These are notes from the Bible Study in our Discipleship 101 series on Fasting.
Commands from God are not optional, suggestive, or left up to your opinion. You are the one that said you are a follower of Christ.
Giving, prayer, fasting, Scripture reading and memorization are a few examples.
Fasting is the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food and or drink for a period of time.
Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life. When God’s people fast with proper Biblical motives and truly seek God’s face, God will hear our pleas and requests and respond.
Fasting, when linked with prayer can change hearts and lives, cause revival and change nations.
Fasting is one of the most neglected spiritual disciplines. There are many verses that command and encourage fasting. However, there is no step by step layout on how to fast.
John Piper, in his book A Hunger For God says this about fasting, “Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God. Half of Christian fasting is that our physical appetite is lost because our homesickness for God is so intense. The other half is that our homesickness for God is threatened because our physical appetites are so intense. Christian fasting is not only the spontaneous effect of a superior satisfaction in God; it is also a chosen weapon against every force in the world that would take that satisfaction away.”
Do not let anyone know that you are fasting. Do not change anything that you normally do on a daily basis. Fasting is for God’s glory not ours.
Fasting demonstrates your sincerity to God
It builds discipline and character in the believer
It gives you strength in your will and if you can say no to food, you can say no to lust, pride, selfishness, gossip, and all forms of temptation because fasting helps you be disciplined in your spirit.
When you give up food – that which is necessary, enjoyable, pleasurable – you are trading that for what you should desire most…God.
Fasting must be a commitment
Do not fast casually or with the wrong spirit
Do not have the wrong motives.
Let God tell you the length of your fast unless you are involved in a corporate fast.
Fast with a purpose
Have a reason in your heart for fasting – demons will try to stop you – they are scared.
Pray and focus on scripture during meal times
1 Thess 5:17, Joshua 1:8
To pray without ceasing suggests a mental attitude of prayerfulness, continual personal fellowship with God, and consciousness of being in his presence throughout each day. During your fast…PRAY! Not Facebook, Twitter, watching TV, or other time wasters and distractions. If you are not purposeful in your fast than all you are doing is going without food.
Fasting helps you to know God more
Fall in love with God all over again
Fasting shows your dependence on God
desire, purpose, passion, meaning and significance
We are to be so dependent on God that we are not affected by anything hell throws at us.
Fasting is waiting on God
We have expectancy for God to do something awesome!
Fasting is an emptying of yourself
All your junk, garbage, crap gone
Being filled with the Holy Spirit enables us to rejoice, praise and worship in a Holy God. It also enables other fruits of the spirit – self control, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness
Fasting conforms us more to the image of Jesus Christ
Giving up food shows my hunger for the Bread of Life and thirst for Living Water
Jesus is everything you need Him to be at the very moment you need Him to be it.