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| || Fasting || : : What is Spiritual Fasting?|
| || Fasting || : : Is Fasting Relevant in a Covenant of Grace?|
| || 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?|
Some wonder, "How do I fast while continuing to work, take care of my family, and just live life in general?" When you put the Lord first, He supernaturally and divinely orders your day so that you are able to accomplish the important things according to His will. The urgent no longer overshadows the important, and things that seemed pressing suddenly fall away, no longer significant in His great kingdom plan. This means that the Lord will give you the grace, energy, and sustenance to care for your essential responsibilities while you are fasting. Necessary work and caring for your family fits the category of "essential responsibilities". The key is to prioritize the Lord above all else, to seek His guidance in all things, and to trust Him every step of the way. You must also have the courage and obedience to forsake opportunities and tasks on your list if God's priorities prove different from yours.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
| || 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 |
The Great Commandment, as Jesus replied to the Pharisees in Matthew 22:37-38 is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
Fasting, as outlined in Isaiah 58, accomplishes both the first and second greatest commandments and also highlights the "true" fast (indicated by actions representative of Christ's character) as opposed to the "legalistic" fast (indicated by actions representative of arrogant, sinful, and unrepentant human hearts).
| || 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?|
| ||Some fleshly weakness is normal; extreme distress is not. Again, take it to the Lord in prayer, and truly submit to His leading. The Lord is good; He will guide you! Pride is the antithesis of fasting. You do not want to willfully decide for yourself how you are going to fast, and neither do you want to intentionally draw attention to your fast. Falling down the staircase is not a very compelling testimony for fasting unto the Lord!|
In Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus cautioned, " 'When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men that 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.' "
You may have extenuating circumstances, which necessitate a modification of your fast. If youve been ill, for example, or if you have a physically demanding job, --whatever your circumstances--look to the Lord to lead you to the proper nutritional balance for your particular situation.
Our abstinence of food should not be the focus for us, or for anyone else who is witnessing our Christian walk. Our love of--and complete surrender to--Jesus Christ should be hallmark of our fast and the standard of our lives.
| || 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 |