Fasting is Launching
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness...for forty days and forty nights He fasted and became very hungry. Matthew 4:1-2 NLT
Right before Jesus begins His earthly ministry, He is baptized in water (Matthew 3) and is led by the Spirit into (and through) a 40-day season of fasting and prayer. This time of preparation set the tone for the next 3½ years of Jesus’ life. As the Spirit led Jesus, the Spirit will lead us into and through our fast. The very idea of fasting is not ours but God’s! Being led by the Spirit is a significant part of fasting, regardless of the length of your fast.
What happens in the rest of Matthew chapter 4, after this 40-day fast, is pretty incredible. Jesus is immediately tempted by the devil, and then angels come to minister to Him (v11). He begins to preach, “Repent and turn to God, the Kingdom is near” (v17). He selects His first disciples, begins to teach in synagogues (v23), heals every kind of disease and illness, the demon possessed are set free, and large crowds follow Him in many regions (v25). What a crazy grand opening stretch of ministry!
We see from Jesus’ example that both water baptism and prayer/fasting serve as a launch pad of sorts for a life of adventure and serving God. Jesus made a very clear choice to obey His Father (baptism) and prepare Himself (fasting) before stepping forward into the next chapter of His life. Maybe you are heading into a new year, a new job, a new semester or any new season of life—fasting is a great way to prepare yourself for a launch!
Fasting can be a great way to fuel up in preparation for a launch. Just as food is fuel for our physical body, going withoutfood (fasting) is fuel for our spiritual being. Each day we fast, we are putting fuel into our spirit to be used in the next season of life.
Think of that classic scene when a rocket is being launched into space. Some of those rocket boosters carry more than a million pounds of propellant in order to produce enough power to escape earth’s gravitational pull. Some rockets or shuttles need over seven million pounds of thrust to make it into space.
Your future destiny is so high, so great, so far, and so mind-blowing that you need ‘a million pounds of spiritual propellant’ to produce enough power to escape this fallen world’s gravitational pull on your spirit. But it’s important to know fasting does not earn us God’s good graces; it’s not like each day of fasting earns heavenly brownie points for God’s blessing to rest on our lives.
A true season of fasting and prayer is a great method of preparation. It’s like a pit-stop: We slow down on purpose, with intentionality, and we sit and wait for God to fill us up with His strength and His power. See yourself like an empty rocket booster, sitting on a launch pad, and God is pouring His Holy Spirit fuel into your life. Sitting. Waiting. Fueling up. Preparing. Dreaming. Launching.
Jesus gave us all a great example to follow. When we are entering into a new season in life, invest a few days or a few weeks into our spiritual rocket booster. Exchange a few meals for God’s vision, insight, and guidance for this next chapter oflife. Listen to God’s voice for direction on this new journey that you are beginning.
PRAY THIS OUT LOUD
God, I receive Your power for all of the new assignments You have for me in this next season. In this season of fasting, You are preparing me to be launched forward into my future with great momentum!
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?
How does the Holy Spirit want to apply this to my life today?
This excerpt is reproduced from Griffin, Chris. Fasting For Breakthrough: A 21-Day Biblical Roadmap for Fasting and Prayer (p. 16). BookBaby. Kindle Edition.