Today is the first day of our annual national 40-day fast when we fast together with all the other churches in the country to pray for our nation. We are not on a “total fast” this time, our church has chosen to eat just a meal a day, and for that meal, we do not eat meat and starchy food which are normally our favourites. God does not compel us to go on a mandatory fast, fasting has nothing to do with your personal salvation as well. So even if you have not fasted once in your entire life, you are still saved as long as you have truly repented and believed in the Lord.
However, the Bible does show us clearly the spiritual principle too. It is as though one of the special blessings and miracles God has prepared for Christians, a bonus reserved for you though you are not forced to take. You cannot deny its spiritual impact, Jesus never disregarded the importance of fasting too. So, even though we do not compel brothers and sisters to fast, we excitedly encourage them to participate. It is a very special learning experience, we can have many realizations and revelations in the midst of it. One of which is to learn obedience to God, and to reject some of our own desires and enjoyment, so that by God’s grace we may be able to stand firm when trials and temptations come, and of course it is a great help to our health as well…
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”