We often see at times in people’s lives and from our own as well that the deadly pride sneaks out from our soul in a season of exaltation and when everything seems alright. We also see, on the other hand, suppressed by the pressurized worst moments we lose the love for God. Consequently, both circumstances draw us back from God and if not we are conscious enough to wakeup swiftly, it will make us fall slipping from the position we stand as a true ‘believer’.
Here is one of the various ways we gird ourselves from falling:
Belt no 1 # HABITUAL FASTING AND NOT DUTIFUL
Behold, his soul is up, it is not upright within him”- Habakkuk 2:4
Carnal nature rises from our soul and fasting acts as both offender & defender, conquering every time when the work of flesh finds a way to dominate our spirit.
“I humble my soul with fasting”
– Ps 35:13
It is clear that by fasting we humble our soul i.e. mind, will, and emotions. Also, we bring our bodies into subjection. In this way, our spirit man gains the upper hand to suppress and nullify the fleshy entreaties.
So, what are the carnal nature?
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature(works of the flesh), the results are very clear:
sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these”-Galatians 5:19-21
Fasting should not be considered as a ritual or any sort of forceful act that has to be followed only in times of need by a particular group. There are a lot of biblical examples where people of God chose to fast in different situations. People worked in the secular world as well as who did ministry had the habit of fasting. Ex. King David, Queen Esther, Moses, Apostles, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Here, are some of the examples by a bible scholar:
1. Under chastening-2 Sam 12:16-23
2. Under Judgement -1 Kings 21:27
3. In need -Ezra 8:21
4. In danger-Esther4
5. In trouble –Acts 27:9,33
6. When worried –Daniel 6:18
7. In spiritual conflict-Matthew 4:11
8. When desperate in prayer-Acts 9
Advantages of fasting:
1. Chastens our soul
2. Crucifies our appetite- for the craving for food
3. Demonstrates the mastery of man over appetite
4. Aids victory over temptation
5. Helps to attain power over demons
6. Intensifies prayer: fixes the focus on God and prayer
1. We subdue the works of the flesh
2. Fruit of the spirit manifests Self- control
3. Overcomes the sin of gluttony
4. Keeps healthy by giving the digestive system rest. But this should not be the motive.
Fasting without spending time in prayer is determined only as starving. Since everyone has to cross the road
of hills and valleys all through our lifetime, habitual (regular) fasting along with prayer preserve us falling into either pride or despondency or depression.