Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Have you ever wanted to do the right thing, but couldn’t find the strength to do it? The reality we all face is that you can never get rid of temptation. You can stop sinning, but you’ll never stop being tempted to sin. There’s a struggle that we all live with between having a willing spirit to do right and weak flesh that results in doing wrong.
The way sin works is that it has a snowball effect. It grows. One sin leads to another. The beauty of fasting is the practice of saying, "No," to your flesh. You've had so many days in your life where you did what you wanted when you wanted to do it. Naturally, we all create a habit of saying, "Yes," to our flesh on a daily basis. Fasting gives us the opportunity to break that habit.
The results of giving into our flesh are obvious in scripture:
"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like."
But Paul teaches us how to defeat the flesh with this encouragement:
"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
Fasting ushers in the opportunity to feed your spirit and starve your flesh. You’re not just, in a sense, starving yourself physically, but fasting is a spiritual act of telling your physical body who’s in charge. If you compare the results of walking in the spirit vs. the acts of the flesh, you can clearly see you’d rather be a person that lives the attributes of a person that walks in the Spirit. Fasting gives you the chance to become the person you’ve always really wanted to be.
1) What weak areas of your life are you focusing on strengthening through this fast?
2) How has your willing spirit become stronger on the fast?
3) What temptations have you overcome while fasting?