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| || Fasting || : : What is Spiritual Fasting?|
| || Fasting || : : Is Fasting Relevant in a Covenant of Grace?|
Many Christians are unfamiliar with spiritual fasting. Some believe that fasting is an Old Testament tradition neither required nor relevant to the New Testament grace under which we now live. In truth, however, fasting is a necessary though underutilized spiritual discipline that Jesus addressed right along with giving and prayer (reference Matthew 6). Fasting was never replaced, rescinded, or superseded in the New Testament, and it is not just Old Testament legalism. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament, not to render it irrelevant. As Randy Alcorn so eloquently stated in Money, Possessions & Eternity, "Being under grace does not mean living by lower standards than the law." In fact, Jesus assumed that we believers would fast. Jesus said, "When you fast" (Matthew 6:16) not "if you fast".
The verses below emphasize that we are saved by grace, not by works. Fasting, like prayer, is a spiritual tool that believers should use not to earn righteousness but to embrace it.
"I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing." (Galatians 2:21)
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men." (Romans 14:17-18)
"But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do." (1 Corinthians 8:8)
| || Fasting || : : Fasting: Superficial or Supernatural?|
Fasting unto the Lord goes beyond rote, superficial sacrifice of food. Fasting unto the Lord, when done with the proper heart and the proper spirit, cleaves you to the Lord; everything on earth takes a back seat to worshiping and communing with your Heavenly Father. It is about "holding fast" to Him regardless of your circumstances (reference Deuteronomy 10:20, 11:22, 13:4, 30:20; Joshua 22:5, 23:8; 2 Kings 18:6; Psalm 119:31, 139:10; 1 Peter 5:12).
In Jeremiah 14:12, the Lord proclaims, "Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry." His refusal to listen to His people was based on their continued wickedness; their superficial sacrifice meant nothing because they persisted, unrepentant, in sinful behavior. Jesus, too, warned about fasting as an empty, perfunctory ritual. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about hypocrisy and hardened hearts in Matthew 15:8-11, 18-20: "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 'These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, 'Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean', but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean'. ... But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean'. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'. ..."
| || Fasting || : : Fast Unto the Lord, Not Unto Men|
| || Fasting || : : Who Fasted in the Bible?|
| || Fasting || : : Are There Different Kinds of Fasts?|
| || Fasting || : : How Do I Fast Unto the Lord in Today's World?|
| || Fasting || : : The Compassion of Jesus and the Purpose of this Fast |
| || Fasting || : : I'm Afraid to Fast!|
| || Fasting || : : How Fasting Relates to the The Great Commandment |
| || Fasting ||: : True Fasting as Detailed in Isaiah 58|
| || Fasting ||: : Isn't Fasting Practiced by Other Religions (and By Those with No Religion?)|
| || Fasting ||: : Why Fast Now?|
| || Fasting ||: : Corporate and Intercessory Fasting|
| ||You may already be a disciplined and Spirit-filled Christian, but God's kingdom plan extends beyond individuals. Fasting is also an important intercessory tool, especially when done corporately. (Corporate fasting occurs when a body of believers fasts together; intercessory fasting is fasting on behalf of another.) Now, particularly, our nation's moral and spiritual landscape grows bleaker and weaker by the day. Corporate intercessory fasting, when accompanied by prayer, powerfully beseeches God to have mercy on this nation and throughout the world.|
| || Fasting ||: : 2008 Lenten Fast|
| || Fasting ||: : I'm a Pastor; How Do I Get My Congregation Involved?|
| || Fasting ||: : I'm a Parent; How Do I Include My Children in this 40-Day Journey?|
| || Fasting ||: : Have Additional Questions, or Need More Information?|
| || Fasting || : : Have Additional Questions or Need More Information?|
| || Fasting ||: : This is My First Fasting Experience; What Should I Expect?|
| || Fasting ||: : Legalism and the Liquid Fast|
The essence of a liquid fast is choosing to abstain from eating solid food. Usually, a liquid fast includes things such as water, fruit juice, vegetable juice, and clear broths. Your body still receives nutrition through the juices, but you sacrifice the texture and taste of solid food.|
Be cautious of legalizing the liquid fast. Drinking a milkshake, while it can be sipped through a straw, probably does not honor the intention of your fast. Broth served in a bowl, eaten with a spoon is no better or worse than if you drank it. Blending fresh fruits and vegetables into a finer consistency (even adding juice or broth to thin out the mixture) is perfectly fine, as long as the Lord is leading you in that direction.
Some people choose to put protein powders and supplements in their drinks; others do not. Some people completely abstain from sugar and sodium; some modify the amount; some use sugar substitutes. Do not judge what others are doing, but look to the Lord for what He would have YOU do.
Let the Lord lead you; do not let the enemy neutralize your honorable intentions by diverting your focus to the planning and preparation of your food (or drinks!). You do not want to spend more time thinking about what you are (or are not!) going to eat than you spend with the Lord. Focus on praying, meditating upon His Word, and fellowshipping with Him. Do not become paralyzed by the choices of what you should or should not eat. Pray before you choose, submit your choices to the Lord, and use your time wisely with Him.
If you do eat or drink something that you believe is inappropriate, given what the Lord has impressed upon your heart, do not let the enemy convince you that you've blown your fast. You have not! Pray, ask for the Lords guidance and strength, and move forward. The Lord knows your heart (see 1 Samuel 16:7, Psalm 44:21, Luke 16:15, Acts 15:8, Romans 8:27, 1 John 3:20).
| || Fasting ||: : I Feel So Weak! What Should I Do?|
| || Fasting ||: : How to use this website for fasting and prayer|
| || Fasting ||: : Recommended Books on Fasting and Revival|
| || The Process of Repentance ||: : The Most Holy Week|
| || The Process of Repentance - The Most Holy Week |
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