Fasting: Strengthening the Inner Man
Devotion by Ian Bisset
If there is one of the most challenging principles I struggled with as a young believer and still do is fasting! Many of us today do too. In the next few days I will try and focus on this dreaded topic of fasting and how I today by grace of God still struggle but God has been giving me victory to overcome the power of the stomach.
Fasting is the voluntary refrain from food for a spiritual purpose. Its good to note that we have three main types of fasting: Absolute fast/dry fast: Its refraining from food and drinks including water for a given duration. I suggest that this type of fast should not exceed three days.
Normal fast: Refraining from food with an exception of light liquids only. This can include taking water, clear soups or juices in order to maintain your strength when you fast. It is recommended when you do a fast that goes beyond 3 days.
Partial fast/Daniel fast: involves giving up particular foods and drinks for spiritual purpose e.g. Refraining from proteins or that food you cant do without. For us to be effective Christians we need to strengthen the inner man. No wonder Paul prays for the Ephesian church (3:16) to be strengthened inwardly.
Fasting is one of the weapons in strengthening the inner man. The temptation of lust for food and sex can be overcome only by the inner strength. When you are inwardly strong its easy to overcome any situation. Its easy to pray with inner strength rather than outward strength. In my experience in fasting I have realised its easy to groan before God when you have no strength because of fasting and you can feel the inner strength and connection with the spiritual realm. After such prayers our spirits are usually prepared for all outcomes that are ahead of us.
I challenge us to try and seek God through prayer and fasting. You can begin with missing at least a meal. When you feel sharp hunger on the process it simply means the outward being is trying to take control. Pray with one thing on mind i.e. you are a spiritual house and not merely a physical being.