Jesus answered, “How can the guest of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.”
— Matthew 9:15
From this verse, we can glean a couple of principles about fasting:
1) Fasting is an expression of mourning – Some people treat fasting as a spiritual diet, yet Jesus equates it to an expression of mourning because the bridegroom (Jesus) is taken from us. We are pressing towards the fulfillment of God’s plan when the fullness of Christ’s kingdom is manifest on the earth. We are longing for the day when His glorious Name is no longer scorned by the world. Until then, we mourn because we do not yet have our heart’s desire, and fasting is the expression of that.
2) Believers are expected to fast – Jesus didn’t say “then they might choose to fast”, He said “then they WILL fast”. Fasting is not so much a command, as it is an expectation. If we really long to see the return of the bridegroom, that longing will be expressed.
Take one day this week to fast and pray. There are several different types of fasts, but choose one that is especially difficult, or else you are missing the entire point. When you get hungry, turn that hunger heavenward and call out to God.
Heavenly Father, I long to see the fullness of your Kingdom established on earth. I am looking forward to the day that your grace is no longer trampled underfoot. Help me advance and prepare your kingdom until you return. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!