Fasting is not an end in itself, nor just a means to an end. It’s not a magic formula. It’s not just an extra boost to twist God’s arm when prayer alone has not been enough. But if you have fasted, I believe that you can expect something significant…
In Luke 4 we read that “Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, and He ate nothing… and he was tempted by the devil”
Let’s be honest: sometimes during fasting, it feels like the wilderness and a raging battle. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. Sometimes it feels like we have our own dingdong with satan’s testing and temptation while we are fasting. (“Bread anyone?!”)
But notice something: After His fasting and overcoming temptation, the Scripture records that “He came out in the power of the Spirit.” Note: He went in “led by the Spirit”, and came out “in the power of the Spirit.”
What’s the difference between “being filled with the Spirit” and “being in the power of the Spirit?” I’m not 100% sure, but whatever it means, Jesus had this power after fasting and resisting satan’s temptation (including satan’s offer of “bread” to meet His hunger need). Afterwards, we read that He went into the synagogue “as His custom was” (i.e. He did what He had always done – everything seemed the same as before), but that day everything would change! Having read from the book of Isaiah, He declares that “today this word is fulfilled” and that “the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Me.” From here Jesus goes on in this power to “preach the gospel (Good News) of the Kingdom of God.” He was living and ministering “in the power of the Spirit” – The power was manifest!
This is one of the mysteries of fasting: It seems that some things (like Jesus casting out the unclean spirit in Mark 9) are made possible by the spiritual discipline of fasting. It seems that the space that fasting creates in one’s body/soul/spirit is filled with a new measure of God’s empowering and that always makes a difference to your next move!
When you come to the end of a fast (in whatever way you have fasted) believe for a greater “power of the Spirit” released in and through your life.
Be expectant, and see what the Lord will do now!