Fasting is waiting upon God. God promises blessing to those who wait on Him. By waiting upon God through fasting and prayer, you will receive:
1. Renewed Strength. Are you tired and weary? Have you been exhausted of all endurance?
“30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31, NKJ, emphasis added)
2. Realized Promise. Has God spoken specific promises to you about your future? Has He given you a dream or vision of what He wants to bring about?
“Those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land” (Psalm 37:9, NIV, emphasis added).
The word for “hope” is the same word used for “wait” in Isaiah 40:31. When we wait on God through fasting, we put our hope in him.
When King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast for all Judah, he prayed “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chron. 20:12). In a similar way, fasting is saying, “I wait on you, Lord. My only hope is in you.” God’s promise to those who wait on Him through fasting and prayer is, “You will inherit the land. You will inherit what I’ve promised you. It will be yours.”
Perhaps you want your family – even generations after you – to have a deep walk of faith, to ‘possess spiritual ground,’ as it were. Do you want the Word of God to remain in the mouth of your children and your children’s children? Target this matter in prayer as you fast. Waiting on God through fasting results in “inheriting” (i.e. possessing) spiritual ground.
3. A Ready Ear
God promises a listening ear to those who wait on Him through fasting and prayer.
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1, NIV, emphasis added).
The word “heard” in the original language means:
- to give undivided listening attention
- an understanding heart
- to be heard and answered
- to grant request
It is the same word used when the angel came in response to Daniel’s fasting and prayer to tell Daniel that his prayer had been heard and the answer sent.
“Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them’” (Daniel 10:12, NIV, emphasis added).
God promises to listen and to answer when we fast and pray.
The definition of the word “wait” in all three of these instances is astounding, especially considering that when you add the discipline of fasting to the disciplines of giving and praying, you bind together a 3-fold cord that is not quickly broken (Mt. 6; Ecc. 4:12).
The word for “wait” in all three of these instances is the word “qavah.” In the original language it means “to collect, bind together,” as in a cord. When you add fasting to your giving and praying, you are waiting upon God in a way that He promises to reward.
“Wait” or “qavah“also means:
- to wait, look for, hope and expect
- to look eagerly for
- to lie in wait for
- to linger for
As you fast, you are lingering in God’s presence and lying in wait for Him. Waiting on God through fasting means to expect Him – it means to be assured He is listening and will answer! Are you looking eagerly for God’s answer as you fast and pray? It will come.
In Psalm 27, David encouraged you and me to “wait” or “qavah” upon God:
13[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! 14 Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord” (Psalm 27:13-14, AMP, emphasis added).
David was expecting to see God’s goodness in the here and now! As you fast and pray, expect God’s answer. He has sent His reply. It may be delayed, as in Daniel’s case. But it is on it’s way.
The Lord longs to be gracious to you and to bless you in response to your fasting and prayer. Blessed are you as you “wait” upon Him.
“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for him!” (Isaiah 30:18).
4. Resounding Acts
One of the blessings of waiting on God through fasting is that God acts on our behalf in impressive, striking, astounding ways.
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4, NIV, emphasis added).
The word “wait” in this instance, is from a root word that means “to pierce, to engrave, carve, cut in.” Fasting cuts through the muck of this temporal world and places us in the center of God’s presence. The clutter, busyness and distractions fade as we are made aware of the eternal home of our citizenship. The abiding presence of Christ is overwhelming. Apart from fasting we may pray and not sense God’s presence and listening ear. But prayer with fasting is different. Waiting on God through fasting cuts through the temporal right into the eternal.
The benefit of deeper intimacy with God is enough. Once we experience that, nothing more is needed. No matter what happens in the temporal realm, we are content. Yet, God promises to act on our behalf. He promises to display His glory through temporal circumstances. As you are fasting, what is it you are requesting of God? In what ways do you desire that He move on your behalf? Beloved, He will act on behalf of you as you wait for Him through fasting and prayer!
Question: What encourages you the most about the rewards of waiting on God through fasting and prayer?