Here is a selection of some of the Fasting points I discussed, today, with the congregation at Bellegrove Church.
This is NOT an exhaustive study on the topic. If you have experiences or thoughts to share, we could all benefit. Please share here.
Definition: “fasting” verb. abstaining from all or some kinds of food or drink, esp. as a religious observance.
Who are some people who fasted in the Bible?
There were thousands, but here are a few:
• Hannah, Easter, David, Moses, Elijah… (personal fasts, for various reasons)
• People of Nineveh (national repentance)
• Jesus-spiritual discipline (training) preceding life’s work and mission (Matt 4:1-11) —Cool, huh?
Fasting does what?
- It questions our appetites (of every kind).
- It reminds us of Jesus great sacrifice (He give up everything. Leaving out a bit of food IS NOT a big deal, is it?)
- It helps us seek God’s strength for obedient love and service.
- It involves our Motives, not technique (Matt 6:16-18)
(Some things) Fasting is needed for…
- A potent reminder to turn to God.
- A subjection of a base need (food) to see our greater spiritual needs.
- A time of scrutiny of our personal sacrifice to the Lord, and his people.
Fasting is Feasting on God. (Yes, you can read that again.)
It helps us…
- Focus on God, instead of our lack.
- Makes sacred space (for worship, prayer, praise, repentance to our gracious God.
- Experience (through self-denial) God’s goodness and sufficiency. (A.k.a. “We live…not by bread alone” Matt 4:1-11)
to be continued…
(Next time: Some dangers of Fasting, and some benefits of Fasting, and some ideas for Fasting effectively.)