Why Do We Fast?

 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4

During the month of February, I want to challenge you all to pray about fasting together through the month of March. I know—you just read the word “fasting” and you’re ready to quit reading.

You may have never heard of fasting. Biblically speaking, it is the deliberate choice to go without food for a period of time for a spiritual purpose. Fasts can vary in the amount of time and food:

  • Normal fast: No food, but liquids are consumed
  • Partial fast: Only certain foods are fasted from (Daniel 1:8-14)
  • Absolute fast: No food and no liquids (Ezra 10:6)
  • Supernatural fast: Moses and Elijah (40 days and nights without food or water—Exodus 34:28; 1 Kings 19:7-8)

However, you don’t have to go without food in order to fast. Fasting can also be the deliberate choice to forego any activity that we daily consume. In the Bible, this was almost always food and water, but today, it also can be other activities like social media, television or sports. Remember, though, in order for the fast to be successful, one must really miss the activity they are giving up.

What’s the Point of Fasting?

But why should we fast? What’s the goal or the purpose in fasting? Here are some biblical reasons:

  • Fasting is observed in order to draw closer to God.
  • Faithful fasting can loosen the grip of worldly things on our lives.
  • Fasting exposes what we love most. Is it truly God or some form of idolatry? Do I most want to do God’s will or my own?
  • Jesus fasted as a part of His strategy to defeat Satan (Matt. 4:1-11)
  • Fasting helps up humble ourselves before God (1 Kings 21:27-29)
  • Fasting enables us to express repentance (Jonah 3:5-8)
  • Fasting helps us seek God’s guidance (Acts 14:23)

How Does Fasting Work?

Instead of using your time to consume food or some other entertainment, use that time for spiritual development. Pray. Read the Bible. When you think of how hungry you are, use that time to draw near to God. When you would ordinarily listen to sports radio, turn on a sermon podcast. When you would normally scroll through Facebook updates, open your Bible and read through the Psalms.

This month, please pray about fasting, and consider joining us in March as we fast together as a church family.

Pastor Jason

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