In a world of distraction, the most difficult thing to achieve is concentration and focus! Fasting essentially calls for separation from the world and concentration on God!
"Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom." Proverbs 18:1 KJV
Every spiritual journey always begins with a desire. The length of our fasting is determined by the strength of our desire. It is desire albeit a strong desire that makes a man separates himself from all worldly pleasures and only intermeddle with the things that are spiritual! This is the essence of fasting: a separation from and a concentration on! Here we see the two spiritual pillars or components of fasting
- separation from the world - food and all fleshly desires
- concentration on God. His word. On prayers and intercession for the saints! Ministering the word to the world!
A complete fast, therefore, has both the spiritual elements of separation and concentration.
*COMPLETE FAST = SEPARATION + CONCENTRATION*
This is what Proverbs 18:1 pointed out, we separate first and then will focus. Because it is only when our eyes are single that our 'whole body will be full of light' - light from heaven saying this is the way walk ye in it!
From a world that offers so many distractions, it is really difficult to separate ourselves from its many entanglements! How do we separate ourselves from Facebook and other social media? From the demands of work? The demands of the modern life? It is difficult. The easiest part of fasting maybe separating ourselves from our food, because it's even far easier than separating ourselves from our work!
Far easier than separating ourselves from TV or from social media platform!
However separation from the world is not enough, concentration on God is key! Why fast all day when you can't even pray for one hour and study the word! But then how can I do that when I am a banker, teacher or marketer? You may quip.
The distraction of the world will not allow concentration on God. Distraction is the greatest enemy of spiritual focus! We are a 'distracted people', too many things vying for our attention!
This is where a fasting retreat comes in. This is where 'going to the mountain' comes in.
"And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him". Exodus 34:2, 28-29 KJV
Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days, separated from the world and concentrated on his God. That encounter produces the Ten Commandments and every other law giving by God to the children of Israel. His concentration bore fruits in spiritual revelation!
Elijah too was away "on a mountain" concentrating on God and from there he got the revelations for the next phase of his ministry!
Jesus many times in his ministry has waked up early and gone to the 'mountain' to pray and fast! The mountain offered the getaway spot that place of no distraction, of total concentration to God! The mountain offered the natural ambiance where separation and concentration are achievable with minimal effort.
God does not live on the mountain, the mountain, however, provides the solitude and environment that allows us sees God in his glory and splendor. The mountain provides the spiritual ambiance of spiritual devotion and concentration! This is why many people like going to the mountain; there is no power on the mountain but the mountain provides the atmosphere to experience that power of God!
In a world of distraction where separation and consecration are difficult to achieve, it may be necessary sometimes to take that fasting retreat and go to the 'mountain'. The mountain here represents anywhere it is easy for you to achieve total separation and concentration! That mountain can be as far as a physical mountain, a retreat camp or maybe a little room in your house!
Anywhere that is possible to separate ourselves from the world and concentrate on God is a place where we can have that fasting and spiritual retreat and experience God's power and glory like Moses did!