"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons
of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power
to DEMOLISH STRONGHOLDS. We demolish
arguements and every pretension that sets itself up
against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every
thought to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV, emphasis mine)
The purpose of fasting is to help us refocus on God and seek him in a deeper way. Anytime we have an encounter with him whether in scripture reading or prayer, or when we obey his directive during the day, we are changed. You can't meet God and not be.
This can be an uplifting experience, a 'spiritual high', and we can 'feel' so good about where we are in our spiritual walk. Those are really great days and we should enjoy them because...
The other days are not so easy. Sometimes our encounters with God reflect things in our lives that need to be changed. Those things can sometimes be obvious: cheating on tests or taxes, having a bad attitude and letting it spill over into our family or work place, poor stewardship, not tithing, etc...
The list can go on and on, but sometimes what needs to change is not so obvious and as God begins to reveal it to us we struggle. There may be a habit that we are so comfortable with that we don't recognize it for what it is - sin. There may be motivations or dreams or plans that while not bad, are not God's plan for us, yet that is where we spend our energy. It may be a practice or mindset that is not godly. Something that no one knows about. No one but God.
Dealing with those issues is hard. No way around it. As bad as withdrawal from sugar and caffeine can be when you start a fast, letting go of some other things can be infinitely more painful.
We are not without help for these battles. Read the verses at the top again. What weapons are they talking about?
- the armor of God - Read Ephesians 6: 10-18
- the Spirit of God who prays for us - Romans 8:26-27
- the promise that God is always with us - Matthew 28:20b
- the promise that God is greater than anything - 1 John 4:4
So many other promises that God gives us! What others would you add to the list?
Whether you are fasting or not, if you are a Christian, these weapons of spiritual warfare are at your disposal. Pray, seek God, trust him to know what needs to be changed to make you more like him.
Most of all, don't be afraid of the struggle. It is not a sign of weakness or of separation from God, but rather an indicator that God is present and doing battle for you every moment of every day.
As you begin today, don't do it as someone who has no hope and no protection. Both are there in full measure for you. Praise God for the fight, and ask him to strengthen you through it.
You will never be the same, and isn't that really the whole point?
I am praying for you.