Typically during these weeks, we encourage people to fast, but to be honest, we have not made a very big deal about it. However, this year I want to make fasting a bigger deal. God has been very good to us this past couple of years and we've seen a lot of addition and increase (150 to more than 400 in 3 years). It would be easy to take that for granted. I think it is important for us now more than ever to humble ourselves and remind ourselves who God really is and to continue to cry out to God on behalf of our city, our nation, our world.
What is fasting?
Biblical Fasting is willingly abstaining from food or drink or both for a period of time in order to pray.
- God expects it to be a part of our lives. Jesus says in Matt 6:16 ‘when you fast…’ not IF you fast.
- In obedience to Gods word. Joel 2:12, 2 Cor6:4-6, Matt 9:15.
- To humble ourselves before God. Jas 4:10.
- To overcome temptations. Matt 6.
- To be purified from sin. Dan 9:3-5
- So we become weak and God is made strong. Ps 109:24
- To obtain Gods support to accomplish His will. Acts 13:3-4
- In times of crisis. Esther 4:15-16, 2 Chron 20
- When seeking Gods direction. Ezra 8:21
- For understanding and divine revelation. Jer 36:6
- You learn to recognize God. Luke 2:37
- The complete fast – no food or water. Max is 3 days.
- The normal fast – liquids only, no food
- The partial fast – missing out some things. For Daniel he missed out meat and just ate veggies and water.
- Activity Fast: If you must eat food (pregnant, breast feeding, have a very physically demanding job, etc) you might consider a fast from activities such as social media, television, internet, etc.
There are no ‘rules’ as such. Nowhere in the bible does it tell us we HAVE to fast or for how long and what from. Its something that is individual. If you want to fast for just one meal, 2 meals, one day, 3 days, a week, it doesn’t matter. You follow what you feel happy with or if you hear God leading you to a specific time. Some people fast from other things like TV, or chocolate, or coffee. There seems just to be one provision of fasting and that it in Matt6:18 where Jesus tells the people that WHEN they fast, not to do it so it is seen by others. It is something that matters to God and not to others.