No new questions were submitted this week, so I want to answer a timely one of my own: WHY are we doing a 21-day Daniel Fast? What’s the purpose or benefit of fasting?
The disciples of John the Baptist asked a similar question of Jesus (Matt. 9:14-15) and He plainly said that his disciples would fast after He departed – but WHY?
I’m not addressing the physical benefits of fasting, because they’re well-known and easily found by asking Mr. Google.
I’m going to focus on 3 spiritual benefits, which I’ll address for the next 3 days:
1. Fasting is one way that I can humble myself before God!
There are numerous Biblical passages that indicate a connection between food and pride:
- Deut. 8:12-14 warns us that when we eat and are full, we can easily forget God
- In Ezekiel 16:49, God listed the root causes of Sodom’s sin, and He didn’t mention her immorality at all – He said she had too much to eat and too much time on her hands!
- When wicked king Ahab fasted in 1Kings 21:27-29, God said “he humbled himself”
- King David said in Psalm 35:13 that he humbled himself with fasting
- Ezra proclaimed a fast for the people of Israel in Ezra 8:21, 23 that they might humble themselves before God!
You probably know the promise in 2Chronicles 7:14 that if we as God’s people will humble ourselves, He will hear our prayer, forgive our sin and heal our land. Surely our country needs our prayers and the kind of national healing that only God can bring – and the starting place for that to happen is for us to humble ourselves before Him!
I’ll give you 2 more reasons this weekend, but the fact that doing without food that we enjoy is a Biblical way that we can humble ourselves is reason enough for me to recommend to us all – let’s set aside January 8-28 as a time for fasting and prayer!
Check back tomorrow for reason #2-