“But when you fast and pray, God leans in a little closer.”- Congressman Tony Hall
In Chapter 5 (“A $100 Million Dollar Fast”) of If, Mark Batterson discusses the topic of fasting- a time when God leans in. Pastor Batterson believes fasting is one of the best ways to break the power of the flesh. He quips: “If you can say no to food, you can say no to just about anything.” Fasting, Mark adds, invites the favor of God. While it may not be a shortcut, fasting is a moving sidewalk.
Mark states fasting is one way- and one of the best ways- we ask what if. Too much of our emotional energy is wasted on thing we cannot control. We shouldn’t worry about what we can’t control or about doing something grand or glorious. Our only responsibility is to do what is right and make sure we do it for God.
According to Pastor Batterson, the most important muscle you have is the “no” muscle. You flex your “no” muscle when you say no to temptation. You exercise your “no” muscle by fasting. Fasting kills sinful desires by starving them to death. Mark explains the spiritual benefits of fasting:
“Spiritually speaking, nothing will take you further, faster than fasting. You must fast unto God, but it breaks strongholds and yields breakthroughs. At its core, fasting is the way we declare to God that we need Him and want Him more than food itself.”
Andy Stanley, son of Charles Stanley, wrote in Choosing to Cheat that to say yes to one thing is to say no to another. Pastor Batterson applies this concept to fasting:
“Fasting isn’t just saying no to food. It’s saying yes to God.”
Today’s question: Have you ever fasted and experienced how God leans in? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Conjugate praise”