How Fasting Kills the Flesh and Opens the Door for the Holy Spirit

by | Jul 5, 2016 | Health & Healing

Fasting is not simply one of those mandates in the Bible related to abstention of food, Pastor Shane Idleman says. It’s about subduing your flesh and, more importantly, submission to the Holy Spirit.

“The Holy Spirit will lead us, guide us and convict us,” Idleman says. “But He only leads those who want to follow Him. He waits for you to submit to that. It’s the flesh that often holds us back from the things of God. Fasting is biblical and it’s a very important spiritual discipline.”

Jesus said to His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 6:18).

Fasting, Idleman says, brings spiritual insight and wisdom and starves the flesh. When you cave into your flesh, it relegates you to a habit of submitting to your flesh, and the Holy Spirit cannot do the work in you that He hopes to.

But when you obey God and kill the flesh, the rewards can be very satisfying.

“When God tells you to fast and you do it, it’s going to benefit you,” Idleman says. “Some of the physical benefits of fasting are that it helps with aging, it gives you a better attitude, you have better resistance to disease, you sleep better, you change your habits, you have clearer skin, it improves your senses, you have more clarity and more energy, and so on. I don’t know of anyone that wouldn’t want those things.”

One needs only to look at two biblical examples of fasting to get the picture:

For a three-week period, Daniel refrained from eating the luxurious royal food offered to him by the king. He made a covenant with God in his heart to refuse to eat foods forbidden by God, instead consuming only vegetables, beans and water. From his fast, Daniel received heightened spiritual insight.

Before embarking on his earthly ministry, Jesus went on a 40-day fast. When He emerged from the wilderness, with His flesh subdued, the power of the Holy Spirit was stronger than ever within Him.

So why are many believers reluctant to fast? Idleman says that fasting is related to our spiritual appetite, and that our hunger for God must outweigh our hunger for food.

Evangelist John Piper once said, “The absence of fasting in our lives is the measure of contentment with the absence of Christ in our lives.”

Ouch.

When you fast, Idleman says, the flesh submits to the Spirit and spiritual power and wisdom are released: “You’re either disciplining your body, or your body is disciplining you.”

For more of Idleman’s message on this important biblical mandate, watch the video above.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Dream Big: How to Cultivate Divine Revelation While You Sleep

Dream Big: How to Cultivate Divine Revelation While You Sleep

Do you have any dreams from God that you have allowed to fall by the wayside? For some of you, it’s time to dream again. For some of you, it’s time to dust off your previous dreams. For some of you, it’s important to realize God is not late; He’s always on time. For...

Prophecy: God Is Bringing About Swift Turnarounds

Prophecy: God Is Bringing About Swift Turnarounds

In the month of August, God is bringing swift turnarounds so that your hard places will become a wide-open field. God is bringing about divine connections in order to strengthen the body of Christ. He is releasing faith for radical generosity, divine strategy to...

End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church

End-Times Truth: The Rapture Reveals a Split Church

There are several resurrections and raptures in the Bible. I cannot understand those who argue that because there is no mention of the word "rapture" in the Bible they do not believe in it. They only believe in the Second Coming of the Lord. Some arguments are no...

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Charisma Highlights: 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. 7 Abilities for a New Agility in This Era The Lord first began speaking to me about the release of seven abilities...

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

As a Believer, Have You Been Hiding During This Culture War?

Many years ago, Jesus went up on a mountain, sat down, and spoke to the group he was with: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all...

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

10 Traits of Effective Churches During the Global Pandemic

In the past few years, the global pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of many local churches. Friends from around the world have told me that many churches have closed their doors for good. Although most churches have not returned to their pre-pandemic attendance...

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

The Supernatural Secrets of Real Revival

What does an authentic world-igniting revival look like? And, how are the seeds of revival planted? This we can learn from the life and work of William Joseph Seymour—God’s chosen vessel and apostle of the Azusa Street Revival.  Bishop William Joseph Seymour, was a...

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Spiritually Speaking, How Healthy Is Your Heart?

Once a year, I go to the doctor and get a check-up. And every time, one of the things they do is check my heart. A good thorough exam will reveal if there are any problems that need to be addressed before a heart condition arises. I believe we need to do the same...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am Releasing My Firebrands’

Recently while in worship, I was talking to the Lord when this prophetic flow began to come forth. I took out my phone and pressed record. This is the transcription of that word I received: "God, I...
How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

How You Can Begin to Heal From Unanswered Prayer

The best way to grow in the prophetic is to look at the past. As backwards as that sounds, Revelation 19:10 tells us, “For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.” In other translations, this is said, “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness...

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

Living in the Tension of Two Distinct Worlds

As a professional counselor, I have consoled hundreds of Christians through some of the most horrific life circumstances. Along with experiencing my own trials in life, it has caused me to deeply ponder the words of Scripture that refer to how we must learn to live in...

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

Kingdom Economics: Who Do You Trust?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first of three estimates for second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Second-quarter inflation-adjusted (real) GDP fell at an annual rate of 0.9%, compared to a drop of 1.6% in the first quarter, and pre-report...

Jesus is My Friend, Not Sugar

Jesus is My Friend, Not Sugar

It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve had cake for my birthday, which I celebrated recently. Strawberries with nuts are my favorite treats today. That was definitely not my choice in years past until I made some monumental decisions in about 2009. Not eating sugar...

Protecting the Promises of God for Your Life

Protecting the Promises of God for Your Life

I was walking along one of my favorite beaches, and it was turtle season. Early each morning, park services ride along the beach looking for new sea turtle nests. They record the nest's location, place stakes and rope off the location so that people do not disturb the...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]