Spiritual Fasting

By: Ron Lagerquist

“Fasting applies pressure to the flesh, and, you may be appalled at how much the flesh will squirm.” 

How much of your daily routine do you perform subconsciously? You may be surprised. Sleepy patterns that barely need your presence to execute. A day of well-rehearsed reflex actions from brushing your teeth to dinner table talk. I once met someone who said, “My wife and I have been married so long that I know what she is going to say even before she says it.” Over the years they simply stop talking, tired of repeating the same old things or simply having nothing left to say.

The behavior of a caged animal is like that. Clearly seen in the worn path around the outside of the cage where day after day, the poor creature circles in the same course with automated steps. An endless rut of same-o same-o where the romance of life is gone. Replaced by dull duty, repetitious responsibility and hopeless escaping. It is difficult to become awakened to how much your life is driven by impulse and instinct. Survival tactics to push down the clamor, filling our lives with empty ritual and behavior patterns that do not reflect our true character or will. Instead, we reflect patterns of the insane culture in which we live. And so we have millions of teenagers trying to find themselves in fashion, music, and subcultures. Growing up without identity. Introducing Generation X, a community of broken grownup children. Cappuccino or espresso, cherry-red or turquoise, ranch-style or split-level, liberal or conservative, little empty circles of self-expression that ends in a spiritual vacuum.

Today’s contemporaries are desperately trying to find a new spiritual identity. We have surrounded ourselves with a plethora of techno-gizmos that furnish an illusion of being in control. The feeling of mobility provided by computers, TV and internet are able to hide the powerlessness we have over our own inner will and emotions. This impression of power is a well-contrived veneer, hiding the uncontrollable storms of the soul. Storms, fed by emptiness, hopelessness and depression that plague a cold super-computer world. Dysfunctional with wounds inflicted by a prior generation of parents who in their grand pursuit of the All-American Dream, ran roughshod over the fragile souls whom God had placed in their care. Their crime? They simply got in the way.

Time For A Change.

Fasting is a knife that cuts away superficiality, getting to the bone. Effective, because it is able to break up daily patterns upon which you have become so dependent. When those patterns of pleasure are removed, you are left with your own internal resources. If those resources are bankrupt, then during fasting, you will come face to face with a vacuum that only God can fill.

Fasting also applies pressure to the flesh, and, you may be appalled at how much the flesh will squirm. But it is high time that the flesh is removed from the role of God, dethroned and placed under the foot of your will. It is the creativity of a freed will which lifts us above animal instincts and releases us from the cages of empty routine.

Fasting accomplishes two purposes. First, it will reveal how much the flesh has taken control of your emotions. And secondly, it will serve in breaking the flesh’s hold upon the will. Fasting invariably brings to the surface deep seated fears which affect thinking and decision-making. It does this by challenging that complex human instinct called self-preservation. This instinct has been created in every living thing on earth, including man. But you are a New Creation in Christ, recreated not to be controlled by instincts. Because of your rebirth, you have been recreated into a creature of a higher and grander design than that of your former life.

Fasting forces us to face the chaos of addictions, compulsive behaviors, depression and internal pain. It’s like pressing the pause button of life, and quietly observing how crazy and detached we have become to who we are.

Want to get off the conveyer belt of life? Smash those meaningless patterns—the ones you hated in your youth when you had passion, a sparkle for living, when you really believed in something—promising never to get trapped in the horrible mundane in which mom and dad lived as you grew up. Do you want to live a life with meaning, driven by conviction, even willing to take a chance—becoming the best you can before God? Do you want to be empowered by the Master of your destiny? His desire is for you to be decisive, powerful, self-controlled and free.

But first we must come to grips with those hidden, subtle demons of our character: fear, hopelessness, worry, doubt and selfishness. Beat the bushes, flush them out, expose them for what they are and destroy them with the power of the Word.

They don’t die quietly, because their tentacles can reach into your emotions. They taint everything they touch, no matter how pure. Their presence will rise up against you with great force when you try to fast before the Lord.

When you begin to face them, you set yourself up for failure. There is a risk of pain, especially if you are willing to go deep. It takes courage to go down to the bottom. Who knows what you may find? Faces from the past. Forgotten horrors in the root cellar of your soul. But God is there too. There is no part of you which He does not see, no matter how well you hide. And He loves you and longs to see you set free.

During fasting, patterns of living are broken. Fasting can be an oasis of spiritual refreshment in a life that has become a desert of uselessness. A spiritual desert that has been left in the wake of selfish materialism.

We have been warned not to conform to the patterns of this world, but if you are honest, very little of your lifestyle is different from that of your neighbor’s.

Quite frankly, for Christ to become front-and-center in your life, things will have to be sacrificed. And at the start, it is going to hurt.

True, spiritual fasting smashes religion and draws a distinguishable line in the sand. It is a magnifying glass that allows us to examine our unconscious patterns of living. The driving force of where our life is going. That is why Satan has invested so much energy towards controlling the subconscious patterns of mankind. He will be appalled if you attempt a fast because fasting exposes how much he has been able to infiltrate the destiny of your life.

Related Article: The Kind Of Fasting That Pleases God

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Excellent encouragement. Great insight to applying biblical fasting to our post-modern life. I had not thought about fasting as a force to use against my submission to the flesh. Very important perspective to persevere in the fast. Just found your website, good stuff. Praise Jesus!
Ryan Campbell
Such deep words and thoughts! Such encouragement!
Kenneth Wilson
Powerfully written. Spirit led and encouraging!
Cut to the core like I expect fasting to do. Thanx much
Thanks so much for this article. I have been working on increasing my times of fasting but it has been very challenging. I think that I overcommit the days and then fail. Once I fail I feel so miserable and convicted. Needless to say,Its been a struggle. I know deep inside that this is the final part of my deliverance process that I need to complete and it seems like I will be so motivated but when my flesh sees or think of food, I give in. I have successfully completed fast in the past but I think taking on this 14 day fast was too much for me. My question is " Will God punish me for quitting my fast? I would like to start over but take it slow.
This is very helpful,I'm currently fast for forty days
Very helpful
Thank you so much Ron for this article. Its is truly a rheama word for me cause i truly needed this for my life. Because everyone of us struggle with our flesh as apostle paul reminds us over in Phil 1: 21-24. But if i live in the flesh this is the fruit of my labour. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. So we must die to our flesh in order that Christ to be more revealed. In His Righteousness.
I was very inspired by reading this article. I thank God for this rheama word on today. I'm going to take this and start applying it to my life as daily. I'm reminded in Phil: 1:21-22 " For me to live is CHRIST and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh this is the fruit of my labour!
Wow, thank you for summing up everything my soulmate and I have been starting to understand in the past 6 months. We have been somewhat forced to fast due to lack of money but have recently discovered the true underlying beauty of what has happened within our souls. This article is spot on.
Thanks for this article. I'm new to fasting. I think it's important to view fasting from a spiritual as well as from a health perspective.
I am going to begin my first fast on 1/7/13. I am starting with a one day water fast, and then 20 days of the Daniel fast. I have been trying to find God's purpose in my life for a long time, and I also tried to avoid it for a long time. Now that I am unemployed, I can no longer hide from me. I know that fasting will allow me to more fully follow the path God has set for my life.
Wow! Ever since I started fasting, I have been looking ways to improve or really get down to the nitty gritty! This article really nailed it (and me)!!! Thank you so much!
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