Fasting - Mentality
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” - Matthew 6:16-18
Here we see Jesus teaching on fasting and pointing out the hypocrisy of drawing attention to what you are doing instead of focusing on why you are doing it. Jesus offers no instruction on when or how to fast but teaches that fasting shouldn’t be done for outward show. There are examples in the Bible, such as Daniel and his friends that fasted in secret. Biblical fasting is about eliminating distractions and setting aside our pleasures and desires to seek out the pleasures and desires of God. We aren’t fasting to impress others or even to demonstrate how committed we are to God. Our motive in any fast should always be to glorify and honor God.
Fasting should never become some routine, mechanical, religious drill that we do each year. Fasting isn’t a way to earn God’s love or prove our spirituality. Fasting can bring about a renewed closeness to God. Fasting strengthens us spiritually and helps us walk with God so we can defeat our adversary. As we fast, we are feeding our spirit and growing closer to the Lord. The main focus of fasting should not be what you are giving up but what you are focusing on. It is never about us and only about Him.
Father God, I pray today that your desires become my desires, that your Word illuminates my path. I pray that my words and actions reflect positively upon your glory. I pray that during this fast, I draw closer to you and receive a new, more focused approach toward your Word and your will. I pray for a renewal of my mind and spirit and a more substantial commitment to you. Amen.