As we start fasting, it is important to understand that you and I are engaged in a spiritual battle. Part of the spiritual battle is fought as the body adjusts to the rigors of fasting. The battlefield has been in place but now, through the posture of fasting prayer you and I are being awakened on different level to what has been going around us. Before we stepped into this season of fasting and prayer we were the prize being conteded for in a cosmic battle with eternal implications. Now, as we "put on Christ" and our posture adapts to the working of the Spirit at hand we are begining the process of being shaken awake. God is stirring us into those who are also doing the contending wide eyed and circumspect. But in the begining of this process we, God and us, are breaking through the flesh. It sounds epic, but the truth is, in the beging it is just umpleasant. We are praying but our bodies are hungry for those things that satisfy our flesh. For most people, there is more than just a little detoxing happening in our bodies. But the battle is more than physiological; as we fast, don't doubt it, a spiritual battle is being waged. Things are happening in the spiritual realm that we neither perceive nor understand outside of God revealing them to us.
Fasting is more than just missing a meal. Powerful seasons of fasting are experienced when we purpose to spend additional time in God’s presence during the fast. As well, every hunger pang, every feeling of fatigue, and every caffeine headache will be a reminder to call on God in that moment and to cry out for those things you are seeking Him to do in your life. David Mathis writes, “[Fasting] is a desperate measure, for desperate times, among those who know themselves desperate for God.”
But don’t just focus on the battle or the pain – Scripture promises there is fullness of joy in God’s presence and there are pleasures at His right hand. Delight yourself in pursuing Him, and you’ll know the joy of seeing Him work in your life.
Psalm 61:11 NIV
11You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Hebrews 12:16 NIV
16See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.
The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®
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Adapted from the James Rivers 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer Plan available on www.bible.com