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Vital signs- Thursday, June 22nd, 2023

Reasons to Fast

There are many purposes for fasting. Here are just six revealed in Scripture:

1. Repentance.

Jonah called Nineveh to repentance, and the entire city responded. The king proclaimed a fast that even included animals. God saw Nineveh’s desperation and was moved to show mercy. One purpose of fasting is to express our repentance for personal or corporate failure and sin. Fasting becomes an outward sign of our inward brokenness and desperate hope for forgiveness.

2. Readiness.

Anna was a prophet and a faithful prayer warrior. Her devotion and discipline positioned her for the greatest moment of her life. When Jesus came to the Temple, Anna was prepared. She recognized Jesus instantly and proclaimed Him to others. Fasting and prayer positions our hearts in a way where we can readily recognize the Lord's visitation and actively prepare for Christ’s next arrival—His second coming.

3. Revelation.

The minute Saul of Tarsus’ life-changing encounter with Jesus ended, he was blind and disoriented. He was led by the hand into the city and stayed at the house of Judas for three days, during which he did not eat. Saul fasted and prayed for God’s direction; he needed revelation. Millions of Christians today are also in need of direction. The discipline of fasting and prayer prepares our hearts to receive the grace of God’s direction.

4. Release.

The searching father brought the demon-possessed young man to church, but disappointment followed. Despite the disciples’ best efforts, the boy was still in bondage. Then Jesus came, and the boy was instantly delivered. Later, the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out the evil spirit. Jesus told them the key to spiritual power is found through prayer and fasting.

5. Restoration.

The prophet Joel spoke of a time when locusts would bring God’s judgment against those in Israel whose hearts had wandered far from God. He called Israel to a holy fast, and God took pity on His people. Is it not time to blow the trumpet, sound an alarm, and sanctify a fast to undo the damage of today’s spiritual locusts?

6. Reward.

Fasting helps us focus on our primary goal. It trains our hearts to turn away from the world's distractions and press toward the reward before us. God promises that He will reward those who diligently seek Him. This hope makes fasting worth the effort.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Surrender through prayer and fasting is our greatest strength!

Team Wade loves you and is praying for you 👊❤️

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