However, if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear (their prayer) from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their country.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (GW)
The final pillar of righteousness in Matthew 6 is fasting. It is important to emphasize that Yeshua the Messiah reiterates, yet again, that “Your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
It is not difficult to “look like” you are fasting, especially if you are doing a strict fast with no food and for extended periods. I mean, honestly, hunger wants to show up on our dried lips and sagging countenance pulled lower by hunger pangs from our stomach. But Yeshua stresses that there should be no evidence of our abstinence. We should look fed and full for that matter, using oil to improve our brightness (don’t miss the spiritual analogy here, since oil represents the Holy Spirit in the Bible). Otherwise, the attention we receive from those who notice how much we fast, is the extent of your reward.
That’s tough, because if I am going to humble myself before Father Yahweh, I would love for my reward to come from Him. On Tuesday of this week, I started to complain about the fact that I had eaten chick peas, spinach and rice for three days in a row, and that I was “limited” by my Daniel Fast meal options. But I was immediately reminded that this is a sacrifice. There will be discomfort (more like discontent in my case), but we must continue to keep our appetites in check if we truly believe this fast is unto Yahweh, not just a lifestyle change or diet. It may be a struggle, believe me I understand how difficult the second week of the Daniel Fast can be, but we have come this far. Finish strong. It will be worth it.
The reward of fasting is that we learn to humble ourselves by placing “our bodies under subjection”, (1 Corinthians 9:27, Matthew 4:1-11) a physical discipline that supports mental strength, improves self-control and results in spiritual growth and maturity. Moreover, we are believing for and expecting results. As the Holy Spirit enables us, may we come in humility and pray to our Father who promises to respond and bring healing, revival and restoration in the lives of His people and to our land.
Read: Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)
Write: How have you found fasting to be beneficial? How can it be even more beneficial? Are there other things that need to be sacrificed during this fast, in addition to food or types of food?
Pray: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication