Fasting and Fellowship

Duane Vander Klok

“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6

What is fasting? And what happens when we fast – how does it affect our heart, mind, and body?

We need to first understand that fasting does not change God – it changes you. It connects you to His heart at a deeper level. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 tells us that we are made in three parts – a body, soul, and spirit. Think of it this way: you live in a body, you have a soul (your mind, will, and emotions), and you are a spirit. The real you is your spirit, so when God speaks to you, He is speaking to your spirit.

Now, when you receive salvation, your spirit gets saved, but your body and soul do not. It is so important to continually renew your mind through God’s Word and flush out all the lies of the world that tug at your body and soul. Many times we allow our bodies to guide us and make decisions rather than our spirit – we prioritize earthly desires over building the Kingdom. But fasting allows us to quiet the desires of our bodies and tune into what God is speaking to our spirit. We can take our desires and turn them to seek and press into God!

Fasting alone does not connect us with God – it has to be combined with prayer. We might think of prayer as talking at God, but prayer is simply connecting with Him. Like any other relationship, it is important to spend time in fellowship with God by talking and listening. He delights in being with you and wants to teach and comfort you. Fasting allows you to shut out the earthly desires that distract you from the fellowship of God.

What is one area of your life where you could make more room for fellowship with God?