Fasting and Self-denial
“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24
Fasting is a physical picture of our spiritual walk with the Lord.
In order to follow the Lord and fulfill our purposes in God, the path the Messiah models for us to walk in is one of self-denial through grace. Accepting the gift of salvation itself is an act of self-denial where we turn from obeying our flesh and our will to that of our Heavenly Father. Even though we grow and mature in our faith, our flesh still fights to stay alive – which is why we must continue to crucify it.
The beauty of this self-denial (such as fasting) is that it’s a) accomplished through His grace working in us (not our own strength) and b) results in blessing from the Lord. As we empty ourselves, He refills us with His life and strength, enabling us to be who He calls us to be and accomplish what He created us to do.
Sometimes life creeps in, busyness (even with good stuff) can overtake, distractions grab us, and … we get sidetracked with life. Periods of fasting can reset our spirit and bring things back into focus. The hunger, a reminder we’re diminishing the physical to reach for the spiritual.
So be encouraged and keep reaching!
Think about it
- What are some things that the Holy Spirit has “reset” in your life?
- How has this denial of flesh allowed you to grow closer to the Lord?