Fasting is a very important act, yet is seldom realized in its overall fulfillment. This is partially because many restrict its meaning to a direct association of food and drink. When looking closer, we find the word centers primarily on restraint. We should also note its spiritual application, not just its physical.
Abstaining from certain activities can help refocus energy towards more important matters. It serves as a protection from evil, healthily promoting a deeper vigilance. It also provides attentiveness towards practices which may lead us astray, however innocent they outwardly appear. In fact, proper fasting not only increases discernment, yet brings revelation to hidden frailties that might otherwise go unnoticed.
When Yahshua went to fast in the wilderness for forty days and nights, the restraint wasn’t focused on just the carnal. We are looking at a much broader fasting… one which denied human interaction, social activities, employment, and more. He allowed himself to be examined by the adversary, a tempter who spoke to him when he was at his weakest point. Yahshua learned how the Father’s words were far more important than his appetite for sustenance, power, and riches. It was the overcoming of these temptations which proved his readiness for the calling.
One of the main reasons why many cannot hear the calling is because of too much noise! When there is a heavy bombardment of the senses, the spirit can become engulfed with all sorts of concerns. By fasting, the overflow is targeted, allowing the senses to return towards their natural use.
As with prayer, we should always fast in humility. Mere appearance is not enough to faithfully try our hearts. The point of this trial, you see, is to challenge our true character. It is to test our meekness and reliance towards the greater will.
Just as the Jedi in Star Wars had to pass the trials prior to knighthood, so we must also be willing to be tried in the fire. As the Father says in the book of Isaiah, “Behold, I have refined you, but not with silver. I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.”
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To lose the bands of wickedness, to undo heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?”