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Fasting vs. Not Eating
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WHAT IS FASTING?

 

 

     Fasting is Biblical and important to a Christian's life. Fasting is for ALL believers it is not just for pastors or the elect but for ALL. The word Fast is defined by both the Bible and by Websters Dictionary as simply refraining from FOOD. I sometimes hear of instances of people fasting from TV, secular music or videogames. That is not what the bible means by fast, Abstaining from those things is a good exercise however it is not a Biblical fast. Consider this the Bible teaches/commands us not to put any evil before our eyes. The Word shows us that we are to take heed of what we hear and see because what we put into our vessel is what we will get out. These are commands from God not just good ideas, these are not things highly suggested to do but are "thus sayeth the Lord God, DO!" If God says do and we do not do then it is sin, if God says do not and we do that also is sin. Am I saying that watching television is a sin? Are the programs that you are watching promoting God or promoting sin? Do the characters on the program glorify God almighty or do they glorify sin? Is sin evil? Does God tell us NOT to look upon evil? Does watching TV require faith (besides the faith that God will guard your Heart and mind from what you are watching)? So is it a sin to watch TV? To answer that I will make two statements; Sin is a heart/motive issue and I do not have the authority to define sin, God alone can declare what is and is not sin! I can however present to you what the word says and suggest you read study and pray about it yourself. NOW back to the subject at hand; fasting. Would a thief fast from stealing? Would a murderer fast from killing? Would a pornographer fast from lust? No that is not fasting that is repentance that is; not sinning, that is walking as a new creation. If it is necessary to fast from stuff (besides food) the chances are you shouldn't be indulging in that anyway. Fasting is above and beyond not watching something we ought not to be watching. We are never supposed to indulge in the flesh and to put aside time not to do something we shouldnt be doing is STUPID! We are to always walk in the Spirit. Fasting is additional it is like I said earlier above and beyond  living a holy life it gives extra 'umph' to your Christian walk(abstaining from sin will also add umph to your life but that is because you start to walk in the spirit instead of the flesh). Fasting is an action contrary to the first sin (it shows God you are serious) of eating that which is forbidden, by voluntarily refusing that which is ALLOWED. While we are supposed to not sin, we are obviously not required to not eat. We are never supposed to sin, but we are to eat. That is why it is not fasting to not walk in the flesh that is an automatic. We are to never walk in the flesh and always in the Spirit. It is impossible to always fast, we need food to live. We don't need Nintendo to live (no matter what some may think). Once again fasting is above and beyond being the new creation. Fasting is an intense time set apart to seek God and/or His will in a particular area.

 

 

WHY FAST?

 

 

     Because it is better than slow. Too many Christians fast just because, they have no real purpose or reason. To them fasting is merely not eating and maybe (hopefully) praying a little more. One thing I hope all who read this comes to understand, fasting is more than crucifying the flesh however good this may sound crucifying the flesh is not the reason to fast crucifying the flesh is certainly involved it shouldn't be the sole reason for a fast. Another reason for fasting I have heard is to get closer to God. This is a legitimate and honorable desire but I can not recall any instance in the Word where anyone fasted to get closer to God. No where does anyone say Lord I want to know you more and this is why I fast. They had a specific reason to fast. A common mistake of believers is to fast for either the reason to deny the flesh or to get closer to God. You may be thinking what is the problem with that? Yes I know this is usually what is taught and it sounds great. This is where the misunderstanding comes in. We turn the means and the result into the reason. Denying the flesh and closeness to god are default settings to any holy spirit initiated fast they are a given it is automatic. We fast BY denying the flesh for a reason and as a RESULT we are closer to God. We do not fast by denying the flesh to deny our flesh so that our flesh will be denied or by denying the flesh to get closer to God as a result getting closer to God, or by getting closer to God to deny the flesh and as a result get closer to God, or any other combination. They just do not make since. Fasting is the way denying the flesh is the means, and closeness to God is the end, but niether are the reason. Let's look at the Bible on this one.

                       

 

Isaiah 58:6-9   

                        v. 6 Loose bonds of wickedness

                        v.8  Light break forth/ Healing

                        v.9 Answer

 

            Matthew 17:20, 21

                        Spiritual power

                        Cast out demons

 

            2 Chronicles 20

                        Seek the Lords guidance for battle

 

            Esther 4:16, 17

                        So Esther would have favor before the King

 

            Acts 13:2, 3

                        Guidance for church leadership

 

            Acts 10: 30-37

                        Answer to prayer

 

They Fasted by denying the flesh of the necessary for an answer to prayer and in the end they were closer to God because of it!

 

 

GUARD YOUR MOTIVES

 

 

When you fast the bible teaches to not make it evident to all, it is not for all to see and know it is between you and God. The hypocrites fast to look good before men and we are not to do that! Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. The Pharisees (religious leaders) in the Bible did everything for men to see. All their good deeds were outward and in public so that man could look at them and say, "wow how holy, how righteous, they have it all together, they are close to God." We need to realize that God looks at the heart so you may look good on the outward to man but what does your heart look like? Do you fast so people will look up to you? Do you announce your fast? Who do you tell and why? The Bible teaches us not to tell people not to make your fast evident in anyway but to go about your day as normal. Keep your fast between you and God. Fasting is a heart matter. The exception to the rule is when it becomes necessary to tell someone you are fasting so they are not offended, for example; I once went on a fast and found it necessary to tell a wonderful girl(Who is Now my Wonderful wife) who would bring me lunch at work everyday. Imagine if I did not tell her and she brought that wonderfully carefully made peanut butter and honey sandwich to me and I told her I did not want it? It is not good to offend people when we can prevent it. Also on that same fast I called my fellow workers in the ministry(At that time I was a Youth Pastor) and let them know so that they could join me in prayer and fasting as God led them. It is biblical to fast in groups and in order to do that I would assume that all in the group would know that the others were fasting. Use common sense( unfortunately common sense isn't all that common). When fasting consider those that it is necessary for them to know and tell them only! Before you tell someone, ask yourself what the real reason is you are telling them. Remember that fasting is a heart issue as with all things in the Christian walk if you had wrong motives and a wrong heart when fasting, th fast would be sin. If it is not faith it is sin.

 

            THINGS TO REMEMBER

 

A SPIRIT THING

 

     I cannot stress it enough fasting is a heart issue. It goes way beyond not eating. Not eating is, not eating it is not fasting. When you fast you are to take the time you used to think about food and use it to think about God. Take the time you used to feed your physical man and feed your spirit man.  If when you think of eating you fantasize about eating and dream up a T-bone steak, mashed potatoes, a dinner roll, a side vegetable all washed down with a big glass of milk, followed by a banana split. In my opinion you would be wasting your time. Instead of dreaming up a meal try concentrating on God. If you deny your flesh and your spirit you are starving both your body and spirit and thus wasting your time. God said you do not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of his mouth. You are to always feed the spirit man with the word and with prayer, and in times of fasting you are to stop feeding the physical man and INCREASE feeding the spirit man, that is how it is done in the Bible and that should be how it is done now. If there is no increase in God volume then you will be doing what you've always done but just skipping a meal. People miss lunch all the time, was that a fast? Parents send kids to bed without dinner is that fasting? People all around the world are starving, they can only eat once a week or once a month, are they fasting? NO! That is not a fast but a famine that is just not eating. It is not a fast because there is no God increase just a physical lack. When you fast you must increase God volume. Fasting is declining the physical food and feasting on the things of God. Fasting is a Spirit thing.

 

                       

 

STARTING AND BREAKING A FAST

 

     When to start and break a fast is completely up to the individual and how God is leading. If God leads you to fast for one day then fast for a day if a week then fast for a week. If God leads you to fast over a particular situation but you are unsure of the length then fast until you receive an answer or until God says to stop. It is pretty simple. Be careful not to break the fast in your heart and still continue to keep the fast in the natural this would just be not eating. For example I decided to fast it was something I never really did and I decided it would be a good idea; this was before I understood fasting. So I started my day of fasting and it went great (I guess) until I went to work, in those days I worked at Dairy Queen and we had the best French fries and candies and ice cream and EVERYTHING. It was always my habit to periodically snack on the candies and the fries and the ice cream throughout my shift. So without thinking I grabbed a French fry munched it down forgetting completely that I was fasting that is until I ate the fries. The reason for that is because I went about my whole day as usual just not eating and not increasing God volume. That fast was broke in my heart or spiritually long before I broke it physically. If you break a fast in your heart/spiritually then you are wasting your time to not eat.

 

 

CAN A CHURCH OFFICIAL DECLARE A FAST?

 

     Yes, and most definitely! there are instances all throughout the Bible of Church leaders and public officials proclaiming and setting aside a time of fasting. If our pastors , youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, president, mayor, governor or king or any authority rather spiritual or public announces a corporate fast it is our duty, responsibility and requirement to fast, not to do so would be a SIN! Why don't pastors proclaim fasts but recommend them!? Maybe because they want to be politically correct, or maybe they do not want to tempt their congregation to sin, whatever there reason is in my opinion it is time for our spiritual leaders to challenge and declare corporate fasts. Fasts were never optional in the Bible, Why are they now? Church leaders do not be afraid to declare a time of fasting if and when God leads you in your church, among your Leaders, Pastors, board members, church members and Congregation. God Blesses corporate fasting.

 

DISCLAIMER

 

     If any of this offends, insults or convicts any who read it I hereby loose myself of any responsibility of it for all written within is not my words but the words of God. So if you want an apology you are asking the wrong person. If when reading this you find any unbiblical statements please let me know I do not want to proclaim so boldly anything that is not the truth. Any arguments must be bible based not opinion based. You can email me at Superman86314@juno.com, before emailing me any comments, corrections or arguments please read all attached verses.

 

 

 

Scripture References

 

2 CHRONICLES 20: (3) WHOLE CHAPTER

EZRA 8:21-23

ESTHER 4:16, 17

ISAIAH 58:3-14

JEREMIAH 14:12

JEREMIAH 36:9

JOEL 1:14

JOEL 2:15

JONAH 3:5-10

ZECHARIAH 7:3-7

ZECHARIAH 8:19

MATTHEW 6:16-18

MATTHEW 9:14-15

LUKE 18:10-14

JUDGES 20:26

1 SAMUEL 7:6

2 SAMUEL 1:12

1 KINGS 21:27

NEHEMIAH 1:4

MATTHEW 4:2

ACTS 13:2, 3

PSALMS 35:13

PSALMS 69:10

DANIEL 6:18

DANIEL 9:3-23

JOEL 2:12

MATTHEW 17:20, 21

ACTS 10:30-33

1 CORINTHIANS 7:5

2 CORINTIHANS 6:5

LUKE 2: (37) WHOLE CHAPTER

MATTHEW 6:22, 23

ROMANS 10:17

MARK 4:22-25

MATTHEW 12: 33-37

2 CORINTHIANS 5:17-21

1 PETER 4:11

PROVERBS 16:18

HEBREWS 11:6

ROMANS 14:23

ROMANS 13:1-7