Job searched persistently to find God. In Job 23:12 we read, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Prayerful fasting lifts man toward God because it proves the words of Matthew 4:4, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The same thought is repeated in Luke 4:4. When we fast we are affirming it is the spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing. Such prayer and fasting denies material dependencies and reaches out instead to the God of Israel.
In the final analysis God is our life and the length of our days, and we can draw the strength we need from knowing Him. Christians are assured that “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
Most Bible students have proved these statements for themselves in various degrees. When weary and discouraged we turn to inspiring Bible verses that lift us out of those self-centered moods of self pity or self love and lift us higher. They give us a glimpse of the Kingdom of God, with Christ reigning supreme, and we His humble servants safe in His care.
The God of Israel has always been omnipotent, supreme, and the Lord God omnipotent reigneth now if we can only see it. Countless Bible verses remind us of this fact. Only the carnal mind and human dullness would attempt to prevent us from knowing that wonderful truth of God’s omnipresence and omnipotence. His grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply of whatever is needful. God is our Protector.
A graphic example of this is found in 2 Kings 6:13-17. Here we read of the prophet Elisha and his servant Gehazi surrounded in the city of Dothan. When Gehazi looked out in the early morning he saw a hostile army guarding every point of possible escape. To his unenlightened, carnal sense of things, the situation seemed hopeless.
When informed by the fearful Gehazi of this dire predicament, the prophet Elisha looked out on exactly the same landscape. But with his spiritual vision he saw an entirely different, opposite situation, where the Lord God omnipotent reigned. The words of 2 Kings 6:17 tell it best: “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man: and he saw; and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” Spiritual Power is the superior force, and this is what the Christian affirms by prayer and fasting.
The First Commandment of the Ten given by God to Moses at Sinai reminds the Israel people, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Satan, with his favourite tool, the carnal mind, denies this and attempts to forge chains of bondage, dependency on alcohol, drugs, or various addictions – sometimes even certain foods.
But these chains are as powerless as gossamer webs when we accept the truth of that First Commandment. The omnipotent Power that brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt can easily release His children from any degrading appetite or addictive slavery, as many of us can attest. When our primary motive and prayer is a longing to know God any prisoner is on his way to freedom. He is our strength and salvation, and when we fast we affirm that truth of God and man, putting God above all else.
That is man’s basic and only need. When we find God, He will provide all that is needful in His own way. In Him we live and move and have our being, for man is the offspring of God just as Paul explained to the Athenians. Fasting is our statement that indeed man does not live by bread alone. It is our affirmation that man lives by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. There is a never-failing Fount of strength within our Bibles which can be found nowhere else in its completeness – not in stimulants, not in drugs or alcohol, not even in foods.
“Thou hast no need of other gods” is the statement we make when we fast and pray before the omnipotent God of Israel.