April 18, 2009

Fasting – by Chris White

Written by Boyd Bailey

iStock_000021563572XSmallFASTING
Increase Spiritual Alertness

Why Fasting Increases Spiritual Alertness:

If we eat, an increased amount of blood is needed for our digestive processes; if we exercise, a greater amount of blood is used in building up our muscles; but if we neither eat nor exercise, a greater amount of blood is available for mental and spiritual concentration.

In the course of study and prayer, key verses stand out and should be put in your journal and committed to memory.

During this time of fasting you will sometimes become weary. You will discover that your mind is clearer after a short nap so that your time with the Lord is even more meaningful.

Basic Purposes for Fasting:

Definition: Fasting, “Nesteuo”

To fast: to abstain from eating; is used of voluntary fasting. Fasting was an established practice in Christ’s day (Matthew 9:14-15; Mark 2: 18-20; Luke 5:33-35) and was practiced in the early church. It is important to remember that it is to be voluntary activity and not a forced activity.

In an extended fast of over three days, one quickly experiences a great decrease in sensual desires and is more alert to spiritual things. In addition to this, the following are further purposes of fasting listed in Scripture.

Fasting to gain spiritual alertness to overcome temptation:

Jesus Christ was led to fast for forty days. – Matthew 4:2

Fasting to seek God’s will in a specific matter:

The Israelites fasted to determine direction in battle. – Judges 20:26
Paul and Barnabus prayed with fasting before choosing elders. – Acts 14:23

Fasting in repentance for sin:

The Israelites fasted and repented and put away false gods. – I Samuel 7:6
David fasted and repented of his sin. – II Samuel 12:16 21:23
Ahab fasted and repented after causing Naboth’s death. – I Kings 21: 27
Hearing God’s Word, Israel fasted, confessing their sins. – Nehemiah 9:1-3
Daniel fasted and repented for himself and the people for not having walked in the laws of the Lord. – God’s chastisement was to come. – Daniel 9:3
Joel called for a fast because of the Lord’s chastening. – Joel 1:14; 2:12,15
The people of Ninevah repented in fasting. – Jonah 3:5

Fasting for concern for the work of God:

Nehemiah fasted over the condition of Jerusalem. – Nehemiah 1:4

Note from Chris White:
Over the last thirty years, every time I have had to make a major life and career move, I have fasted. One time I fasted for 6 days. The Lord has always provided more clarity to me in my decision process as a result. I encourage you to practice this spiritual discipline. “When you fast…” ~ Matthew 6:16

www.leadership-ministries.com

Comments

  1. Penny says:

    I would like to know if one can continue to fast while having a personal problem at home.With her husband.

    How can one fast correctly. When to eat and what to eat.
    God Bless

  2. Becky says:

    A book that I found VERY helpful and even increased my want to fast is called
    “Fasting: Opening the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with God” by JENTEZEN FRANKLIN (http://www.amazon.com/Fasting-Opening-intimate-powerful-relationship/dp/1599792583/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277572197&sr=1-1) I don’t remember it talking about if you can fast when you are in the midst of a problem, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. I know there was a group of people from the Bible (I am really bad with the stories and trying to remember names) but they were going to get attacked in battle the next day, so they fasted the rest of the night (or maybe 24-HRS). either way, I think it shows that you CAN fast in the midst of problems.

    I hope that helps. Good luck and God Bless

  3. Tameika says:

    I know by fasting brekthroughs happen.I know deliverance happens.I know that all things are possible if I only believe

  4. Silvia says:

    Hi Penny,

    I would like to recommend the website for Rejoice Marriage Ministries. This ministry is dedicated to the restoration of marriages and was a blessing for me during a difficult time in my own marriage (fasting is mentioned in it). Two books that were also a blessing are “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and “Becoming the Woman of his Dreams” by Sharon Jaynes. I give thanks and praise to the Lord our God for providing me with these resources in addition to guidance and encouragement through his Word.

    Just remember that all things are possible through Christ our Savior and that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). Here are are some links for you:

    http://www.rejoiceministries.org

    http://www.amazon.com/Love-Respect-Desires-Desperately-Needs/dp/1594153205/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1389880515

    http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Woman-His-Dreams-Qualities/dp/0736913513/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389880729&sr=1-6&keywords=sharon+jaynes+books

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Silvia~ Thank you for reaching out to Penny through our blog site. We appreciate you being so thoughtful and willing to share your resources. It is such a blessing for us to hear from the Wisdom Hunters “family” of readers!
      I am just sure that Penny appreciates the information, also.
      Thank you for your kindness.

      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

  5. Anne says:

    Are there any references to fasting after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection?

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Anne~ Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your question and what a great question it is! Yes, there are some references to fasting in the Bible after Christ’s crucifixion.
      Acts 14:23 tell us “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and WITH PRAYER AND FASTING, committed them to the Lord…”.
      Also, in Acts 13:2, we learn” While they were worshiping the Lord AND FASTING, the Holy Spirit said ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
      Thank you for your question. We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter.
      I hope that this new year brings joy and peace to you and yours.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

  6. Lorraine Amani says:

    I never fasted before and want to prove to myself, I can be committed to the will of God. That my body is His temple, that I should take better care of it and I should be worthy of His blessings.
    But I’m afraid I’ll start then unable to fulfill my commitment. Do you have some guidelines that I can use through my first 10 day fast to stay on tract?
    Even though I believe, ” I can do all things through Christ that strengthen me.” I’ll appreciate your imput!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Lorraine,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to us. We love to hear from our Wisdom Hunters family.
      For some guidance on fasting, click onto Chris White’s link that was mentioned in the devotional. He has some encouraging points about fasting. Also, Chris’ blogspot: “learningfaithhopelove” is a good resource.
      And of course, our primary “book of instructions”, God’s Word, has several verses on fasting.
      Acts 14:23 says ” Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord”. Goodness, I can’t help but think that the task of helping believers get organized with spititual leaders (so that their churches would grow) was so important, it called for prayer, as well as fasting.
      Your fast is between you and your Heavenly Father. Pray to HIM as you prepare yourself.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

  7. Carolyn Glover says:

    i AM a Diabetic,I want to fast ,I am wondering how can I go about it without following my meds etc.?I really do need to fast for a breakthrough,because I am going through a spiritual battle,so I sure would appreciate any spiritual advice I can get,I am Christian.

    God Bless

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Carolyn~ Thank you for taking the time to get in touch with us. What a great question! As a diabetic, I would be careful and aware of your diabetic needs as you fast. You may even want to contact your doctor first and let him know about the fast. Pray about it and see where God leads you regarding the fast. I am also a diabetic and have fasted a few times that did not counteract my diabetic needs. For instance, I have fasted from all drinks except water and no meals, just small amounts of protein (nuts or yougurt) when needed. There are also fasts from TV, Social media, etc.. Your fasts are between you and your Heavenly Father, so seek Him out. Again, remember your diabetic needs and pray for His guidance in your fast.
      May this new year bring you joy and peace!
      Belieiving and trusting~
      Gwynne

    1. Gwynne says:

      Reading Chris White’s message on fasting was enlightening. When I read Daniels’s reason for fasting it warms my heart that he would choose to fast because his people were not walking in the way of the Lord. Along with Nehemiah, who fasted for the people of Jerusalem, I realize that fasting is not only a way to recognize clarity and discernment, but also quite an act of love for others.
      Chris’s words, along with Boyd’s Devotional “Physical Care Plan” shine a light on the gift that God has given us with our bodies and our minds.
      Praising our Creator for the incredible way He has woven us
      Gwynne
      “For you created my inmost being;
      you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
      I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
      your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
      Psalm 139:13-14


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