“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Matthew 6:16 (KJV)
Many people are coming up with a theology to cancel fasting just because they do not want to discipline the body. Beloved, discipline is a part of the Christian life. You cannot pray or wish it away. One thing God will not do for you is to help you discipline the flesh. It is your responsibility and you must do it. Fasting is not an Old Testament injunction; Fasting does not change God. Fasting only positions you to receive from God.
In our reading today, Jesus said categorically “WHEN YE FAST..” Not “IF”. Fasting is not about “if” it is about “when”. Fasting is a discipline every believer must undergo periodically. Don’t wait until a corporate fast is declared; find time to fast. Have a day you and your family have set aside to seek the face of God. Don’t fast only when you have a challenge and you need God’s immediate intervention; make fasting a lifestyle. Be consistent in fasting.
I hear some people say they live a fasted life, and I wonder what they mean. Are you saying you fast 365 days a year? Even Jesus did not fast 365 days in the year. Don’t deceive yourself and don’t set unrealistic goals. You can take a day of the week, a day in the month or any time convenient for you to seek the face of God in fasting and prayer.
Still in our scripture for today, Jesus warns about hypocrisy in fasting. Except for corporate fasting when everyone knows it is a period of fast for the organization, ministry or family, don’t wear a long face because you are fasting. The fact that you are fasting does not mean you should not take good care of yourself, observe all personal hygiene and look nice. It is not about how you look, it is about setting timeout to seek the face of God.
Further Reading: Matthew 6:16-18
Daily Bible Reading: Morning- Isaiah 3-4; Evening- Galatians 6