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Why Fast? Reason #9: To Humble Ourselves

D.L. Moody said, “Be humble or you’ll stumble.” One of the greatest dangers for believers is spiritual pride. I have to continually check my motives, my thoughts, and my attitudes in order to beat down the ugly head of the dragon called ego. Pride slinks in subtly. Before you know it you become proud of how humble you are. Fasting is the greatest spiritual weapon for curing the spirit of pride.

Fasting humbles you fast. Seven days without food makes one weak. Suddenly, you cannot rely on your own strength and you are forced to rely on heaven for strength.

Fasting is a vote for God, against your flesh. Your spirit and your flesh are at war with each other over which will control your life. The mind screams, “Eat, sleep, and procreate,” while your spirit quietly whispers “Spend time with God.” Fasting weakens the voice of your flesh and increases your sensitivity to the voice of God. When God’s Spirit controls your spirit, you have the strength to control your emotions and physical desires.  Disciplining the body helps discipline the soul.

King David become so puffed up during the middle of his reign that he committed adultery with another man’s wife, and then had the man killed. But, when Nathan the prophet pointed out his sin, David immediately became contrite before God. Remembering this event, he sings, “…I wept and chastened my soul with fasting…” (Psalm 69:10 – NKJ). In another psalm, David writes, “[I] humbled myself with fasting” (Psalm 35:13).

Because of David’s humbleness, God forgave him. He promises to forgive and heal us too, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The Bible says, “God gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34). God loves the humble, but He opposes the proud. The Lord says, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2), and again, “The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground” (Psalm 147:6). Ultimately, you will be humbled. The choice is yours. Will you humble yourself or wait to be humbled forcefully?

Imagine, a proud servant enters the presence of a king and refuses to bow. What will the king do? He will order the guards to arrest the man and throw him into a dungeon until he learns some manners. But, a humble servant bows down and prostrates himself before the king. The ruler takes his hand and lifts him up, exalting him in front of the whole kingdom. James said, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). Peter repeats this idea, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

Jesus also taught this concept. He said, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). One time, Jesus used a child as an object lesson. The disciples felt they were far more important than little children, but Jesus said, “…whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:4). Do you want to be great? Then humble yourself!