This morning I pondered the road ahead, life after the hospital and I know we are facing the most difficult battle of our lives together. Filled with grief at difficult choices that will need to be made, I was not able to eat and I looked up for strength from the Almighty. Bible verses began to cut through the morning fog enveloping my brain as I sought answers. I remembered Jesus explaining the story of faith as a mustard seed, “Say to the mountain, be thou removed” followed by the fasting verse in Matthew 17:21 “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
So why do we fast? When we prepare to do battle in the natural world, whether it be a running a marathon or another sporting event, or maybe even a battle in real warfare, we would want to build up our strength by eating a good meal. However spiritual battle is different because battle technique and the enemy are very different. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.
So we fast to prepare for spiritual battle, not against physical enemies but principalities in high places that we cannot attack with our physical bodies. We have to call upon powers higher than ourselves to stand and fight for us against such a mighty enemy. So I wondered, how long would it take to starve myself until God would feel sorry for me and act on my behalf? Then it occurred to me, God is not concerned with my hunger or whether I am eating or not eating. As I fasted in preparation for the monumental battle ahead I realized the fasting was was clearing my head and my spirit of earthly obstructions and concerns. Fasting focuses us on the things of God. It opens channels to the spiritual world that we have closed with the constant concerns and distractions of daily life. It prepares us for the battle against the rulers of darkness.