The Greatest Benefit of Fasting

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Matthew 4:4 NIV)

Life has a way of detouring us on our spiritual journey. Fasting is a reset of our spiritual priorities.

My church often has some form of fasting at the start of a new year. This year, we are doing a Lenten fast. I find it reorients my spiritual life to put first things first—like being in God’s presence and his Word.

Food is necessary for life. We spend much of our life obtaining it, preparing it, eating it, and as much or more time thinking about it. In fasting, the time spent nourishing our bodies now seeks God to feed our souls. The truth is that we need to nurture the body and the soul. When we take time to prioritize the spiritual over the temporal, it will often reorient our lives to the supernatural over the natural. I can’t explain how this happens; I just know it does. Good is always the worst enemy of the best. Food is good; God created it, but sometimes you give up the good to get God’s best—”every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

At many times in our Christian journey, we tend to plateau. We become comfortable, get stuck at a certain level, and find it difficult to move forward. Spiritually speaking, we tread water, neither going forward nor backward. Since we are not going backward, we are not too alarmed. We don’t understand that in the Kingdom of God, there is no such thing as the status quo. We are either moving toward God or away from him—there is no in-between. Fasting is a jolt to the system, but it is often what we need to move us out of our spiritual doldrums.

An old Puritan saying goes, “You will never lead souls heavenward unless climbing yourself. You need not be very far up, but you must be climbing.”

Lord Jesus, keep us climbing.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

Ken’s Website—
Ken blogs at

Leave a Reply