I have written previously about fasting the carnal man, what I hope to achieve is to bring fasting to the level of the spirit and the heart, just like every other aspects of the New Covenant.
"But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do." (1Cor 8:8).
"For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies--physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established." (Heb 9:10).
The old covenant deals with food, drinks and other physical things, but the new covenant attack the issue right from the spirit and the heart. Talking about fasting Jesus said, “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved." (Matt 9:14-17).
This is the new covenant and it calls for a new way of doing things, a better way, one that works from the inside-out. Salvation works from the inside-out, everything in the new covenant is from the inside-out. And this includes fasting, our fasting is a spiritual one — one that has to do with the heart.
I have discussed about an aspect of this fasting in a topic titled "Starving The Carnal Man". Here I would be referring to another aspect of this fasting. When Jesus said, "This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." (Mark 9:29), he was referring to something different than what we think prayer and fasting is.
We have adopted a lot of old covenant things because we are incapable of differentiating between the two covenant. I wrote a book about what prayer is in the new covenant, but there I focused mainly on the aspect of intimacy, it would be nice if you can get this book and understand the revolutionary shift that occurred in the new covenant kind of prayer. However, apart from the prayer of intimacy there is also the prayer of pressing into realities (I would write a post on this very soon). It is this kind of prayer that requires the fasting of the mind.
In the spirit these realities are already established, we have authority, we are one with God, we have all the power, and we are seated on the throne. But in the flesh we are just men, but that which is in the spirit must manifest in our flesh, and this requires pressing in our hearts. Yes, we press in our hearts to attain the things in the spirit and get them manifested in the flesh. The whole of creation await the manifestation of the sons.
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Rom 12:2).
To be transformed and manifest the fullness of God you need your mind renewed. First, that verse says, "be not conformed to this world", this is a difficult thing because you are in this world and you are always interacting with your environment (which is this world). The things in this world are constantly penetrating into your mind through this interaction, this makes it difficult for the kind of renewal of the mind that will usher you into the fullness of God.
To ensure that this renewal take place (even more speedily) there is a need to separate a time to fast the mind; reduce your interaction with the world, block out certain thoughts and try to reprogram your mind and teach it to stay fix on the spirit (the reality in Christ). Yes, it is a mind reprogramming period, where your mind is taught conformity to the obedience of Christ. You teach your mind the attitude of blocking that which is not Christ and staying fix only on Christ.
"we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2Cor 10:5).
Yes, a fast for the reprogramming of your mind, to teach your mind obedience. The sons must learn obedience, even Jesus as a son learnt obedience.
"Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered." (Heb 5:8).
Sons must learn obedience, our flesh must be taught conformity, including our minds. And this obedience is learnt through suffering, a period of starvation and deprivation. The fasting of the mind involves a time of deprivation. Normally our mind is occupied with a lot of things, issues of life that gets so overwhelming. We must set a time apart to withdraw from all these things and teach our minds to focus on Christ.
After this period of mind fasting you will find out that it would become easier for you to fix your mind on heavenly things. As Christians our minds are supposed to be fixed on things above and not be overwhelmed by earthly things.
"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God." (Col 3:1-3).
We get so overwhelmed by earthly things and this is not healthy for a Christian. Our real life is hidden in Christ and our eyes ought to be fix on that which is real. So through this fasting we teach our minds to stay fix on the things above (the reality in Christ). The benefit of having your mind fixed on the reality of Christ is that it would cause you to begin to experience these realities right here on earth.
Through that process of fasting, that intense focus on the reality of Christ will cause you to break into that reality. The reason why people gain spiritual height when they fast (food fasting) is not because God saw that they were starving themselves to death and decided to pity them and give them the blessings.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" (Eph 1:3).
He has blessed you with all the blessings already, there is nothing left to give. It is not that God saw the way you are praying, as if you are going to kill yourself, and He just decided to have mercy and bless you. No, in Christ He has already blessed you with all the blessings. The blessings are there in the spirit, it is just left for it to manifest in the flesh.
Manifestation can only occur when your heart align with the reality in the spirit and become filled with the consciousness of this reality. The scripture tells us that out of the fullness of the heart does the mouth speak; when the heart is filled with something it will begin to manifest in the flesh. In the world we see that one's heart can be so filled with sorrow and depression that it begins to affect his health, and even cause him to grow old faster.
The reason why people attain spiritual height when doing food fasting is not because of the starvation, or because of the way they were praying. Rather it is because they separated themselves for a while, and through that lengthy period of prayer their minds and heart were being aligned to the spirit, fixed, focused and become flooded with the reality of the spirit to the extent that it burst forth into manifestation in their flesh.
The breakthrough came not as a result of the refusal to eat, but as a result of the alignment of their heart. We are sons, we know the Father, we are not suppose to be beating around the bush like those who doesn't know any better. The mystery of the kingdom has been given unto us, so we can understand and we know how exactly this breakthrough would occur, we don't need to waste so much energy doing unnecessary things, we can just go straight and attain the riches of Christ (or the manifestation of the riches of Christ).
Whatever riches you are hungry for, you can fast for specific riches. You can fast to experience the prophetic, fixing your mind on God to the extent that his thoughts, will, knowledge, wisdom and words breaks right through your spirit into your heart. You can fast to break into certain dimensions of God, fixing your mind of it, pressing and pressing till you attain that riches.
That is how we go exploring the riches of Christ one at a time till we attain all of the unsearchable riches of Christ, which of course will take eternity. So go ahead, align your mind, read, meditate, press in with your heart in the place of constant prayer, separate yourself, and keep pressing, then you will have the reality of Christ manifest in your life.