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LoveSave
Jul 15th 2008, 06:34 AM
What do you think about fasting? Should we still do it today? How long? How often? I'm a little confused about this, so anyone is welcome to share what they know.

NavyFirefighter
Jul 15th 2008, 07:08 AM
What i understand about it so far is that it is scriptually sound. That said, it is for today. As far as how long and how often, that is between you and God. Fasting may not always be food. It can be anything that the Flesh, your body, enjoys. Also understand that fasting without prayer is just starvation. It is giving up something that the flesh wants in order to push yourself to a closer relationship with God.

Sivsew
Jul 15th 2008, 07:14 AM
Yeah, the point of fasting is sacrificing something important for the sake of relying fully on God to meet that need and draw closer to Him. For example, if you fast from watching TV, then you spend the time you would watching TV instead praying or spending time with Him in His Word.

There are many types and lengths of fasts. Some do from sunset from sunset, 3 days, 7 days, only vegetables, etc. My pastor does a 40-day fast annually, so that should tell you: It can be done with God!

keck553
Jul 15th 2008, 03:33 PM
This is what I have learned about fasting. I always like to put things in context, so please bear with me, and the long post.

Isa 58:6 "Here is the sort of fast I want — releasing those unjustly bound, untying the thongs of the yoke, letting the oppressed go free, breaking every yoke,
Is58:7 sharing your food with the hungry, taking the homeless poor into your house, clothing the naked when you see them, fulfilling your duty to your kinsmen!"
Is58:8 Then your light will burst forth like the morning, your new skin will quickly grow over your wound; your righteousness will precede you, and Adonai's glory will follow you.
Is58:9 Then you will call, and Adonai will answer; you will cry, and he will say, "Here I am." If you will remove the yoke from among you, stop false accusation and slander,
Is58:10 generously offer food to the hungry and meet the needs of the person in trouble; then your light will rise in the darkness, and your gloom become like noon.
Is58:11 Adonai will always guide you; he will satisfy your needs in the desert, he will renew the strength in your limbs; so that you will be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.

3. Turn your heart to God - repent, for the Kingdom of God is here!

God set up a special day for fasting, however it was performed (corporately) externally, not internally.

Lev 16:29 "It is to be a permanent regulation for you that on the tenth day of the seventh month you are to deny yourselves and not do any kind of work, both the citizen and the foreigner living with you.
Lev 16:30 For on this day, atonement will be made for you to purify you; you will be clean before Adonai from all your sins.
Lev 16:31 It is a Shabbat of complete rest for you, and you are to deny yourselves. "This is a permanent regulation.

This day (Yom Kippur) shows us the meaning of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

With our salvation secure in Messiah, the only purpose for fasting is for the internal reasons…this is how it was meant to be - these days I hear that all religions are the same, that there are many ways to approach God. There is only one way to approach God - HIS WAY.

Yom Kippur during biblical times was not an ordinary day. The sacrificing on this day was not like any of the other sacrifices performed during the year. This once a year sacrifice demanded that th High Priest enter the Holy of Holies alone - it was just him and God. He took with him a vessel containing the blood of the goat upon which the sacrificial lot fell. The blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat, which covered the Ark of the Covenant. If acceptable, God received the offering and declared the sins of Israel atoned for.

Jesus' sacrifice was like no other. He entered alone on our behalf, into the Holy of Holies, but not the one built by man. Jesus entered the heavenly Holy of Holies their to sprinkle His blood on the heavenly Mercy Seat. This was now a one time sacrifice, not only for the sins of Israel, but for the sin of the world. By accomplishing this Jesus became our bridge to God. It is the blood that atones for sin. The Temple no longer exists, in fact there is no need for a Temple - at least for the time being. Jesus has and still is accomplishing this Yom Kippur - atonement - for us and for the world in heaven.

So now we know how to approach God. Anyone who does not come to Him HIS way, that is through the blood atonement accomplished by Jesus, is coming in an unacceptable way. There is no other way. God eliminated the necessity of a Temple by satisfying His won commandment on our behalf.

In biblical times, on Yom Kippur, the High Priest had to remove the beautiful garments he wore. God described them as garments of "glory and beauty". Instead, on this day the High Priest was to wear only simple linen clothing. This was after all the day he was approaching God and he could not do so with the clothing of authority, because before God, he had none. The Priest's beautiful clothing were given to him to represent God before the people but on this day. On Yom Kippur, the Priest was representing the people before God.

Likewise Jesus set aside His glory and honor and took it upon himself the humble garment of human flesh. In doing so, He did not set aside His deity, He just set aside His glory so as to humble Himself for us before the Father.

Yom Kippur was given by God as a shadow of things to come. It would remain in effect until the fullness of time, when a better sacrifice would take it's place. The better sacrifice has come.

Today I celebrate that day by looking back at what Jesus has done for us and for the world. We know what God wants us to do. As for me and my house, we serve the Lord.

4. Again, in Matthew chap 4, it's God's way, not the human way. After 40 days of fasting, Moses received Torah - after 40 days of fasting, the enemy tempts Jesus to break the commandments - each temptation is a shortcut to the mission, but they were not God's way. The ends do NOT justify the means, not in God's economy. Jesus' response is from the very scriptures in which He was tempted - His own commands. Satan uses Psalms91:11-12 incorrectly (note - out of context) to cause doubt / disobedience in a shortcut to recognition. Again, Jesus answers with scripture - the question of unbelief reveals Jesus' answer - Immanuel is here and no such sign was needed. Again, the enemy offered a shortcut to coronation - all Israel knew the Messiah was to rule all the world. Jesus answers directly from Torah from the She'ma. The Kingdoms of the world would indeed be His - because He is the Messiah, and the proof lies in that He would obey all that had come from God's mouth.

In conclusion, fasting in the right heart condition is not a work, or a means to what we have already obtained through the atoning blood of Messiah. Fasting is a means to get closer to our Creator, to cease our daily activities, and examine our hearts and minds in relationship to "Love the Lord your God with all your hearts and all your minds" and "Love your neighbor as yourself". God counts trust as righteousness, and the measure of trust is our obedience to His commands. Although fasting anytime is profitable, when the biblical day of atonement comes, it's a good day to remember what our redeemer has done for us and the world, and take the time to get right before our Creator and our brothers and sisters.

I don't know if this is true across the board, but whenever I plan to fast, I have a specific purpose, for example seeking answers to a specific circumstance. Before the fast it seems I am always spiritually attacked, all sorts of things come up that could give reason to delay or not fast. The actual fast isn't always peaceful at the beginning, even though I am deep in prayer. But past the mid way point (whether it's one day or two - I haven't extended beyond that), my mind seems clear and the answers seem to pour out and a peace falls on me like I can't describe, perhaps close to the feeling you have as you are slowly waking, but fully concious and aware. Anyway, I also notice the attacks after the fasting - which are the ones like Jesus had, attacks against the character, soverignty, provision and protection of God. They are in the form of questioning the answers I obtained during the fast, or worldly short cuts to the goal.

Also, I noticed it is not good to tell anyone except your wife or your immediate family you're fasting. Jesus spoke the truth - It becomes a profitless fast if you boast of it. Keep it between you and God.

Lighthope
Jul 15th 2008, 04:52 PM
What i understand about it so far is that it is [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond][SIZE=4]scriptually sound. That said, it is for today. As far as how long and how often, that is between you and God. Fasting may not always be food. It can be anything that the Flesh, your body, enjoys.

I don't recall a single example from scripture where fasting was anything other than abstaining from food.

Lighthope

Pearls of Wisdom - "As you are now, I once was. As I am now, so you shall be. Are you prepared to follow me?" - Epitaph on tombstone

keck553
Jul 15th 2008, 04:56 PM
I don't recall a single example from scripture where fasting was anything other than abstaining from food.




There isn't one.

sunsetssplendor
Jul 15th 2008, 04:57 PM
I don't recall a single example from scripture where fasting was anything other than abstaining from food.

Lighthope

Pearls of Wisdom - "As you are now, I once was. As I am now, so you shall be. Are you prepared to follow me?" - Epitaph on tombstone

I think this is intended for people with illnesses that would prevent
them from fasting - diabetes, high blood sugar, etc. I also think it's
ok to fast from anything that has a high place or dominion in your
life - video games, internet etc.

To the OP, my church is doing a 15 day Daniel fast currently. I am
not participatin this go round - may do the last few days since
I missed the first start of it.

keck553
Jul 15th 2008, 06:42 PM
I think this is intended for people with illnesses that would prevent
them from fasting - diabetes, high blood sugar, etc. I also think it's
ok to fast from anything that has a high place or dominion in your
life - video games, internet etc.


That's not fasting, that's turning your back to idols.

To the OP, my church is doing a 15 day Daniel fast currently. I am
not participatin this go round - may do the last few days since
I missed the first start of it.

It should be remembered that as one fasts, their activity level should be decreased. Also, just in case anyone doesn't know this, keep hydrated

Lighthope
Jul 16th 2008, 07:44 PM
I think this is intended for people with illnesses that would prevent
them from fasting - diabetes, high blood sugar, etc. I also think it's
ok to fast from anything that has a high place or dominion in your
life - video games, internet etc.

What do you base that on?

The reason I ask is because it is easy to start placing burdens upon ourselves that are not scripturally based.

For instance, Jehovah Witnesses do not allow the celebration of birthdays, yet nowhere in scripture is birthday celebration prohibited.

Likewise, if God commands us to fast, and we say "I shall fast from playing video games," is that acceptable to God since nowhere is there an example of fasting being anything other than abstaining from food.

Of course, this also begs the question of being too legalistic. Since everything God commands us is for our own good, then can fasting be so rigid? Jesus said Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath, yet breaking Sabbath law carried the death penalty. Pretty hard core for something that was supposed to be flexible at its heart.

More complicated than it seems. But God is not the author of confusion, yet I admit to being confused.

As far as fasting is concerned, maybe confusion comes from trying to place on God's command something that isn't there. For simplicity's sake, we should refrain from calling fasting anything other than what God gave us the example of what it is: Abstaining from food. Perhaps anything else isn't really fasting in the way God commands it. Paul didn't call celibacy "fasting from intercourse". Neither did Jesus.

Lighthope

Pearls of Wisdom - Bigamy: One wife too many. Monogamy: Same idea...

Ta-An
Jul 16th 2008, 08:08 PM
If fasting is drawing closer to G_d to hear Him more clearly.... then surely it is not just a fast from food, all other things that keep you from hearing G_d more clearly needs to be cut out, like the TV, and radio, and music, and movies etc etc...

NavyFirefighter and Sivsew thus I agree with you :idea:

Ta-An
Jul 16th 2008, 08:13 PM
I don't recall a single example from scripture where fasting was anything other than abstaining from food.

You know you guys makes me wanna pull my hair out my head :o.... if it was written, you'd say... 'that is law, and we are free from the law' :rolleyes:

merjorg
Jul 16th 2008, 08:50 PM
My take is somewhere in the middle on this subject. I also don't know of any Scriptures that specifically mention fasting from things other than food. But, I have definitely felt prompted to give up certain activities in order to draw closer to the Lord and to spend time with Him instead. When I do, I don't feel that it's an unnecessary burden to bear or that I'm placing some ridiculous law upon myself. Maybe next time I feel led to fast from TV for 40 days, I just won't call it "fasting". I'll just say to myself, "I'm not watching TV so that I can spend more time with the Lord."

I don't see how anyone could say that's a bad thing. The only difference is that I took the word "fast" out of it.

Any time we choose to spend time with God instead of engaging in something "fleshly", couldn't it be said that it's a "fast" of sorts?

It seems like it's just terminology that is causing the burden or the yoke. I feel very free when I give up such things.

ravi4u2
Jul 17th 2008, 02:38 PM
The natural is always against the spiritual. When you suppress the natural, the spirtual becomes more alert.

Lighthope
Jul 17th 2008, 04:32 PM
You know you guys makes me wanna pull my hair out my head :o.... if it was written, you'd say... 'that is law, and we are free from the law' :rolleyes:

But then there is the opposite road and you make the law of God of no effect.

Remember that Jesus didn't come to abolish the law, but to fulfil it. When asked what a person had to do, that man quoted the law, and Jesus said to continue doing those things. What Jesus got rid of was legalism and the sin that the law brought with it.

I don't want to derail the thread, so I won't go into law/no law much further. But I will say that God didn't lay down the law just for it to be ignored because Jesus came. The law still serves its purpose.

Lighthope

Pearls of Wisdom - I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.

keck553
Jul 17th 2008, 04:37 PM
You know you guys makes me wanna pull my hair out my head :o.... if it was written, you'd say... 'that is law, and we are free from the law' :rolleyes:


LOL LOL LOL LOL

GOOD ONE!!!! :pp

Ta-An
Jul 17th 2008, 05:18 PM
But then there is the opposite road and you make the law of God of no effect.

Remember that Jesus didn't come to abolish the law, but to fulfil it. When asked what a person had to do, that man quoted the law, and Jesus said to continue doing those things. What Jesus got rid of was legalism and the sin that the law brought with it.

I don't want to derail the thread, so I won't go into law/no law much further. But I will say that God didn't lay down the law just for it to be ignored because Jesus came. The law still serves its purpose.

Lighthope
If you have read any of my posts you'll know how I feel about the law.... :D

theothersock
Jul 22nd 2008, 07:12 AM
I also think it's
ok to fast from anything that has a high place or dominion in your
life - video games, internet etc.


I think it is good to cast off anything that has a high place of dominion in your life.

Sell your video games, give the money away.

Regulate your internet use to research and communication.

*GASP* unplug your tv. And throw it away.

If it is "okay" to abstain from these things that take dominion over your life periodically, then is it not good to cast them away?

Would you prefer to be good or okay?

merjorg
Jul 22nd 2008, 10:49 PM
I think it is good to cast off anything that has a high place of dominion in your life.

Sell your video games, give the money away.

Regulate your internet use to research and communication.

*GASP* unplug your tv. And throw it away.

If it is "okay" to abstain from these things that take dominion over your life periodically, then is it not good to cast them away?

Would you prefer to be good or okay?

Hmmm...interesting questions/comments. I sometimes have a tendency to watch sports excessively and also to play them excessively. And sometimes I feel led to give that up for a period of time. But, I'm not sure God wants me to never play sports again or to cast them away. In fact, I think He wants me to enjoy sports provided that they have their proper place in my life...

The Lord is #1
Sports maybe is #5 or #10...He lets me know periodically when I've allowed them to get too high on the list.

mikebr
Jul 22nd 2008, 11:10 PM
I find it interesting that when Jesus fasted he didn't do it to get closer to God but to withstand Satan.

Lo-Lo
Jul 22nd 2008, 11:46 PM
Fasting is quite powerful but only if prompted by the Holy Spirit. I have done water only, juices only, and raw veggies. Each and everytime I have grown spiritually and learned a great deal on what I needed to change about my life. Not watching tv or banning the internet in my home for a week "fast" does nothing for me. There is something about a growling stomach and relying on God to get you through the day versus giving up material items - the two cannot even be matched.

Fasting brings clarity, humility, forgiveness, knowledge, and repentance= a broken and contrite heart. Fasting should be preached more and encouraged in the church body. If they did, unity in the church body would be shocking and noticed by all in the community and surrounding churches would take notice.

Just my 2 cents,
Laura

merjorg
Jul 22nd 2008, 11:56 PM
Fasting is quite powerful but only if prompted by the Holy Spirit. I have done water only, juices only, and raw veggies. Each and everytime I have grown spiritually and learned a great deal on what I needed to change about my life. Not watching tv or banning the internet in my home for a week "fast" does nothing for me. There is something about a growling stomach and relying on God to get you through the day versus giving up material items - the two cannot even be matched.

Fasting brings clarity, humility, forgiveness, knowledge, and repentance= a broken and contrite heart. Fasting should be preached more and encouraged in the church body. If they did, unity in the church body would be shocking and noticed by all in the community and surrounding churches would take notice.

Just my 2 cents,
Laura

I completely agree that the fasting of food is in a category by itself. "Fasting" TV (or whatever one may choose to call it) is very much different than true fasting. But, you said yourself that "fasting is quite powerful, but only if prompted by the Holy Spirit."

So, what if someone is prompted by the Holy Spirit to give up a hobby for an extended period of time? Is that not powerful too? Does the power of it lay in the fact that it's food or in the fact that the Holy Spirit prompted you to do it?

I have no sound argument (or biblical basis) to say that fasting can be done in many forms. Jesus fasted food. So, this thread has convinced me that "fasting" is a "food thing".

What should I call it, though, when the Holy Spirit prompts me to give something up that is of the flesh (and is not food)?????

Lo-Lo
Jul 23rd 2008, 02:26 AM
It is through fasting that I learn what material items or attitude that God wants me to change. Fasting makes us look deep into the mirror and see what God sees in us; which is why I do not believe you can fast by denying material items. I can give up icecream for 6 months and never learn from the experience. Fasting brings us closer to God in a way I cannot communicate to you very well because it is a personal experience that changes the heart.

Beautifully Tragic
Jul 23rd 2008, 04:20 AM
I fast during Lent, either by giving up something for a month or fasting on Fridays.

This year I fasted on the Fridays of Lent in the "traditional" way (only consuming fish, bread and water on Friday). It became very clear to me at that point that this sort of fasting is NOT good for me. I got very weak, and dizzy, and even though I studied the bible and prayed every morning, I didn't feel closer to God by the end of it.

I think he supported me in my fast though. When I opened my bible on the first day, I picked a random passage, and it was about fasting. On the second day I picked a random passage again, it was about abstaining from things.

Fasting can be useful, and helpful, but you need to know what, when, how is right for you and for your walk with God. The only reason I can't fast traditionally is because of medical things which make me faint.

NavyFirefighter
Jul 29th 2008, 10:04 AM
I don't recall a single example from scripture where fasting was anything other than abstaining from food.

Lighthope

Pearls of Wisdom - "As you are now, I once was. As I am now, so you shall be. Are you prepared to follow me?" - Epitaph on tombstone

There isn't one.

Is not 1 Corinthians 7:5 talking about fasting sex?

LoveSave
Jan 17th 2009, 03:12 AM
I know that this topic hasn't been written in for like halk a year, but I still am confused.


Fasting is quite powerful but only if prompted by the Holy Spirit. I have done water only, juices only, and raw veggies. Each and everytime I have grown spiritually and learned a great deal on what I needed to change about my life. Not watching tv or banning the internet in my home for a week "fast" does nothing for me. There is something about a growling stomach and relying on God to get you through the day versus giving up material items - the two cannot even be matched.

Fasting brings clarity, humility, forgiveness, knowledge, and repentance= a broken and contrite heart.

Whenever I fast, it doesn't seem to do anything beneficial. There was only one time, the first time I did it, that I felt closer to God; the other times I actually would feel bitter and mad at God. The first time I did it, I actually wanted to, and I guess I felt like God wanted me to, but the other times I think I just did it because I'm pretty sure that I have OCD, so I thought that if I didn't fast, than God would be angry. Now I'm kind of in the same situation, because I got a month break from school so I figured I would fast sometime in that time. Well, it's down to the last few days, and I don't want to. Should I still do it than? I don't know how much it will really help, because I feel more like I have to do it.

Also, what do you guys do when you fast? For me, there's only so long that I can pray before I don't know what to say anymore, and there's only so much of the Bible I can read before I get a little bored and frustrated and have trouble concentrating.

reformedct
Jan 17th 2009, 03:41 AM
What do you think about fasting? Should we still do it today? How long? How often? I'm a little confused about this, so anyone is welcome to share what they know.

as many have said fasting is sacrificing natural things (food, tv, music) for the very purpose of drawing near to God. Its not something that you HAVE to do a certain amount of times or whatever, just do it as the Spirit leads or as often as you feel convicted. You can choose to fast everyday. It depends on your hunger and thirst for God. Sometimes when we are fulfilling all of our natural needs, hunger, and entertainment and such, we forget how much we actually need and depend on God to even live. Notice the Bible never gives a demand on how much or how often we must fast. Part of fasting simply involves a longing for Jesus. As HE said, how can they fast when the bridegroom is with them? but now He is not here:cry:

but He is coming!:D

shawn_2828
Feb 10th 2009, 02:55 AM
What do you think about fasting? Should we still do it today? How long? How often? I'm a little confused about this, so anyone is welcome to share what they know.

I have been on a couple of fast. The longest I have gone is a week without food. I enjoyed the outcome, but honestly I did not enjoy the process.

Before you go on a fast, first ask God does he want you to go on a fast. And if God wants you to fast, the Holy Spirit will tell you that you need to fast.

I use to wonder how often to fast and one of my teachers told me, that if you ever feel distant from God, not hearing his voice, falling away from God, and things like that, you should go on a fast.

But just pray about it, or if God wants you to fast, he will let you know.

keck553
Feb 10th 2009, 06:23 AM
Is not 1 Corinthians 7:5 talking about fasting sex?

quite the opposite.