The new testament is quick to point out to us how we ought to appear to others during our times of
fasting. In fact, fasting ought to be a personal event and should not be broadcast to others during our times of fasting, unless it is someone whose fasting along with us in regards to coming in agreement for a certain thing or person.
"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" Matthew 6:16-18.
Well, based on the above scripture, there is indeed a reward for a genuine fast. Nevertheless, your reward can be advanced to you if you attempt to make your period of fasting a public spectacle. In fact, scripture clearly says that those that look the distressed part during their time of fasting have received their reward in full. Simply put, their reward would be the compliments and accolades given them during the broadcasting of their fast, as to how disciplined they are, how much they love the lord, their commitment to the Lord, etc. However, as far as the actual result of fasting is concerned, such as breaking yokes, undoing heavy burdens, setting the oppressed free, etc., this will never be manifested in that person's life.
Instead, we are admonished to make fasting a private matter between ourselves and God. In fact, we are told to refresh our outward appearance so that it would not even give any remote sign of fasting on our end to others. Scripture goes on to say that God, who is invisible will observe the fasting that is done in secret but will reward us openly. I am truly convinced and also speaking from experience that the distributing of God's reward to us begins with a burst of wisdom and clarity.
Isaiah 58:10 says the following, "then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday". Light in this text is symbolic of knowledge and wisdom, while darkness would indicate ignorance. So according to scripture, a fast will cause your knowledge and wisdom to elevate in you dispelling the ignorance that once overwhelmed you. In other word be in expectation to know and learn things that you did not know before either after or even during your fasting.
It didn't end there, further, it said your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday. The word obscurity is defined as something or someone that is not clear or plain; ambiguous, vague, or uncertain, simply put something that is confusing. Gloom, on the other hand, is defined as total or partial darkness; dimness. Now, before I proceed any further, Isaiah the prophet who is speaking to the people of God is suggesting that a born-again Believer can be lacking in knowledge, can be confused and worse case scenario can be consumed by ignorance. However, he has simultaneously provided the remedy for the born-again believer who thinks that they have it all together and that is to enter into a genuine fast in an attempt to stimulate, replenish, restore or impart much needed spiritual knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Therefore, a fast will cause your once obscurity and gloom to be dissolved and your wisdom and understanding to come forth.
I think the most frightening and challenging part concerning all of this is that there are Christians who have never done a fast in their entire Christian walk, even worse some of them preach to you............. No matter how one views it, a fast should be a fundamental discipline in the life of every Christian if it is that Christian's intent to be current and more importantly, relevant as it relates to the things of God and certainly the things of the spirit. True fasting is designed to advance you and provide you with breakthroughs that would not be achieved via normal prayer.
I can assure you this, show me a Christian that does not partake in the exercise of fasting and I will show you a confused, lost and misguided believer with little if any Godly manifestations in their life.
Written By: Kevin L A Ewing