Why should we fast? I know that Jesus fasted, but why is it important to us as Christians?
According to the Bible, fasting isn’t optional. In Matthew 6:16, Jesus says, “When you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”
Jesus doesn’t say “if” you fast, Jesus says “when”. In this verse, Jesus is mostly talking to the Jewish people, but the apostle Paul talks about fasting, too. Paul is not talking to Jewish people, he’s talking to the rest of us.
…As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger. – 2 Corinthians 6:3-5
We fast simply because when we give up something that we greatly desire, it causes us to fully rely on God for the strength we need to stay away from the thing we’re purging. You can’t give up something you love by using your strength alone — you must rely on God. Therefore, the principle of fasting is this: Turn to God constantly and rely on Him fully. Fasting doesn’t have to be about food either! It can be anything– fasting from TV, Facebook, anything that takes a lot of your time that isn’t spent on giving God the glory.
For a more information on fasting see The Teenager’s Guide to Fasting!
Written by Jenn Arman