“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” Isaiah 58:8
The three basic disciplines of the Christian faith are prayer, giving and fasting. (See Matthew chapter 6.) Every believer should practice all three disciplines on a regular basis. When you do, you will discover that there are not only spiritual benefits, but there are also natural benefits to all three.
I think we all understand the spiritual benefits of prayer. It allows us to fellowship with God. The natural benefits are also pretty self explanatory- ANSWERED PRAYER. It is through prayer that we receive the help that we need from the Lord.
The spiritual benefits of giving are made clear by Jesus when He told us in Matthew 6:19 and 20 to lay up treasures for ourselves in heaven. The Bible is clear that every time we give to the work of God down here on earth, Jesus receives it up there in heaven. (See Hebrews 7:8.) Of course we also receive a natural benefit when we give to God. In Luke 6:38 Jesus taught, “Give, and it will be given to you.” When we give to the work of God, He multiplies our gift and returns it to us in the form of material blessings. (See 2 Corinthians 9:6-10.)
When it comes to fasting, there are not only great spiritual benefits, but also physical benefits as well. Let’s first deal with some of the spiritual benefits of fasting as mentioned in Isaiah 58:8. First it says, “Your LIGHT shall break forth as the morning.” Have you ever lacked guidance and not known what to do in a situation? The Bible says that when you fast, God will cause your darkness to become light, allowing you to see clearly which way you should go.
The second spiritual benefit of fasting mentioned is, “And your righteousness shall go before you.” Fasting helps keep our flesh under control allowing us to gain victory over those sins which so easily ensnare us (Hebrews 12:1). And the last spiritual benefit of fasting that is given here in Isaiah 55:8 is perhaps my favorite. It says, “The GLORY OF THE LORD shall be your rear guard.” Fasting brings you into a deeper dimension of God’s glory and presence.
But there is also a NATURAL benefit to fasting that many Christians overlook. It says, “Your HEALING shall spring forth speedily.” Biblical fasting will help you recover your physical health quickly! Of course we are not talking about dieting, we are talking about fasting! They are NOT the same thing.
If you have been struggling to get the victory over a certain sickness or physical condition, fasting will help you get the breakthrough! Why not begin to make fasting a regular part of your Christian life? Once you begin to experience the benefits, you will be glad that you did!
Confession: I declare that my health is springing forth speedily!