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twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Fasting

I posted this as a reply on another thread but then realized it would be a great topic to form a new thread.

Fasting is a very powerful discipline in the life of a believer. I don't know how many fast on any kind of a regular basis and what kind of benefit you see from that fasting. Fasting should be a discipline of a believer just as prayer, time in the word, giving, etc.

But many are a bit confused about why we fast. They see it as a way to convince God we are serious about our prayers. They see it as a way to get prayer answered. Some even see it as some sort of penance.

God spoke through Isaiah that the fast that God had chosen was not one in which we afflict our soul and spread sackcloth and ashes under us as though our fasting somehow causes God to see our affliction and take us seriously because of it where He would no have been predisposed to take us seriously before. (Recall the instruction of Jesus in Matt. 6 about washing your face and being joyful even in your fast because the fast is unto God, not for others to see.) So often we pray and if we don't see any answer we take it up a notch, afflict ourselves, and fast and pray as though that will somehow twist God's arm or change His mind. This is not the fast God has chosen. Obviously it is not a fast for strife, debate, or out of legalism that God has ordained.

But the fast He ordained is this.

Isa 58:6-10
(6) Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
(7) Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
(8) Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.
(9) Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
(10) And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

It is the breaking of bondage in our own lives. We are spirit, soul, and body and only one third of us is born again. We still struggle with the flesh. Fasting breaks the power of the flesh in our lives and causes us to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit. If we have trouble hearing God's voice, it is probably because we are walking too much in the flesh and not in the spirit. We break these yokes by fasting. Our flesh rises up and says, "I am hungry, feed me." We must rely on the Holy Spirit and say, "No, we will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." I have gone without food for 24 hours and it did not phase me. I have decided to fast for 24 hours and within one hour I thought I was going to starve. Fasting food is definitely spiritual, believe me. To maintain a fast takes prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit.

You can fast things other than food, and it is effective. Some need to fast their smart phones, some the internet, some need to fast Coca-Cola (that has been me from time to time.) Anything that has a hold on our flesh needs to be fasted so that the bondage is broken.


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Travis

 2010/10/9 9:52Profile
EverestoSama
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Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175


 Re: Fasting

Travis, your post is awesome.

I really hope this thread doesn't get swept under the rug as quickly as the last thread on fasting. This is something that NEEDS to not only be discussed, but practiced.

It's too bad that it's a topic that makes so many start squirming a bit.

 2010/10/9 9:57Profile









 Re: Fasting


Yes, the motive must be right in fasting or it will be just a good weight loss for many.

 2010/10/9 9:58
EverestoSama
Member



Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175


 Re:

Quote:
Yes, the motive must be right in fasting or it will be just a good weight loss for many.



Haha. The weight loss isn't always a good one though. You can lose weight and muscle from some VERY unusual places.

 2010/10/9 10:07Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
It's too bad that it's a topic that makes so many start squirming a bit.



Why is this so? I know from experience that it is. I could decide to lose some weight and cut my portions, miss a meal here or there, or fast for carnal purposes for a day and it is no big deal. The moment I decide to fast so that I might crucify the flesh and walk in a greater measure of sensitivity to God through the spirit, all kinds of warfare begins to happen.

We just love our flesh too much (me included). We look out so much for our own carnal comfort. Oh that God would grace us to change that in a big way.

There is a supernatural grace for fasting.


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Travis

 2010/10/9 12:10Profile
StarofG0D
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Joined: 2007/10/28
Posts: 1232
United States

 Re:

I find fasting fun some times. To enter into battle, makes you stronger, and the strongholds just come down.

Some days anyways, some days it's a struggle...


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Michelle

 2010/10/9 12:16Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2737
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Fasting

I thought I would post some notes that I have from a study I did on fasting in Isaiah 58, I've posted these before but I will post them again here.

Reading Isaiah 58

Improper reasons for fasting

1) Fasting just to get God's attention (v. 3a)

2) Fasting without focusing on the Lord, fasting had become a mere physical excercise with no affliction of soul or seeking after God.(v.3b)

3) Fasting without accompanying humility of heart. Fasting is not a way of impressing God, it is a way to humble ourselves before Him.(v.4)

4) Fasting for a brief external show of religion.Israel fasted merely for outward show.(v. 5)

Proper reasons for fasting

1) To bring liberation from the bonds of wickedness and to set the oppressed free. Fasting prepares our hearts to hear what God has to say about issues in our life where we need victory.(v.6)

2) To relieve us of heavy burdens, replacing our burdens of every-day life with His burdens.(v.6)(see Matt 11:28-30)

3) To increase our sensitivity towards the needs of others, remember not to stay focused on self, but love one another as Jesus loves you.(v. 7)

4) To invest ourselves into our physical and spiritual families, becoming more responsive to the needs of brothers and sisters, husbands and wives.(v.7)

God's promises to those who fast

1) Insight and understanding(v.8). God will give wisdom to solve problems and behave with discretion. (see Jer 33:3)

2) Positive changes in physical well-being (v.8)

3) A deep sense of what is right (v.8 "your righteousness will go before you")

4) A sense of immediate accesss to God in your prayer life(v.9). We do not pray to get God's attention we pray becasue we have His attention. Sometimes the world and sin can disrupt our fellowship with God, Setting aside time to pray and fast can bring us face to face with whatever has crept into our lives.(see Psalm 66:18 & 1 John 1:9)

5) Release from spiritual oppression (v.10) and a return to being strengthened by the joy of the Lord.

6) Moment by moment guidance from the Lord (v.11). Prayer and fasting will heighten our awareness of God's presence and guidance.

7) Peace through difficult times (v.11)


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Ron Halverson

 2010/10/9 14:08Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2002
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

AMEN!!


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Travis

 2010/10/9 15:07Profile
SolaVeritas
Member



Joined: 2010/6/29
Posts: 156
SK Canada

 Re:

Thank you for bringing up this subject, it is dear to my heart. Fasting is greatly underrated in the church I attend as well as in those I am acquainted with. More teaching is needed, more men and women of God getting serious about this.
I'm planning to look for my journals from extended fasts in the past. Might be able to share some of the insights and experiences.

 2010/10/10 1:38Profile
Renoncer
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Joined: 2010/6/26
Posts: 482


 Re:

It is so easy to fast for the wrong reasons. I remember fasting one time, thinking that I would somehow force God to answer me. My heart wasn't right, and God didn't honor my selfish prayers (though the motive seemed biblical).

I have learned to seek God fervently, but also to seek to be molded after His will. Thus, fasting should be first and foremost an act of submission to God's will, and His sovereignty. Only once our spirit is in line with God's Spirit do we begin to have effective and powerful prayers. Fasting fits into this framework.

For instance, although I may want to fast for my nation, I have no assurance that God will turn the nation around. Only if this is according to His plan will He answer by turning the nation around. However, even if it isn't in His plan to do so, I should be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, so that I might respond accordingly when He says, "No, but you can ask for this or that..."

Thank you for the original post. I like your thoughts on fasting. May God bless you richly.
In Christ Jesus

 2010/10/10 4:01Profile





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