Fasting is Counter-Cultural
Passion for Your House has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult You have fallen on me. When I weep and fast, they scoff at me. Psalm 69:9,10 NLT
King David says in Psalm 69 that passion for God’s House has consumed him. This psalm is also a messianic psalm, which prophetically declares some specific things about Jesus Christ (see v21 and Matthew 27:34); and this same passion for God’s House consumes Jesus also (John 2:17). We see a passion for fasting, prayer, and for God’s house in both Jesus’ and David’s life; this passion results in people scoffing and throwing insults.
King David says “When I show sorrow, they make fun of me. I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunks sing about me” (v 11, 12). This is significant when we look at King David’s life, because he was a very influential man from a governmental and spiritual perspective. The bottom line: His aggressive pursuit of God opened him up to public ridicule.
Fasting is counter-cultural. This was the case 3,000 years ago for King David, 2,000 years ago for Jesus, and currently for all of us who have a passion for God’s house expressed through fasting and prayer. It simply does not make sense from a carnal, earthly point of view to intentionally go without food for an extended time.
Some friends, neighbors, classmates, or co-workers may think it is noble and honorable that you are fasting. But many will either not understand or as in David’s case, “make fun of you” as he says in v11.
Fasting prepares us for other counter-cultural decisions that we will need to make in our faith journey. Prayer and believing God for the supernatural in our lives are sometimes not popular and can bring opposing views from certain relationships. Tithing and sharing our faith are also decisions that go against the grain of current culture, but when we follow God and obey His leading, we will sense His approval in our lives.
Fasting produces a counter-cultural thought process. Romans 8:5,6 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” Fasting gives us a chance, every day, to train our minds to not be governed by the hunger of our physical bodies (or flesh), but by the Holy Spirit and our hunger for spiritual things, which produces life and peace.
Fasting helps us see clearly that we have three parts to our lives: flesh, soul, and spirit. Our flesh is our bodies and cravings, sometimes sinful and sometimes just practical. Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. Our spirit is what connects with and relates to God. Sometimes we can slip into a pattern of living flesh first, soul second, and spirit last. Fasting installs a counter-cultural value system where we reprogram our entire lives and priorities to live out of our spirit first, soul second, and flesh last. Let’s pray Psalm 69 together.
PRAY THIS OUT LOUD
Father, consume me with a passion for your house! Empower me to fast and pray regardless of what I face or how I feel! I will keep praying to you, Lord, believing that now is the time you will show me Your favor. In Your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with Your sure salvation.
What verse or phrase from today’s Scripture reading was the most meaningful to me?
What key truths or observations stand out to me in today’s story of fasting?
This is reproduced from Griffin, Chris. Fasting For Breakthrough: A 21-Day Biblical Roadmap for Fasting and Prayer (p. 41). BookBaby. Kindle Edition.