Jump to content

christian forums

Worthy Christian Forums - Christian Forums

Welcome to Worthy Christian Forums
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Reason for fasting?


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
26 replies to this topic

#1
accensa candela

accensa candela
  • Members
  • 8 posts

I have been seeking different ways that I can strengthen myself as a Christian and fasting comes to mind. I know fasting should be kept between the person fasting and God but is there a particular scripture on why fasting is done? I am thinking it is to strengthen ourselves by humbling ourselves, but I'm really not sure.



#2
OneLight

OneLight

    Royal Member

  • Servant
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 26,426 posts

Read Isaiah 58.  This shows why and why not ...



#3
treetopflyer

treetopflyer

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 374 posts

Along with Isaiah 58, please read what Jesus taught concerning fasting.  You'll find it in Matthew 6:16-18. (I believe you may of already been there considering that you do know this is between you and God.  I include it because it was the first Scripture I read about fasting, and have held to it's truth).

 

God bless you,

Randal



#4
accensa candela

accensa candela
  • Members
  • 8 posts

Thank you both for replying, very helpful. I have been there Randal, but not for a while and I did not recall where exactly it was so it was nice to see.

 

God bless,

Mike



#5
Willamina

Willamina

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,105 posts
We are to seek God's face and pray to Him earnestly from the heart during this time. (Don't just repeat a written prayer.) As you said, it is to humble ourselves so that we can hear God better and be willing to obey. But faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So for strength of faith, I have also heard it even helps to read the Bible out loud to one's self. I always ask God to speak to me through His word, as well.
Blessings
Willa

#6
destroytheworksofthedevil

destroytheworksofthedevil
  • Banned
  • 14 posts

I find it may be the hardest thing to give up food for a time. I believe fasting is a form of self we give up for a time, to give of ourselves to our Father. The times I have fasted have been so awesome, and have recived answers I had been seeking. It is also is very good for the body and mind bring clearity to me.



#7
Seeking1

Seeking1
  • Members
  • 25 posts

How do some of you fast? Have any of you ever done a Daniel Fast or an Esther Fast? How have you done them? What foods/drinks did you include/exclude? For how long (days) did you do them? Thanks!



#8
rebbell

rebbell

    Junior Member

  • Banned
  • PipPip
  • 199 posts
 

I have been seeking different ways that I can strengthen myself as a Christian and fasting comes to mind. I know fasting should be kept between the person fasting and God but is there a particular scripture on why fasting is done? I am thinking it is to strengthen ourselves by humbling ourselves, but I'm really not sure.

 In order for Him to increase; I must decrease
When I am weak; He is strong.

These are immediately what came to mind when I read your post. Fasting weakens the fleshly body and strengthens the inner man.

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. What are you feeding the spirit man within you? He craves the Word of Truth, not that nasty movie you are about to watch.

For Him to become stronger within you and your life, HE must be the center of your life. HE waits on us to want (not necessarily need) Him. Do you know how many people only talk to Him when their lives are in need or in pain? then when things settle down they need Him no more. Want Him to come and be your life and He shall.

He is your best friend. Be His best friend as well. Now, that you are seeking more of Him, give to Him more of you. He will meet you there.

God bless you

#9
Cletus

Cletus

    Veteran Member

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 654 posts

The bible says the flesh and The Spirit war against one another.  When you fast you make the flesh weaker.  I have found when I fast it puts me more in touch with the Spirit being stronger in me.  I think when you fast it causes God to notice and have compassion due to abstaining from whats allowed compared to the original sin in the garden of eden of eating what was forbidden.

 

@seeking1...  I know a brother who has been on the daniel fast for 4 years.  However when I fast i ussually do water only no food, 3 days seems to be as long as I can go.



#10
ajchurney

ajchurney

    Junior Member

  • Junior Member
  • PipPip
  • 164 posts

Just to clarify, The body is not "the flesh" in the sense of its fallen sinful desires. Paul explained that sin dwells in the body.  We don't battle our own "tent" that God gave us, but the invader of Adamic sin that indwells the body.

Fasting from food or media or whatever is only as spiritually effective as it is replaced with something that is focused spritually. That is the point of Is 58. Simply starving the body can do more harm than good and make one even more given to sinful desire or faults! Jesus rebuked the pharisees, as they were actually even more prideful in their false humility when they fasted. Paul said that he fasted in order to keep his body in subjection to the spirit (born again inner man, or "new man"). Fasting definitely needs a clear spiritual focus and purpose in order to be edifying, but it is definitely one of the Christian disciplines clearly recommended in the NT. Richard Foster wrote a book called "Celebration of the Disciplines" that is a classic and quite conservative and acceptable to most Christian traditions and persuasions. Foster teaches on fasting as one of the disciplines.

Blessings, Andy



#11
Donibm

Donibm

    Advanced Member

  • Members *
  • PipPipPip
  • 304 posts

If I may....

 

... and I like this topic.

 

Here is my perspective, so, consider these things.

 

 

#1

You show God that you are willing to sacrifice self in order to get a breakthrough.  Now THAT is commitment.  I believe He honors that.

 

#2

And this is more important than #1 - but it is a COMMANDMENT.  Fast and pray.  Too often modern Christians think that the Bible is full of "observations to be considered" instead of "commandments to be obeyed".  So, you are on the right track in your thinking, now you just gotta at the "obey" part.  After all, Jesus said blessed are they who keep MY Commandments (not traditions, or Law of Moses, or the 613 Mitvot (the true Law), or ... but MY Commandments)

 

#3

This is important.  In some ways, I feel that the level of importance is in ascending order.  So, this may be the most important one of all.  So, try and get this and understand it ... if you can.  If you cannot, think on it as you get in bed to sleep.  Meditate on it. 

 

When you fast, you are telling your flesh "NO".  Of everything that your body craves - drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, retaliation, loose lips, murmuring, violence, envy, etc.  Of everything, FOOD is the one thing the body NEEDS.  And it is CONSTANT.  Those other temptations are seasonal.  They come and go ... until you overcome them through the blood of the Lamb.  But food?  LOL  Good luck ever overcoming the bodies cravings for it.

 

But, this is what I know.

 

When you FAST, you are mastering (exercising) the ability to tell yourself ... "NO!"

 

You are actually EXERCISING YOUR FAITH.

 

And in doing that, when you are faced with that idiot who gets you hot under the collar, you know to say "NO!" to your flesh that wants to hit him or curse him.

 

When lust creeps up on you to sin with that woman (or man, for you women) or go to that easily accessible porn site, you have exercised that muscle to say "NO!"

 

When frustration and disappointment and pain cause you to do all measures against God, even blame God (dangerous game that), because you have fasted frequently, you have MASTERED YOUR FLESH and you have BROUGHT YOUR FLESH UNDER SUBJECTION, so you are better able to say "NO!" to your base instincts.  You have learned to "deny yourself"

 

Are you following?  Are you able to receive that?  Does it make any sense to you?

 

 

I believe this is all PART of fasting.  But, on the flip side of the coin, what is its opposite?

 

GLUTTONY

 

 

 

So, since gluttony is clearly a LACK of self control over the flesh, fasting, being the polar opposite, IS control of the flesh.  Likewise, since God HATES gluttony, then, He must LOVE the faster (one who fasts).

 

 

I hope that makes sense.  I'm not sure if everyone can receive that, but that is what fasting is to me.



#12
Donibm

Donibm

    Advanced Member

  • Members *
  • PipPipPip
  • 304 posts

True.  Fasting while in sin, or comfort (especially sin), takes away from the effectiveness.

 

Like, if I fast, but I'm arguing with my wife, murmuring against my boss, watching violent TV full of bloodshed or curse words ... then my fasting is not fruitful.  Might as well be a mere "diet".



#13
Tazcontrol

Tazcontrol
  • Members
  • 90 posts

When I was growing up we used to fast during lent season. It was to cleanse  your body and repent of your sins so that you could be made clean when taking the communion offering.



#14
Sunflower

Sunflower
  • Members
  • 54 posts
Woah

I have a situation I'm battling with, and for the past few days I keep hearing "3 days" in my head... I don't know what it means but I get the sense it has to do with fasting... I have been persevering in prayer, but I'm not sure about fasting... I've never fasted in my entire life!

#15
OakWood

OakWood

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,637 posts

I did a fast once before I became a Christian. I intend to do one again sometime but this time with prayer etc. I did four days, no food, only water. It's not too difficult but the first day I found really hard.



#16
Maui Ice

Maui Ice

    Junior Member

  • Junior Member
  • PipPip
  • 135 posts

I've only ever fasted once in my life and it was as a middle-schooler our Youth Group did a 30-hour famine. It of course was new to me at the time but we were able to focus our time that weekend on God. Songs, missionaries, prayer requests, volunteer work to help the less fortunate. It was a great way to spend time devoting our resources to God and putting aside the thought of food fulfilling our bodies as we let Christ be the Bread of Life for us and fill us up with our hunger for Him.



#17
Love is alive

Love is alive

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 410 posts

Fasting is done to deny self (by denying food we are denying our own needs or self and focusing on the will of God) and it is also done to get clarity to the mind concerning the will of God. I have done it and did not eat but did drink, however, I have never done the fasting of the book of Esther in which I fasted without food or drink.



#18
ADisciple

ADisciple
  • Members
  • 12 posts

This thread has helped me better understand Isaiah 58.

 

It's my understanding that fasting isn't just about denying onesself ...

 

If you abstain from food for 3 days (for example), then you are to take that food you would have eaten and give it to someone who is truly starving. If you go clothes shopping for yourself more than you should and you want to "fast" from that ... than go and buy clothing for that family down the street who are wearing rags.

 

Love your neighbor as you love yourself = one of 2 commandments that Jesus gave us.

 

By giving up something (fasting) ... and giving that something to someone else who truly needs it ... I think that is the point of Isaiah 58 ... and the point of fasting in general.

 

A lot of Christians use Lent as a time to give up something during the Lenten season ... but fasting should be a year-round endevour.  This is something I need to work on myself.



#19
enoob57

enoob57

    Royal Member

  • Soapbox - Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,167 posts

I have been seeking different ways that I can strengthen myself as a Christian and fasting comes to mind. I know fasting should be kept between the person fasting and God but is there a particular scripture on why fasting is done? I am thinking it is to strengthen ourselves by humbling ourselves, but I'm really not sure.

It is understood always by the greatest example set before us that of Our Lord...
Right after His baptism at the start of His ministry of the cross. Knowing He had put aside
His attributes As God -> so As Man He took His Spirit (The Holy Spirit) with full reliance
upon the moment by moment supply of righteousness into the wilderness of this world now given
over to satan to battle the most basic question of all questions 'what is life truly about?'...
The Spirit of God both Father and Holy Spirit initiating all strength and reason into The Son,
As Man, takes Him to the point of death by starvation; and in this this very teetering edge allows
satan to come to Him and with all that satan has as arsenal (things of this life and ordinances)
satan plies his trade to the Perfect Lamb of God- the temptations. The directives we see in Jesus'
Life Was His Word and in That Word Was Life Lived out in this very important scenario as example
to us all-> if we are to truly understand what truly born again into a living hope 'IS' it is here:

Our lives are not about (I learned this approach from Joe)thank you loved one!
Matt 6:31-33
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink?
or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles
seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things
shall be added unto you.
KJV

Bottom line-> Life came From God not the ordinance of food and In Life we are to be foundationed!
So that when we eat it is given directly from the Hand of God for that witness and we fast to
remember this most significance of order ordained by example of Jesus so to deliver us from the
error of darkness in our minds...

Nor is it about requiring proof more than what God has given in His Word... satan requiring
of God proof that He 'IS' God by forcing Him to force His Father charge of angels to deliver!
Matt 4:7
7 Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'"
Matt 12:39-40
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;
and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was
three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and
three nights in the heart of the earth.
John 8:44
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer
from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh
a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
KJV


Nor is it about the pride of life or what others think or who's who but only God and we His created.
Matt 4:10
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship
the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
KJV


As this is the element of the fast and the depth is the heart that seeks first God with all that is
within its ability >realizing completely< the need Of God The Holy Spirit to make it so... thus we
are transformed to be able to start the work of God within ourselves Delivering His Word By His Spirit
unto a world that we want nothing that it contains but only the souls that respond and are born again...

Love, Steven

#20
Diatheosis

Diatheosis

    Advanced Member

  • Advanced Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 369 posts

The hardest thing in fasting to begin with is the habit of eating in the mental sense. Once the fasting has been done a couple of times, it will become much easier since the mind already knows the pattern. Hunger itself will pass, even when not fasting you can find that to be true. After a while the feeling of hunger if not satisfied will decrease.

 

The thing is to get enough nutrition to gain some physical strength. My longest time was fasting for two week basically with water only, herbal teas were consumed in the beginning, with water in which I added Himalaya salt and sugar in its natural form. But in the last days when the body and the mind had already gotten familiar with the concept, water alone was sufficient. But it is of great importance to drink.

 

As for the spiritual aspect, it sure releases much time and energy for being with God since eating and food are not concern. It can be described as a very euphoric feeling. I found it very natural to be with God and feel His presence during this period of time. In fact, I would have preferred to continue longer since it felt so good.

 

It's about being more present in spirit than in the flesh. Jesus went on fasting too for those 40 days to be with God only.

 

But do it with joy, and if possible when you have time on your own. I was working in a kinder garden for the first days of that particular fasting period. 






Worthy Christian Forums - Christian Message Boards - 1999-2014 part of the Worthy Network