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mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Fasting Discussion

I have been interested in fasting and while I know it is told in scripture not to fast and brag about it or even let it be known, I don't wish to know how often you fast or when you fast but Why? What effects does it have on you?

I for one believe it is biblical to fast, anyone think otherwise?

There is always a scripture that makes me chuckle a bit and its Matthew 4:1-2 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry."

I for whatever reason always thought that it took 40 days and 40 nights and THEN he was hungry, I fast for a day and I am starving like a wild dog. lol

Anyways I hope this is a fruitful, encouraging, and uplifting discussion on the topic at hand. Remember no funny business like derailing this topic ;) Oh you know I love you all lol


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Matthew Guldner

 2011/8/26 5:56Profile
Enochh
Member



Joined: 2007/8/22
Posts: 116
Indianapolis

 Re: Fasting Discussion

Brother
I believe fasting is biblical..Jesus said "when you fast", not if you fast. Thus the expectation that we would. I can only comment on my experience with fasting. The longest I have fasted was 3 days. When I've fasted led by the Spirit for that long I never was hungry. Other times when "I tried" to fast for a few days I was so hungry I could eat the sofa..lol.
I know fasting changes me, puts my flesh in check and allows me to hear the Lord more clearly. I'm not an expert on the subject....just the opposite....but I feel drawn to fasting and I know I never come away from a fast not feeling closer to my Lord, refreshed in spirit and with insight or instruction.....my 2 cents for what its worth


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Jeff

 2011/8/26 6:19Profile
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re:

Worth more than two cents to me brother :).

I use to have a great passion for fasting and then my wife told me that I was doing it in an unhealthy manner and so for her peace of mind I stopped. But here recently the Lord has lead me back to this act of worship. My wife is more understanding and never intended for me to stop just to do it in a better manner, plus she said I would get really grouchy without food, which has changed. lol

I fast for a few reasons, one is health reasons, fasting can actually have great health benefits if done properly. You take on far less junk food and fasting actually gives your body a chance to get some of that junk out of your system.

I fast because it causes me to rely on the Lord, which is something I find hard to do sometimes when everything is readily available to me, one reason fasting causes me to rely on the Lord more is because I have Hypoglycemia and so my blood sugar can get low if I am not careful with fasting. There will be moments of struggle where my body says FEED ME, and its one of the only opportunties I get to tell me flesh off.

I definitely don't fast to show off how awesome I am or how spiritual I am because I am so dependant on Christ when I fast, without Him I couldn't even make it a day.

My other reason personally is I simply enjoy fasting there is just something about it that brings joy to my heart that I love, drawing unto God for strength and grace to get through, feeding upon His word, etc.

When you enter a fast do you tell your spouse? anoter question for all. :) I usually do out of respect for her because she feels bad for offering food to me if she doesn't know I am fasting, I told her it doesn't bother me but I have agreed to tell her if I fast and for approximately how many days.


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Matthew Guldner

 2011/8/26 6:37Profile
Solomon101
Member



Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 531
America's Heartand

 Re:

Good Topic!

I will share a few bullet points that I keep in mind. Hopefully they are helpful.

1. It helps to bring the flesh under subjection to the Spirit. Most folks rarely, if ever, tell their flesh "no". If we get hungry our flesh says "eat..NOW!" Most of the time we then do what our flesh says. The first time your body says , "eat..NOW!" when you are fasting and you respond by saying, "NO.. we will not eat now. We are fasting today" ... your body will pitch fits and have a temper tantrum.. so to speak. It is used to getting its way. I have at times told my body to be quiet or we will fast tomorrow and stay up all night praying. In essence dong a nightly prayer vigil as well. It is strange how the body reacts when you make it come under subjection to your spiritual desires and man. That crucifying of the bodies ability to be the strongest voice in our lives is painful.. but so necessary!

FYI- have you ever noticed that your body never tempts you to break a fast with..say celery! It wants fried chicken..pizza..lasagna..etc.Just a thought :-)

2. It is necessary to be in prayer and the Word even more when fasting. Fasting dampens the voice of the flesh and therefor accentuates our sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit. That is why most all cults and occultists fast. Satanists, luciferians, hindus, buddhists, demon worshipping witch doctors etc. all fast. They do it for the same reason... to quiet the voice of their body and increase their sensitivity to the spirit world. They however are listening to different spirits than a person listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit. None the less, the principle is the same... they are wanting to "hear more accurately" the spirit they are following. That is why it is so important to fill that time with extra prayer and God's Word. You will become more sensitive to spiritual realities and voices... so we must be diligent to hone in on the ones that come from The Holy Spirit.

3. There are indeed tremendous health benefits from types of fasting.These are easily found in researching it medically and I will for that reason not use the space here to address them other than to say it must be a secondary consideration. Fast for the spiritual benefits and receive the health benefits as an added bonus.

4. There are several types of fasting. Perhaps a person might start with a "partial" fast. Maybe eating only one meal a day for a week and filling the time normally spent at meals or eating in prayer.The well known Daniel fast is basically a restricted diet plan. Total fasts of food and water for a very short time..a day or two at most.. because the lack of water is soon fatal.

I once did a lengthy fast in "sections". It worked well for me and bore good fruit. I began it with a 10 day juice fast. Basically had a glass of fruit juice and a glass of vegetable juice per day with all the water I wanted. That was followed with a 30 day water only fast. I then ended it with an additional 10 day juice fast to "restart" my digestive system. A total fast of 50 days. 10 juice-30 water-10 juice. I continued to do physical labor. Was able to carry on normally but had less strength and much less endurance after a while. The way the fast is started and ended are very important.

5. Consistent fasting. I think we Protestant/Evangelicals (pick a stripe) have to some degree let the Catholics have this arena much to themselves... this is to our hurt. The power that is unleashed when churches corporately have fasting prayer days as a believing community is tremendous. I encourage all ministers, pastors, elders, boards, whatever your faith community tradition uses, to establish 1-2 days a week of corporate fasting and prayer. Ask the people to use this time to pray for specific needs when known and for a general conviction of God's Spirit on your community that leads to repentance and an outpouring of His Spirit as a result. Can you imagine the results that would be seen if our churches by the thousands began to actually fast, pray, repent, and cry out to God for a visitation in their towns and communities! Open the church altars up all day. Ask folks to come and pray at lunch if they can. Have folks there to help people pray before work. Encourage them to pray all though the day. Since they are fasting their spiritual senses are heightened and they will sense the Holy Spirit's leading in prayer. I believe this is perhaps the most overlooked key for renewal and revival in the US and Canada. It costs nothing but some time, commitment, and dedication yet yields the most precious fruit imaginable!

5. Celebration Of Discipline by Richard Foster. The book is a classic in developing spiritual disciplines and has a good chapter on fasting. Lots of spiritual thoughts coupled with practical insights and wisdom. In my mind the chapter is well worth reading if a person is considering incorporating fasting into their life spiritual disciplines.

Again, good and timely topic. In fact it has inspired me to take today as a fast day. I wasn't planning on it... but I feel the excitement in my heart even now of gaining a closer experience with Jesus and the Holy Spirit today!

mgulder thanks for your part in in that!

Blessings,

Solomon101

 2011/8/26 9:37Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2007
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Fasting Discussion

Eenoch and Solomon101 pretty much hit the nail on the head. Thank you gentlemen for also reminding me how important this act of worship really is and encouraging me to fast more often. I am afraid I don't fast nearly enough.

Isaiah 58 is a very good commentary on fasting.

Isa 58:3-12 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. (4) Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. (5) Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? (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: (11) And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (12) And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

I would also suggest a fasted lifestyle. One may fast food and this is the most common fast of Biblical context. However I also believe that fasting other things of the flesh that can control us. In 1Co 7:5 we find that husbands and wives would fast physical intimacy during times of fasting and prayer. "Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency."

I think it is healthy to fast often and to also fast things other than food.


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Travis

 2011/8/26 23:01Profile
SolaVeritas
Member



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

 Re: Fasting Discussion

Such good points have been made, I can only agree with them wholeheartedly. Had the same experience as Enoch, I don't feel hungry when fasting (except in an extended fast), it's like night and day from dieting, which just about kills me. Solomon's Point 1 paragraph is hillarious - and so true!

What I would like to add is I'm usually drawn to fast for a time when there is an urgent prayer need. Who hasn't been so grieved over something they didn't even feel like eating? So to fast becomes almost natural when a need becomes overwhelming. To me it's like telling the Lord "Your presence, your listening ear is more important to me right now than my most basic physical needs."

The longest consecutive period I have fasted was 21 days.I entred it only after I was sure that the Lord called me to an extended fast(it's a bit different from the reason I mentioned above). The 21 days was impressed on my spirit and I made a commitment to it. Was drinking fruit/vegetable juices during the fast, and water. It's only with very few people I have shared this, for obvious reasons.

I entred that time expecting a spiritual mountain top experience. What I got was a struggle with racing thoughts until my mind finally cleared up, followed by day after day of heaviness and tears and feeling under spiritual attack to just quit and give up.

Then this entry in my journal on day 13: I'm slowly beginning to understand that fasting is not the spiritual mountain but the valley of tears, as it is in itself an expression of sorrow. This is why I felt somehow disappointed so far, wondering why I don't feel on cloud nine, like expected. The power will be released as a result of my completed obedience. But while I am in this, the Lord wants me to draw aside and place some of His own grief onto my heart. It is also a time to weep over my own sinfulness and battle temptation. James 4:9,10

Day 18: Hope has returned to my heart. Slowly but sweetly. I am at peace again. All that's required of me is to pull through.

Day 19; Battling hunger and being cold!

Day 21: I've made it! Now I feel like it went too quickly. I'm a little sad that it's over. I can easily pray all day long, feeling surprisingly strong and calm. Certainly the Lord is faithful. "Thank you for this experience, Lord. I love you a lot!"

I'm posting this in the hope that it will encourage some of you to start fasting. Truly satan will discourage the church from fasting because he knows of it's power and effect in the spiritual realm!

 2011/8/26 23:47Profile
imnowhere
Member



Joined: 2009/8/1
Posts: 69


 Re:

I agree, good topic.

I've never been a fan of making the 'fasting' thing real complicated. When I've heard over the years people say, 'You have to be in the word and prayer or it's not a biblical fast', well, those remarks have never rung true, though if you do that that's great.

I see it real simple, as most have already alluded to...

The flesh and the spirit war against each other in the life of a believer. So starve the flesh and make it weak, then of course you feel the strengthening of the spirit. I think it's that simple. Anything that is starved is made weaker, so fasting is great in bringing the body under subjection by simply weakening it.

The longest I've fasted for is 28 days if I remember right. one of the best times of my life (felt led to when my oldest daughter was breach). By the end I wished I never had to eat food again.

Great topic. Great reminder to fast again.

Don't legalize it. You don't need to pray or read or anything when you fast. If you're a believer, you'll simply want to, and all the more with the flesh so weak and set aside. Then you'll be worshipping all the more in SPIRIT and in truth.

 2011/8/26 23:49Profile
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re:

Quote:
FYI- have you ever noticed that your body never tempts you to break a fast with..say celery! It wants fried chicken..pizza..lasagna..etc.Just a thought :-)



Oh man do I know what you are talking about now, I always like to gorge myself after a fast which is the unhealthy thing my wife told me about, its definitely a struggle. One time I fasted the my wife had leftover pizza that had been sitting in the fridge all night. I looked at it and told my flesh Oh no I am not breaking my fast for leftover cold pizza satan's gonna have to try harder than that!

I am glad this thread has been an encouragement for some to begin to fast more or even start fasting. I also agree to not make it a legalistic type thing your already waging war on the flesh no need to wage war on the law all at the same time bringing you condemnation.


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Matthew Guldner

 2011/8/27 1:29Profile
swimmer
Member



Joined: 2010/2/11
Posts: 29


 Re:

Has anyone here done a 40 day fast?

 2011/8/27 1:56Profile
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re:

No :), I did watch a guy on youtube the other day attempt it and failed, he was trying to do it for health reasons he barely made it half way, 23 days, and he only drank water.

I don't know if I could make it 40 days but I have heard some friends who made it, its pretty interesting. I don't know if the Lord will ever lead me into such a fast but on second thought there will come a time when we will all eventually fast simply because we wont accept any mark so we may not have food but simply feed on the Word. :)


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Matthew Guldner

 2011/8/27 2:03Profile





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