FASTING

Posted: January 13, 2019 in Beliefs, Bible Study, Fasting, Uncategorized
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What is Fasting? Since there are so many misconceptions about it, I first want to clarify what fasting—biblical fasting—is not. Fasting is not merely going without food for a period of time. That is dieting—maybe even starving—but fasting it is not. Nor is fasting something done only by fanatics. If you read throughout the Bible, you will see that there was a lot of fasting going on, not just in the Old Testament, but the New also.

Fasting is not limited to minsters or to special occasions. Biblical fasting, I am refraining from food for a spiritual purpose.

When you eliminate food from your diet for a number of days, your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God.

Matthew 6, Jesus provided the pattern by which each of us is to live as a child of God. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian: giving, praying, and fasting. Jesus said, “When you give…” and “When you pray…” and “When you fast. “He made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, was a normal part of Christian life. As much attention should be given to fasting as is given to giving and to praying.

Mathew 6:1 “Be carful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Giving: 6:2 “So WHEN YOU GIVE to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogue and on the street, to be honored by men.

Prayer: 6:5-8 And WHEN YOU PRAY, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth they have received their reward in full. 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Fasting: 6:16-18 WHEN YOU FAST, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigured their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen, and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you

So, it looks to me that the three duties of every Christian are GIVING, PRAYING, and FASTING

How does Fasting compare to the other two? In Matthew 17: 14-21 (paraphrasing) speaks about a man who brought his son to Jesus who was having seizures and was suffering bigtime. He said to Jesus that I brought my son to your disciples, but they could not heal him. Now remember, the disciples had been given the authority to do the healing, but they had not yet learned how to appropriate the power of God. So, Jesus told the father to bring the boy here, and he healed him.

When the disciples ask why we couldn’t heal him. Verse 21 states “but this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting”

Long before this incident, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, where He spent forty days and forty nights, taking no food.

If Jesus could have accomplished all He came to do without fasting, why would He fast? The Son of God fasted because He knew there were supernatural things that could only be released that way. How much more should fasting be a common practice in our lives?

Perhaps you’re thinking, “I still don’t know how fasting can really be for me.” According to the words of Jesus, it is the duty of every disciple and every believer to fast. When addressing the Pharisees as to why His disciples did not fast, Jesus replied, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days” (Luke 5:34–35). Then they will fast. Jesus didn’t expect His disciples to do something He hadn’t done as well. Jesus fasted, and according to the words of Peter, Jesus is our example in all things (1 Pet. 2:21).

We cannot be saved by deeds of service without faith in Christ, but our faith lacks sincerity if it doesn’t reach out to others. Fasting helps only the person doing it. God says he wants our service to go beyond our own personal growth to acts of kindness, charity justice, and generosity. True fasting is more than what we don’t eat; it is pleasing God by applying his Word to our society,

Isaiah 59:6-14

6 Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and unite the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear, then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help and he will say: Here am I.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry an satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your light will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-water garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with dwellings.
As David stated, “Deep calls unto deep” (Ps. 42:7). David was fasting. His hunger and thirst for God were greater than his natural desire for food. As a result, he reached a place where he could cry out from the depths of his spirit to the depths of God, even in the midst of his trial. Once you’ve experienced even a glimpse of that kind of intimacy with our God—our Father, the holy Creator of the universe—and the countless rewards and blessings that follow, your whole perspective will change. You will soon realize that fasting is a secret source of power that is overlooked by many.

A threefold cord is not quickly broken. —ECCLESIASTES 4:12
A cord of Prayer, Giving and Fasting:

References:
Franklin, Jentezen. Fasting:
NIV Study Bible
Wisdom from God

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