Just what everybody wants to hear….a great groan goes up from the congregation greater than the sounds made as the Steeler’s playoff options go down the drain.
What it is
What it isn’t
Why we do it?
Benefits of it.
How do we fast?
What it is
Dictionary definition - abstinence from food, or a limiting of one's food,. When voluntary and as a religious observance; fasting.
Bible definition – to cover the mouth, to abstain from food, to voluntarily, religiously abstain from anything.
The idea is to set aside time from the normalcy of life to seek the Lord. It is not about lack of food, but about choosing to abstain from food or whatever to seek the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:12, 13
12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart,
What it isn’t
It isn’t a diet plan
It isn’t some kind of torture to try and please God.
It isn’t religious it is about a relationship.
Why do we do it?
To be obedient
Jesus told us too – Matthew 6:16 -18 Matthew 6 Jesus taught us to give, to pray, to forgiveness and then in verses 16 – 18 instructed his disciples what to do when they fast.
It is just part of our Christian ministry
2 Corinthians 6: 4,5
4But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love,
What happens when we fast?
Physically – We purify our bodies. Every American has so many pounds of meat packed into their colon at any time. We break addictions to food, caffeine, and sugar.
- Our minds become clearer because the pollutants we eat are out of our systems.
- Get more rest
According to Dr. Don Colbert physician to Bill Bright, John Hagee, Joyce Myer, Beth Moore, Benny Hinn and several others. During fasting, the first thing our bodies devour is cells out of order like cancer cells, then fat.
Fasting brings the flesh under control
- In our culture, nearly everything involves eating…if you don’t believe me count how many commercials for food there are during any hour of television programming
- Most Americans are overweight or obese the Centers for disease control estimates that 67% of Americans fall into one of these categories. The result high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease.
- Hunger reminds us to keep our eyes on Jesus and off of our situation
Spiritually (brief list)
- Sexual addictions can be broken – Judges 19, 20 tells the story of a man whose wife was raped and murdered by a gang of homosexuals. This sin a taken control over the tribe of Benjamin. When the nation went against Benjamin twice they were defeated, this stronghold overcame them until they fasted and then they were able to overcome the stronghold. Pornography, masturbation, lust, homosexuality, lesbianism, all kinds of sexual sin can be broken through fasting.
- I believe it is the same for other addictions some sever like drug or alcohol abuse, anger, fear, gossip, some not as sever like, television, laziness, computer
- Generational Curses can be broken – there are certain fleshly strongholds that come under subjection to Christ when we are saved but if not dealt with fully can raise up again and be influenced by demonic powers. There are also the genetics we are given from generation to generation that determines heart disease, cholesterol, diabetes, etc. to me those too are generational curses
Isaiah 58:12 says
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
As we fast God begins to rebuild his truth in our lives, the plan that He had for mankind from the beginning is restored. The enemies’ stronghold of generational sin is broken as all the breaches in our family history are repaired. I am believing the Lord to break the power of genetic history my family is a genetic nightmare as far as disease is concerned and I believe the Lord is breaking that and has broken that already.
- Brings abundance and fruitfulness to barren, abused, and neglected situations. Joel talks about how an army is so vast so overwhelming that the people are without hope. This army devours all the good of the land, the people are so barren and destitute that they don’t even have enough to bring a gift to the Lord. Their tithe has been dried up the attack is so severe. God speaks through Joel how to stop the ravaging of the land, the neglect, and abuse.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly.
The result: Joel 2:24 – 26
“The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
The vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
My great army, which I sent among you.
26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you?
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
Threshing floors full and vats overflow is prosperity in your life. You will have plenty, you will have broken barrenness, abuse, and neglect in your life
- God reveals things to come – when we seek him we find Him. Taking time to fast separates us so we can hear Him better.
Daniel’s 21 day fast in chapter 10 gave him spiritual insight, He heard from God through an angel and was told what will happen in the future including when Jesus would be born.
- Fasting revealed the call people had for their future ministries
Acts 13: 2- 4
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
- Demonic powers are broken
28And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer ◙ and fasting.”
When Jesus talked about “this kind” that is to say that there are some demonic controls that are only released through prayer and fasting
There are many other reasons for fasting and why people fasted.
David repentance and God's will 2 Samuel 12
Jehoshaphat – humility and defeat the enemy 2 Chronicles 20
Nehemiah – answers from the Lord 1 and 9
Esther – favor, and wisdom
Isaiah, Moses, Zachariah, John the Baptist, Prophets, and leaders of the early church, Paul, Council of Nicea, Reinhard Bonnke, Billy Graham, DL Moody, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, David Wilkerson, Bill Bright,
How do you fast?
We are going for 21 days you choose. A meal a day, two meals a day, all meals. No TV, No meats or sweets, no arguing or gossiping.
If you choose to limit your food intact
1) drink more water (Juice is not a water substitute)
2) Get plenty of rest don’t fight staying awake
3) Keep mints near fasting breath is nasty
4) Don’t think “I’m not allowed to eat” think instead “I’m choosing not to eat today or this meal.”
Focus your fasting
- make a list of prayer needs and directives – you are breaking free, and you can break others free as well
- give your self-more time to be in the word
- Give yourself more time to be with the Lord (hunger is a sign it is time to pray
Pray for them as they choose to fast.