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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 Fasting was never replaced, rescinded, or superseded in the New Testament, and it is not just Old Testament legalism.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 || : : Fast Unto the Lord, Not Unto Men|
Fasting is a sacred and special sacrifice; it is for the Lord, not for human approval or notice. In Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus cautions those who choose to fast for human admiration and approval, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, Who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Please understand the spirit of Jesus' message. He is not saying that absolutely no one should know when we are fasting. In fact, it is very important to have a trusted Christian friend or a network of Christian friends who can pray for you while you are fasting. Jesus is cautioning against fasting for the approval and notice of man, just as He cautions against giving for sheer spectacle.
| || Fasting || : : Who Fasted in the Bible?|
| || Fasting || : : Are There Different Kinds of Fasts?|
There are four basic kinds of fasts: absolute, radical, normal, and partial. Below is a brief explanation of each as well as additional important information.
Absolute fast- No food or liquid (not even water) is consumed. Supernatural sustenance is necessary. An absolute fast is VERY, VERY RARE AND VERY, VERY DANGEROUS unless the Lord has specifically and unquestionably called you to this type of divinely protected and sustained fast.
Radical fast- Only water is consumed. A radical fast is also rare and not recommended for long periods of time unless the Lord has specifically and unquestionably called you to this type of fast.
Normal fast- No food is consumed; liquids include water, clear broths, and fruit and vegetable juices.
Partial fast- Some foods and drinks are sacrificed; for example, processed foods, sugary foods, and caffeinated beverages may be eliminated from your daily intake. A Daniel fast (see "Biblical Types of Fasts" link) is an example of a partial fast.
Those whom He calls to absolute and radical fasts (Moses, Elijah, Jesus) are sought for extreme and divine purposes. One who is radically fasting consumes only water; one who fasts an absolute fast ingests nothing - neither food nor water. We do encourage you to test the Spirit (Romans 12:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 John 4:1) for confirmation as you sense a call to fast, especially for a radical fast. We do not recommend an absolute fast unless you are absolutely certain that the Lord is calling you to completely abstain from food and drink; biblical heroes who were called to an absolute fast were divinely anointed and supernaturally sustained for the duration of their fast. It is a rare person whom God calls to a radical fast; rarer still is the one He calls for an absolute fast.
More commonly, those convicted to fast undertake a normal fast where no solid foods are consumed, and physical sustenance is provided by broths, and fruit and vegetable juices. Others may participate in a partial fast where some foods and drinks are sacrificed (processed foods, sugary foods, and caffeinated beverages, for example).
As always, we at Trumpet and Torch recommend that you consult your physician before beginning any type of fast. We especially urge you to consult the Great Physician for His discernment and guidance. Expectant mothers, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical concerns may participate in the spirit of fasting while still receiving essential physical nourishment.
| || 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!|
Only through the strength of God and His direction are we truly able to fast in a way that is acceptable and pleasing to Him. He desires that we all experience a deep, abiding relationship that only comes from Him. This intimate walk with God requires faith not fear.
Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by or fearful of fasting. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Then, listen for His still, small voice. No matter in your life is unimportant to Him, and He will guide you. First, though, you have to silence the distractions that often crowd out your time with Him and compete with His voice.
Remember that a Christian spiritual fast is not a contest; you need not compare yourself or your experience to another. It's not the number of days that you fast or even the number of meals that you fast that matters; the Lord honors the act of humbling yourself in true repentance. He wants your heart, not your stomach!
Our faithful God will prepare you for the task that you have been called to. You have been chosen to be in an intimate relationship with Him. This time of feasting on the Word of God is meant to draw you to the feet of Jesus and there you will find the peace that passes understanding.
There is no reason to fear when God is leading, especially when that path leads you out of the darkness and uncertainty of this earthly life and directs you to His very presence and into the embrace of His awesome love. We should not fear this path, but anticipate it with joy and longing for every moment we have to spend with our most gracious Heavenly Father.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9)
"Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD." (Psalm 4:5)
| || 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|
| || 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|
| || 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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