The Necessity, Purpose, and Power of Fasting: Part One

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I know it’s almost impossible for you to believe I’m 68 years old and that I’m a young grandfather of seven grandchildren but it’s true! đŸ˜‚Â  As I look back over the years, I can honestly say that I gave it my best in trying to be the dad God wanted me to be to my children. And now I want to be that grandfather God wants me to be to my grandchildren. One thing I can tell you about being a husband, a father and grandfather is this: to be what God wants you to be, will only happen if your are intentional about it. You will have to make time—quantity and quality time to be intimate with your spouse, your children, and your grandchildren.

Intimacy is not simply a sexual term.  That’s a fraction of what intimacy is about. Intimacy is a relational term of closeness, honestly and transparency, and the intentional effort to make time for the giving and sharing of kindness, words, appreciation and love.  And every one wants or should want that kind of intimacy and closeness with God.  And that happens through fasting! 

Fasting with God is intentional, life-changing, and transformative. It happens because we purpose to spend time with and seek Him. Fasting is the humbling of self. It’s the realization and acknowledgement of how desperate and powerless our lives are without God, and without His love , help, and guidance. It’s making time for the outpouring of our appreciation for everything good in our life. As I say to my grandchildren about spending time with them… “It’s special time!”

Jesus taught us, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God! (Matthew 4:4)  Fasting is also taking time to meditate on God’s promises of love, help, guidance, protection and provision through Jesus Christ.  Fasting is a place and time focused on God and His word and a time of faith-filled prayers for the changes and answers we know this world and our lives desperately need. God’s Word speaks louder and more personally to you in these kinds of intentional times. His word speaking to you creates a closeness and intimacy and results in the influence and miracles of God through your prayers of faith that change us and our world.

God always wants to be intimate with us! He is never the problem of a lack of intimacy. We’re the problem in being slow to realize just how needy we are of Him, and not being more intentional about having regular intimate times with Him.  Since Jesus lived in human form on this earth, He maintained  His intimacy with His Father, by living a fasted life. And so should we!

Fasting isn’t legalism or being deprived. It’s like being a spouse, father or grandfather—intentionally putting time aside to refresh and be refreshed like we do with people that matter in our life. It’s intentional intimacy. And with God it’s laying everything else aside whether it be for a short time or an extended time. And you’ll never grasp this until experience it, but, your ability and desire to fast intimately with God increases as you pursue and experience it more and more. And it’s born out of being intentional about it.

Next time I am going to tell you about a fast I began on January 2, 2021 and I’ll pick up on fasting and prayer in my next devotional. For today, assume there is a work God wants to do in your heart through the intimacy of fasting and praying with Him.  Ask God to help you! He’ll help you with everything! Discover what the important Bible exhortation of fasting is about and how powerfully it can affect your life. More next time…

Matthew 6:17-18 (NIV) Jesus said… But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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