In life, we often have big and important decisions to make. We might ask our pastor, our parents, or our friends for advice, but what about God?
We very well know that he should be the first and preferably the only one to give us guidance, however hearing his voice can be hard at times.
When I started planning my big trip I was facing that dilemma.
I had a few life-changing decisions to make, but I was afraid to ask friends and family, worried that they would talk me out of it. I was convinced that God had put it on my heart to leave Germany but he had “forgotten” to give me the specifics of the journey.
What do you do when you believe you know God’s will but can’t figure out a way to make it happen?
During that time I came across the book of Ezra and was inspired by one specific event.
After years in Babylon, Ezra (a wise priest/teacher of the law) and thousands of Israelites got the permission to return to Jerusalem. The journey to Jerusalem was long and dangerous. Ezra knew that in their own power they wouldn’t be able to protect themselves.
So he instructed everybody to fast and pray for a safe journey.
Even though it was clear that God had told them to go, Ezra humbled himself and recognized the need for God’s guidance and cover (Ezra 8:21).
That’s when it became clear to me. I needed God’s guidance and the only way to draw close to him at that time was through fasting.
I eliminated different foods and entertainment from my daily routine to open up more time for prayer.
During 21 days I was able to connect with the Holy Spirit like never before and received God’s instructions for the next season. All the doubts I had before seemed washed away and things started to fall into place.
Within a short time, I had decided on what to do and where to go. A huge breakthrough just because I fasted and put God first in my endeavor.
For those who don’t already know the power and importance of fasting, here are some spiritual breakthroughs that I experienced during my fast.
More time for prayer
Fasting means giving away something we love so that God can fill our lives with his presence. The time that we would normally use to eat junk food or watch TV is then spent in prayer.
The unique spiritual sensitivity that a fast initiates quiets our hearts and helps us to hear from the Lord.
Giving up a habit is not easy especially something we are used to doing daily. It requires a lot of discipline and self- control.
Over a period of time, a fast improves our willpower and helps us to prioritize our spirit over our flesh. This also serves us well in other aspects of our lives such as overcoming lust.
Drawing closer to God
The ultimate goal of fasting is to refocus our attention on God.
By abstaining from something we become more aware of his presence in our lives. Because every time we say no to our flesh and desires we are reminded of the greater cause that is God’s perfect will.
Prepares for a new season
Before physically preparing for something new in our lives, we should make sure that we are also spiritually ready for the change.
Fasting helps to align our actions with his word. When we affirm to God that we depend on him and not on our own understanding, he will protect and guide us along the way.
Fall in love with God again
True fasting is more than what we don’t eat. It is an act of obedience towards God which builds a deeper connection with him. Just like in any other relationship spending more time with God increases our desire for him.
We find ourselves thinking about him more often and are filled with praise and joy for the Lord.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. – James 4:8
I encourage you to use fasting as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with God and take a look at your life.