses fasted as God began to form a nation under his leadership. The apostles fasted regularly as the Church began to grow. Jesus even fasted at the commencement of His public ministry.
Fasting also plays a role in the Book of Jonah: “He [the king of Nineveh] . . . proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, ‘Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water’” (Jonah 3:7 NKJV).
Notice that it wasn’t a spiritual giant that proclaimed this citywide fast; it was a heathen king who probably committed atrocities beyond our worst imagining! Yet even this man understood that fasting is something that really connects the human heart to the heart of God.
Our relationship with God needs to be real rather than routine. Fasting keeps it real by establishing a bridge extending from the Throne of Heaven to our being, and by creating an experience so personal between us and God—nobody experiences what we experience as we fast. May we meet God more and more in His desire to keep it real with us!
DIG: What does God often employ to keep our relationship real with Him?
DISCOVER: How does fasting factor into the way God works? What’s your personal experience with fasting? Can you increase in reaping its benefits?
DISPLAY: Fast from a meal today. Instead of eating, spend that time in prayer and devotion. Fast over an area of struggle in your life, over a decision you’re considering, for a specific situation or ailment, for a friend, relative, or loved one, for our nation. Fast over whatever area you feel God is putting on your heart and connect deeply with Him. Ask for His will to be done and His heart and plan to be revealed
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.