5 reasons leaders need to fast

December 23rd, 2014

If leaders today want to raise their effectiveness for the kingdom, we can’t ignore the power of food. Or more specifically, the power of fasting. (Yep, that’s when you don’t eat.)

Jesus said there are some acts of God that require prayer and fasting. Sometimes prayer alone is not enough (Mark 9:29 KJV). Think about that stunning idea for a moment.

So what is fasting anyway?

Fasting is when you set aside the physical things (food) to tap into the spiritual realm. Fasting is a form of prayer, turbo-charged prayer. Fasting throws kerosene on the fire to flame up the prayers, taking them from Level 1 to Level 2, 3 and beyond.

If prayer is measured in ounces, fasting makes prayers felt in pounds. However prayer intensity is measured by God, fasting raises to a greater power.

Five reasons I fast to maximize my leadership

1. I fast because I’m a husband and a father. This alone makes me a leader. The responsibility of managing a godly household is a daunting one. Sure, I could wing it (and I’ve done that at times). But I don’t trust (nor do I like) the results that come from my own efforts. The enemy wants my marriage to suffer and for my kids to fall prey to the trappings of the world. Perhaps the greatest way to attack my ministry is to attack my family. I need a greater power for favor and protection. I need fasting.

2. I fast to keep my emotions in check. For Christian leaders, pride and insecurity are constant demons. When God blesses the fruit of my labor, I can tend to feel good about myself. When my work seems fruitless and in vain, I question my calling.

Fasting strips away the noise and puts me in position to focus on God — and him alone. Fasting puts me in position to see ministry success for what it is … the work of God; and to see silence for what it is, too … the waiting of God. By denying my flesh in most basic ways, I’m letting God know that the results are for him to determine. My job is to be faithful.

3. I fast to tear down (and rebuild) my platform. Fasting is about building my platform with God. Often I become distracted by seemingly important leadership ideas, like growing my tribe, organizing my growth, expanding my influence. Sometimes I need to set aside my ministry platform goals in order to give attention to my walk with God. Ironically, when I focus on my platform with God, he seems to take care of my platform with others.

4. I fast to seek God’s anointing on my life. Fasting strips me down when I need it. My sin becomes more noticeable, my thoughts more centered, my heart more open, my soul more hungry. Fasting puts me in a more moldable condition for God to shape me however he sees fit for leadership.

5. I fast because I want to be a disciple. The Pharisees peppered Jesus with questions like, “why don’t your disciples fast?” Jesus said they didn’t need to fast. After all, the disciples were already with him. But he said that when they were away from him, they would fast. And when Jesus ascended to heaven, they did fast.

I want to be a disciple too. And while Jesus is away from me physically, I will practice fasting. Fasting is mysterious. I don’t always know how it works. But like with prayer, I trust that God’s attention shines brightly on my life when I fast and that my prayers shout a bit louder.

Take some steps

Perhaps you’ve had past experience with fasting and this post is a reminder for you. Or maybe you’ve never fasted before and your heart is leaning in with curiosity. If so, I encourage you to take some steps.

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