Fasting for Rewards
A couple weeks ago I was wondering if I should continue a certain fast I've done for years. I prayed and thought about it questioning its important. Then I read in the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus promised a reward for fasting. Those words renewed my desire. I know His reward will be of much greater value than what I give up.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4 NKJV). One of those weapons God gives is fasting. When a man who was seeing many miracles happen in Africa was asked his secret, he responded that it was simple. Just fasting and prayer. Prayer aligned with fasting puts a "cutting edge" to our prayer lives because it indicates an intense desire for God.
The moment we approach Jesus, the first thing he gauges is our desire. Denying ourselves food makes a powerful statement. He knows that if we omit food and pray sincerely, we are in earnest. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).
In fact, God also promises a reward for earnest prayer. "...he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Heb. 11:6). So when we combine fasting with earnest seeking, we have two promises of reward. Perhaps we'll be doubly rewarded.
In Luke 4:1 Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit, but after his fast, He was empowered by the Spirit. "Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit" (Lk. 4:14). After His time of fasting, He had more power with God and more power with people.
While fasting we tread on holy ground accomplishing far more than we know. Satan is terrified and will object! He will seek to convince us that nothing is being done. If we ignore his lies and continue as you planned, our self-denial will be richly rewarded.
"When you fast...your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matt. 6:16, 18).
Thank You, for noticing each time we deny self to receive more of what You have to give us