Our fasting quote of encouragement today is from Donald Whitney. He said: “A biblical definition of fasting is a Christian’s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes. It is Christian, for fasting by a nonChristian obtains no eternal value because the Discipline’s motives and purposes are to be God-centered. It is voluntary in that fasting is not to be coerced. Fasting is more than just the ultimate crash diet for the body; it is abstinence from food for spiritual purposes.”
Our fasting devotional today is titled “THE PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF FASTING” from Elmer L. Towns in his book “Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough”.
The spirit and the body are so interrelated in God’s creative design that fasting has both spiritual and physical benefits. Dr. Rex Russell’s book “What the Bible says About Healthy Living”, describes several tangible benefits to fasting that are good to know.
Russell notes that just as the 7th day was designated as a day of rest at Creation, so the very cells of our bodies may need a rest from food. One of the main benefits of a night’s sleep includes rest for our digestive systems. We call, appropriately enough, the first meal of the day break-fast.
Dr. Russell notes that our bodies were designated to respond to sickness by fasting and fever! When we are sick we usually don’t want to think about eating, but to snuggle down in the covers and be left alone. We work hard to lower a high temperature because it causes us to ache, motivating us to seek the bed, rather than the table. Rest, fever and fasting are parts of God’s design to fight infection.
God designed our bodies to heal themselves at the level of the cells, Dr. Russell observes. These healing processes use proteins, carbohydrates and fats to gain calories and nutrients, yet each of the ways these substances are utilized produces waste products. The cells have built-in ways to clear this waste, and apparently they can be overloaded. Fasting helps unclog the system and eliminate poisons. It is encouraging to know that the same God who designed the discipline of fasting designed our bodies to be benefited by periods of abstinence from food.