1 Sam.15:22 “But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”
God’s Word clearly advocates fasting (both personal and corporate), and there are tremendous benefits. However, we must remember that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are to take care of our bodies (1 Cor.6:19-20). Fasting can easily become destructive to the body when it is not done properly. You cannot afford to be irresponsible or damage your body because you are fasting. An example of being irresponsible during fasting would be coasting with just sodas. Coasting is a type of fast that involves abstaining totally from food and taking only thin fluids intermittently for the duration of the fast.
You have to know how to fast correctly. Anyone who decides to coast with sodas is damaging his or her own body in a very strange way. Drink tea instead. But anyone who insists on putting five cubes of sugar into every cup of tea is actually being spiritually irresponsible. Fasting in itself is demanding on the body. Do not get me wrong, fasting is beneficial both spiritually and physically and we will explore some of these benefits as we go along. When fasting is not done properly or when it is done for a prolonged period without a break, it damages the body.
Let me tell you a story about a couple, my spiritual children. They had been trusting God for the fruit of the womb (children) for five years. During one of our God Will Do It Again seasons, I felt God say they should not fast. But that cycle passed, and I forgot to tell them because so many things were happening. When the next cycle started, I invited them to meet with myself and my wife. I said, “We are about to start fasting as a church but thus says the Lord, “Do not fast!” They almost fought me; “…this kind does not go but by prayer and fasting,” they said. As if I do not know scriptures. Their struggle was borne out of a burden for what they were trusting God for.
The Holy Spirit said, “Physical life sometimes has to die for spiritual life to be born.” In reality, their physical life was going down because of extended periods of fasting. They obeyed and did not partake in the fast as God instructed and the lady conceived in that same month. The point is, you cannot afford to be spiritually irresponsible. Can you be more spiritual than the Holy Spirit? Note, however, that this is just an illustration, you are going to fast and enjoy its rewards.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, please show me the right path, point out the road for me to follow, lead me by Your truth and teach me, in Jesus Name. Amen! (Ps.25:4-5)