Fasting is renouncing the natural by turning to God to invoke the supernatural. When Jesus came out of the desert after fasting for 40 days He, “returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.”
Fasting evidently was one of the keys to unlocking the power of the Holy Spirit to flow through His life, for when He returned He began His ministry of empowered, miraculous compassion. How does this apply to us? Jesus told the church in John 14:12 that we would do the works that He did, and even greater works. The works that Jesus did began with fasting. Jesus specifically used the word “when” instead of “if” in Matthew 6 when He instructed the Church in three Christian disciplines: “when you pray…when you give…when you fast.” The early church set for us the example of moving out of the natural realm through fasting. They regularly depended on the Holy Spirit’s supernatural revelation and power to lead them. And they knew humble fasting released His power, making them instruments through which He was invited to work without hindrance. (Prince Fasting 1986)
Fasting breaks down barriers in our carnal nature (e.g., self-will of the soul and self-gratifying appetites of the body) so that the Holy Spirit can work unhindered in His fullness through our prayers. There is an area of God’s will and provision for each of us that can be appropriated only through prayer and fasting. Simply put, no other part of God’s provision is a substitute for fasting. Derek Prince uses the following diagram to illustrate this. The whole triangle ABC represents the complete will of God for every believer. The unshaded area DBCE represents the area of God’s will that can be appropriated by prayer without fasting. The smaller shaded triangle ADE represents the area of God’s will that can be appropriated only by prayer and fasting combined.
Many of God’s choicest provisions for His people lie within that top shaded triangle. (Prince Shaping History Through Fasting 2002) Fasting was an important part of the life of Jesus’ and the New Testament Church, and it should be an important part of our life. Yet, many Christians today don’t fast for one simple reason: we just haven’t been doing it! Give fasting a chance to personally show you its benefits.
Adapted from the Coram Deo Secret