When the urges of the flesh pick up or demonic attacks increase, it is certainly time for a fast. Indeed, if we adopt a "fasting" lifestyle, it will help to keep such things at bay. When we humble ourselves, God draws nigh to us. So if we want to hear God's voice more clearly, we must sharpen our ears to hear. How do we do that? Beating down the soul by withholding from it what it craves.
"But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom." Psalm 35:13
If we do not afflict our souls through self-denial, then Satan will most certainly afflict our spirits through fleshly overindulgence. Satan can only appeal to our soul or to the flesh, however, when our spirits are stronger than both, Satan can gain no advantage. Such is important for us being able to stand strong in the faith.
"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." I Corinthians 9:27
The following message from Min. Derek Prince is entitled, "When You Fast" as he speaks to the purpose and benefits of fasting.
- Jesus expects His disciples to fast.
- If a Christian understands the need to fast, but doesn't do it, then they are sure to backslide.
- The purpose of fasting is not to make life hard or to deny us pleasure. It is a God-appointed way to humble ourselves.
- There are awful dangers to pride and it keeps us back from God's blessings.
- God never promises to make us humble. God can humiliate us, but only we can humble ourselves.
- The soul is the arrogant, self-assertive part of you which expresses itself as, "I want...I think...I feel". NONE of those things matter to God, only His will being obeyed; and we must align ourselves with His will.
- The stomach is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.
- God requires His people to afflict or humble their souls.
- King Ahab is noted in Scripture as the most wicked king there was, yet God delayed the curses He pronounced against his family because he turned in prayer and fasting.
- God saw how Nineveh humbled themselves when faced with His judgment and spared them for over 100 years.
- When God's people fasted together at the bequest of Esther, it actually changed the course of Israel's history.
- One of the ways that Paul proved himself as a minister of Christ is by fasting (II Corinthians 6:4-5).
- Fasting is to turn away from every outer distraction and occupation in order to hear from the Lord.