The Ethics of Fasting
There are two chief dominant ethics in regards to prayer and fasting in the Bible.
To start, “fasting” means not eating; at least it does according to the Bible. It means the consciously refrain from food.There are people who will refrain from partaking Biblical fasting in other activities and refer to it as “fasting”. Although the word does mean that we are giving one thing up for another, the Bible says that we are to replace what we have omitted with prayer. If you are going fasting, in the Biblical sense, you are to abstain from food.
Next, refraining from eating is associated with vital periods of prayer. The more effort you put into you prayer and fasting, the more successful the results of your efforts will be.
Giving up one particular food should not be seen as fasting. This is almost like mocking the process; taking it so lighthearted. The primary purpose of fasting is to overcome whatever situation you have turned over to God, in your prayer sessions. A biblical fast is all about your relationship and faith in God. It is directly linked to your perception and gaining power to act on whatever the Lord shows you in regards to situations and / or what path you need to be on.
Don’t get me wrong, the choice to use fasting as a means of shedding pounds is a personal one. A lot of people do it. However, it shouldn’t be the main purpose if you are in a place where you need a spiritual break-through. That’s what dieting is for. If you misuse the period of fasting and prayer, you will not reap the benefits of what it is truly for. This is a result of being more worried about your eating habits than your praying ones.
Food will definitely be something that you will have to be concerned about during your period of spiritual fasting. Let me say that fasting in an attempt to gain command over your eating habits is a valid reason. Still, the goal isn’t to shed excess pounds but to learn to be faithful in God; trusting that He will allow you to have control while you are fasting. The act in itself is a way to give God control over the flesh so that He can make you better at controlling yourself. When you fast, in the flesh, the flesh becomes less vulnerable to temptation. It is during you time of fasting and prayer that food is likely to be your biggest temptation.
Refraining from eating is the Lords way of expressing that His wish for us is that we reclaim total control over anything that has to do with our flesh; to bring it into submission and to enhance our focus on all things spiritual. His promise is to assist us as we claim victory over the flesh and resist temptation.