As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Have you ever wondered why fasting is so important? I have and I have fasted often in my life not really knowing why. When I was a young Christian I listened to a pastor explain that fasting was just starving one’s self in order to get God to speak to you. Well, he was a good pastor but this was wrong and it really was a stumbling block for me, in regards to the importance of fasting and prayer.
The start of this verse bares some looking into, as they ministered to the Lord, I checked 25 different bible versions on this. The consensus would be that they prayed to the Lord in this instance, or worshiped the Lord. Some suggest the performance of religious duties and ministry work, but that would just be out of place for what they were trying to accomplish. What they were seeking was sure direction from the Lord, and we see that the Holy Spirit gave the answer. Here’s the importance of this fast: It gave us 13 books for the new testament that Paul later wrote.
When we fast it crucifies the flesh by placing it under the subjection of your spirit. We put our desires behind the desire of the spirit.
I have a little dog named Chance, Chance and I are best buds. One night as I was going to bed I realized that I had forgotten to feed Chance, so I turned around and went back to the kitchen and fed him. Now if you have ever owned a dog you know that the biggest thing in their lives is food. After I gave him his dinner and it was late, he looked at me as I walked off to go to bed and then he looked back his bowl of food and left his food to come to bed with me. But the look on his face was like he was happy to leave the food just to be with me. I thought “Man that’s really sweet, he would rather be with me than to eat.”
A couple of days later I was sitting on the couch watching TV and as dogs do without me noticing he was sitting in my lap with his head resting against my chest, my heart and I was petting him. My first thought was “How did you get here?” As I looked at him I remembered that he had sacrificed a meal in order to be with me, and as he laid his head against my heart I had this sense of appreciation and love for him. Then the Lord spoke to me and said: “This is how I feel when you fast for Me.”
You see, what can you possibly give God? He knows what food is to us, He created it. When you fast, offer it up as a sacrifice of praise, combined with your prayers, it touches the Father’s Heart and He will give you direction.
He is: “Elohim Ahavah”
“The God Who Loves”