“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
How does it make sense that not eating food is good?
The hunger and sacrifice of fasting tells God that I care about more my spirit than my stomach. God who is Holy Spirit likes that. Rumbling tummies are like ringing bells in God’s ear to alert Him to answer the prayers of that person.
Eating builds the body, but not the soul.
A strong spirit, like Christ’s, can defeat enemies, turn away tornedoes, heal dying people, and has even turned the rotation of the earth backward. A strong Godlike spirit cannot exist in a self-indulgent body. Jesus fasted. He told his disciples that certain demons can only be expunged by prayer and fasting.
Fasting is powerful. Fasting is the bread of Lent.
An honest fast is a very private struggle that may gain a response from the Father, the gift of power, the gift of answered prayer. The ability to keep this secret is key, the secret of the internal battle of the wills, the powerful will to eat vs. the will to do God’s will when it is to abstain from eating to strengthen the spirit.
No one needs to know if you are fasting, only Father God. No one needs to know when you lose an internal battle or when you win one. Only the One who is rooting for you, our Heavenly Father who watches your every move and listens to your every thought. He blesses and chides just as any good Father would to form His children into His loving and powerful image and likeness.
That’s the Mark of fasting. That’s the Mark of keeping the secret that will someday clothe your mature soul with an immortal body. Shhhh.