Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stop Fasting-8 Biblical Reasons

People fast for many different reasons. Some fast before a medical appointment, some fast because it is part of their diet plan, and others fast to refocus their body, mind and spirit on God. I am not addressing dietary or medical fast at all, they are effective and I have done them before. People need to stop fasting if you are doing it for the wrong motive. I wrote earlier about 27 Biblical Reasons to Fast, but now I also want to address what a Biblical fast is not.

8 things a Biblical fast is NOT:

1) A time to look sad, mean, and destitute. Matt. 6:16
2) A time to look for attention and rewards from people. Matt. 6:16
3) A time for you to showcase & boast in your deep spirituality. Luke 18:12
4) A time to seek your own pleasure. Isaiah 58:3
5) A time to argue, quarrel, and fight. Isaiah 58:3
6) A time to hide your self from the poor and needy. Isaiah 58:7
7) A time to twist God's arm to do what you want outside of his will. Acts 23:12,14
8) A time to manipulate God to overlook sin. Jeremiah 14:10,12

Fasting is an external act that is driven by the motives in your heart. Those motives must be laced with spirtual ends in mind. With fasting you may lose a few pounds and lose the taste for twinkies; however, if those are the initial motives you will miss out on the heart transformation that can come from fasting. To make a further disctinction, a biblical fast is often accompanied with prayer, confession, & Bible meditation (Neh 9:1-3; Acts 13:2-3). Fasting along with these things creates a recipe for spiritual transformation.

I met a person that got so busy at work that he missed lunch. Feeling the hunger pains, he then decided to take his act of missing lunch, wrap it up in spiritual fasting clothes, and offer it to God as a sacrifice. Wow! God can not be played for a fool? Keep in mind that the act of fasting and the physical byproducts it may produce are only means; the end should be to have your eyes fixed on God and to glorify your father which is in heaven. Most people fast because they want to move God but he is not the one that is stuck. Fasting is not to move God closer to you, but rather to move your heart closer to God. Happy fasting!

Read: 21 Day Prayer and Fast for basic instructions for a fast.

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