The Bible tells us that we are to be good soldiers in the army of the Lord. What do good soldiers do? They train. They train more than they fight. They train for hours, and they fight for minutes. In the minutes that they fight, it’s the hours of training that pay off. The storied 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division had to overcome some of the toughest training the army had to offer before parachuting behind enemy lines the night before D-Day in 1944. They trained before they went to war.
In any army, soldiers endure strenuous training and preparation before going into battle. As a good soldier in the army of the Living God, fasting is one of the primary training routines you can engage in. You can cause your flesh to submit to the Spirit that you may enjoy the victory that Christ has already won.
Being a good soldier in the army of the Living God means preparing yourself today for the battle that’s coming tomorrow. You do not wait until trouble strikes to be ready to fight. You must be proactive in your training and preemptive in your fasting. You must be ready in season and out of season because there will be desperate moments in your future that you need to prepare for now. What you do today will determine the success you may achieve tomorrow.
In 1996, the US women’s Olympic gymnastics team competed in Atlanta. There, before a home crowd of thousands of cheering fans, they became the first US team to win gold in women’s gymnastics and gained the name: The Magnificent Seven. But before those Olympians stood on the platform and were awarded a gold medal, they had each devoted hours on end in empty gyms to training.
What does your training routine look like as a soldier in the army of God? If called upon today, would you “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV)? If a storm strikes today, have you spent time in prayer preparing to overcome? Hours in an empty prayer room, sunrises in a quiet field — the times when you came away and prayed — those are the times that can refresh your soul (Matthew 6:6).
Fasting and prayer prepare you in ways you may never know. They open doors for you that you did not know existed. They do so because they usher you into the courts of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The wisest decision you can ever make in this life and into the next is to prepare your soul by giving yourself fully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? What time of day are you at your best to come before the Lord in prayer? In simple devotion, offer your affection to the Good Shepherd of your soul. Through fasting and prayer, make your life a sacrifice of praise to Jesus Christ, our Lord.