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AshleyJnr
Member



Joined: 2006/6/17
Posts: 45
Guolburn, NSW Australia

 Fasting

I've just been reading the thread on prayer.
encourageing.
Is there a thread on fasting?
I grew up (I'm still growing) in a church where fast was always encouraged.
Recently I ran a study on fasting a a youth camp, it seems to be something that much of the body is missing out on. (pardon the pun - it was accidental lol.)
Ussually I hate talking about fasting because I have an uncanny ability to become rather proud rather quickly (Lord crush my stupid pride!!!)- How Ironic that I would get proud over a discipline that God designed to humble us.
Sin is foolishness!
But I know that it is a mighty weapon (particularly when kindled with prayer) that the enemy wants kept hidden and that the Lord wants revealed.
Let's encourage one another to fast aswell as pray?

Matthew 9:15
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

 2006/6/26 1:09Profile
freedbyjc
Member



Joined: 2004/7/29
Posts: 204
Jacksonville. Florida

 Re: Fasting

There have been many small threads on Fasting in the past...one of the best writers on the power of the fast is John Piper.

You can access his sermons and writings [url=http://www.desiringgod.org]here[/url] and his site has an awesome book on-line [i] A Hunger For God[/i] [url=http://www.desiringgod.org/library/onlinebooks_index.html#hfg]here[/url]

That is one of the main points that Piper discusses is defeating the pride and his main tool for defence is prayer...


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bill schnippert

 2006/6/26 8:51Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Fasting

Hi AshleyJnr,

Think you pretty well summed things up in your post here;

Quote:
How Ironic that I would get proud over a discipline that God designed to humble us.


Did some digging through the archives;

This is a prelude to a time when SermonIndex in conjunction with Times Square Church participated in a 3 day fast;

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=1357&forum=34&post_id=&refresh=Go]A Call to Fast - Carter Conlon[/url]

For whatever reason the follow ups are evading me, some of the links are not working. But I do well recall it, a great season of fasting and prayer for the Lords Church both generally and specific.

Here is a few more;

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=10062&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]Fasting to Be Full.[/url]

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=9361&forum=35]Fasting[/url]

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=8987&forum=40]Remarkable miracles through prayer & fasting[/url]

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=9033&forum=35&post_id=&refresh=Go]The "Daniel Fast"[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2006/6/26 9:27Profile
habakkuk3
Member



Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490
Virginia

 Re:

There's a wonderful Christian book entitled "Fast Your Way to Health" and it literally was a God send to me. Fasting is simply one way to deny ourselves but we should do it only as the Holy Spirit dictates.

I think the words of Ignatius are appropriate here

Quote:
Devote thyself to fasting and prayer, but not beyond measure, lest thou destroy thyself thereby.

We get no brownie points by going beyond what God asks us to do but the real question will we do what He has asked us to do? That's the question in my own walk that is repeatedly raised.

EDIT: Here is a link to one of Wesley's sermon on the topic of fasting. Wow it's a great sermon and very simple but direct. [url=http://wesley.nnu.edu/john_wesley/sermons/027.htm]Wesley's Sermon Number 27[/url]

Quote:
Let us beware of mocking God, of turning our fast, as well as our prayers, into an abomination unto the Lord, by the mixture of any temporal view, [b]particularly by seeking the praise of men.[/b]



I thought this quote by Wesley was similar to what Ignatius said and quite true.
Quote:
Secondly of fancying we merit anything of God by our fasting. We cannot be too often warned of this; inasmuch as a desire to "establish our own righteousness," to procure salvation of debt and not of grace, is so deeply rooted in all our hearts. Fasting is only a way which God hath ordained, wherein we wait for his unmerited mercy; and wherein, without any desert of ours, he hath promised freely to give us his blessing.


_________________
Ed Pugh

 2006/6/26 11:42Profile









 Re: Fasting

Quote:
Ignatius

Who is this guy, please?

 2006/6/26 11:47
habakkuk3
Member



Joined: 2005/10/18
Posts: 490
Virginia

 Re:

I'm not sure, I've only earnestly been following Christ for a couple of years and am not a church historian. I found it on the Wesley Center Online. Note the second quote was actually from Wesley. I'll make an edit to make this change.


_________________
Ed Pugh

 2006/6/26 13:03Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2722
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Wikipedia link for [url=http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Ignatius+of+Antioch]Ignatius of Antioch[/url]

The best study for fasting is prayerful consideration of Isaiah 58 and Matthew 6.

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2006/6/26 13:13Profile
ChrisJD
Member



Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: Fasting

Hi everyone.

Quote:
How Ironic that I would get proud over a discipline that God designed to humble us.



One of the snares of pride I discovered was this thinking that suffering somehow makes us better, or even more spiritual. Lately I have meditated on this thought and discovered how absurd it is for us, who have escaped the suffering of hell that the lost will endure, escaped through the sufferings of another(that is Christ), that we should then think we are any "better" for enduring suffering in this present world?


Quote:
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are [b]not worthy[/b] to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.



Ashley, well said that


Quote:
Sin is foolishness!



Since this thread is about fasting, I'll share some of my own foolishness before you all to make the point. When my wife and I did an extended fast, things went pretty well for me, though she had a more difficult time. But, when we ended the fast, and the grace was removed and I let go of restraint and began to eat, I ate so much and so quickly that I soon found myself lying on the bathroom floor writhing in pain half the night; I guess my stomach was trying to accomadate the food. It was terribly painfull, and rediculous.

Besides that, all the weight I lost during the fast I put back on and [b]then some[/b].


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/6/26 19:16Profile
AshleyJnr
Member



Joined: 2006/6/17
Posts: 45
Guolburn, NSW Australia

 Re:

ChrisJD wrote

Quote:
and the grace was removed and I let go of restraint and began to eat, I ate so much and so quickly that I soon found myself lying on the bathroom floor writhing in pain half the night;


I'm sure you're not alone!
I have heard a roumour that someone actually died after a 40 day fast. - Apparrently they lined up a banquet and stuffed themselves silly??

But what I heard actually (medically) happens during a longer fast is, your stomach shrinks, and also alot of the vili, which have a large surface area and absorb the energy through your stomach wall (i think that's the right word)- fold over (hence less surface area) and go into "shutdown mode". Also the digestive juices dry up as the fast progresses, hence as I'm sure you have heard or been recomended that broths, then juices then soups etc. should be used to break.
Personally I have always struggled the most, when trying to be disciplined in breaking the fast.

Umm, just a querry for habakkuk3 and anyone else that would like to answer I suppoose. You said
Quote:
but we should do it only as the Holy Spirit dictates.


I used to think that myself. But oneday, I was challenged reading Matt 6;16 “And when you fast" (as I'm sure you have all heard this before).
The same people to whom the chapter on "when your pray" and"go in to the secret place" is intended for, Jesus expects those people to fast. Do you catch what I'm saying? if Lord only tells certain people to fast would he not have said "ïf you fast"?? (i beleive it was meant for all christians)
But I suppose my logic has been, is it wrong to pray if I am not directed by the holy spirit? Then why would it be wrong to fast if not directed by the Holy spirit.

It seems that Ignatios suggests that fasting may do damage to the body? In a quick google research and everyone I have spoken to, apart from foolish actions, such as gorging one self whilst breaking, or in the case of medical conditions such as diabetes etc. fasting has not caused damage to anyone? Actually many health groups I came up upon actually recommend fasting for better health, though we should not fast just for this reason.

My personal experience has been that I have never felt so impressed to fast, that if I didn't do it, it would be sin, or disobedience. Though I have not done one fast which I regreted, or did not feel refreshed in my spirit.

Please note. I agree completly that you need to have the right heart and do it for the right reasons. ie If you are doing it to feel a spiritual benifit, or even just to recieve a reward, or to serve your pride and try and look/feel spiritual, then you have recieved your reward in full. I'm not saying that if you don't fast it's a sin either, but if Jesus expects us to fast and if we should only do it if he askes us, will he not at some stage ask all of us to fast? Hence if a christian never fasts their entire life, it kind of leaves the impression, that they did not either hear or obey God at some stage/stages in life? or pehaps we should fast as a general discipline ie. the same as prayer.

The pharisee's fasted 2 days a week and the Lord was obviously not pleased.
But also the Lord sayed "Your righteousnees must exceed that of the pharisee's" (whether that is though faith or the byproduct of faith you can decide)
John wesley fasted two days a week and would not ordain ministers unless they regularly fasted. (PLEASE correct me if I am wrong)

At the end of the day, I'm sure we all agree that the most important thing is the heart motives.

(I am not settled on this opinion, but just wish to know the truth so please rebuke and critisice if neccesary)
I'll stop rambling
Bless you Brothers and sisters.
Ashley

 2006/6/26 22:51Profile
freedbyjc
Member



Joined: 2004/7/29
Posts: 204
Jacksonville. Florida

 Re:

Quite right!

You must end a fast with as much reverence and as much preparation as you start one. Again this is to God's glory as your relationship with him will reflect in your attention to the details of the fast.

The Pharisees were more worried about obeying the rules and ensuring the people saw that they were fasting and what they thought, not about their relationship with God...in their minds the people [and their reputation] mattered more than God.

Again, your are right about Wesley and his refusal to ordain ministers who did not fast. Piper [and others] have written about it in their books on Fasting.


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bill schnippert

 2006/6/27 8:29Profile





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