How Does Fasting Improve My Relationship with God?    

You are here

How Does Fasting Improve My Relationship with God?    

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×
Downloads
MP3 Audio (5.44 MB)

Downloads

How Does Fasting Improve My Relationship with God?    

MP3 Audio (5.44 MB)
×

Throughout the Scriptures are numerous examples of people who fasted to draw close to God. Refusing food and water, they humbled themselves before God to seek His will in a time of need.

The word of God is spiritual food, which Christ Himself gives us. He is “the bread of life” (John 6:48 John 6:48I am that bread of life.
American King James Version×
). Fasting deepens our desire for this “living bread” (John 6:51 John 6:51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
American King James Version×
), and thereby improves our spiritual relationship with God.

The people of Nineveh fasted in repentance upon hearing of God’s coming judgment on them (Jonah 3:5 Jonah 3:5So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
American King James Version×
). Paul and Barnabas fasted and prayed for God’s direction in choosing and ordaining elders for the Church (Acts 14:23 Acts 14:23And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
American King James Version×
). Jesus Christ Himself fasted 40 days to prepare for the start of His ministry (Matthew 4:2 Matthew 4:2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.
American King James Version×
). Fasting is the means by which they drew closer to God to seek His will.

Fasting quickly reminds us how much we need food and water to survive. God is our Maker, and He has provided us these essentials on which we depend. Going without them, even skipping one meal, reveals how weak we really are.

When life is going well, our human tendency is to forget that God gave us all the good things we have. The people of Israel had this tendency, so God reminded them that it is Him who gave the good things they enjoyed. He said to them, “When your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the LORD your God,” (Deuteronomy 8:13-14 Deuteronomy 8:13-14 [13] And when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; [14] Then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
American King James Version×
, New Living Translation).

The ancient Israelites are like the rest of us. We all possess a human nature, which Scripture calls the “carnal mind.” That “carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God” (Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×
).

Fasting helps us keep this carnal nature under control. It shows us we are dependent on God for the sustenance of our physical lives. Our attitude becomes more humble and we should channel that to be more submissive toward Him when we fast. Fasting can and should help us to focus our thoughts on the spiritual things of God. We become less concerned with the carnal things of this world.

After Christ had fasted 40 days He was tempted by Satan. Resisting the devil’s temptations, He said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 Matthew 4:4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
American King James Version×
).

The word of God is spiritual food, which Christ Himself gives us. He is “the bread of life” (John 6:48 John 6:48I am that bread of life.
American King James Version×
). Fasting deepens our desire for this “living bread” (John 6:51 John 6:51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
American King James Version×
), and thereby improves our spiritual relationship with God.

By denying ourselves food and water for a time, fasting reminds us we will die without physical sustenance. Likewise, we will die spiritually if we do not have spiritual nourishment. Without spiritual food, the living Word of God, we will be cut off from God.

Many people of faith have fasted to draw close to God and sought His will in a time of need. We can likewise use fasting to improve our relationship with Him. Fasting helps us realize our dependence on God for our physical needs and brings us to a deeper appreciation of His Word.