“The discipline of fasting breaks you out of the world’s routine”. Jentezen Franklin
Now, this is a table we know a lot of believers are on- Fasting. As you have reflected on your posture towards Lent, you’ll realize how weak you are at the practice of fasting. As you think about how to correct that weakness though, say to yourself ‘I don’t want to give something up for the sake of giving it up. I also don’t want to practice fasting to fit in with a spiritual image to appear holy when my heart isn’t actually engaged’. All that you need to know as a Christian about fasting can be learned through reading the Scripture and books. Fasting is a discipline that has become neglected in most of our discipleship training. (Sighs)
Biblically, fasting is mentioned in both the Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament, it was often a way of expressing grief or a means of humbling one’s self before the Lord. In Psalm 35:13, David humbled himself with fasting. In the New Testament, it was a means to grow closer to God through meditating and focusing on Him. In Matthew 4:1-2, Jesus went to the wilderness to fast for 40 days. In Matthew 6:16-18 we learn that we aren’t to look sober while fasting so that it’s not obvious to others when we are fasting. Now, this is quite funny among “BELIEVERS”. Most times when they are fasting, they look sick, weary like they were forced to participate in the exercise. The bible says it should be practised the other way round.
Throughout the New Testament fasting and prayer are often mentioned together. In Acts 13:3, “they had fasted and prayed.” In Luke 2:37 a widow worshipped day and night fasting and praying.
But at no point in Scripture is the focus of fasting on those who fast, but rather, on the Lord.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.” This means that Lent is not a season to restart those failed attempts at your New Year’s resolutions. It’s not time to try out a new diet. It’s not a time to cut back on your use of social media because it causes you to be discontent. It means that if you choose to give something up to fast this season of Lent, the purpose should be to shift your focus from being on you and your needs to being on the Lord.
As we fast we can seek the Lord in a number of ways. We can spend time in prayer, read Scripture, meditate on Scripture and pray with others.
As you consider giving something up for Lent, consider fasting in this season to commune and depend on the Lord.
Joel 2:12, Daniel 9:3-5
- Asides from the general church fasting program, do you take out time to fast on your own?
- What is that one thing that takes away all your attention?
- Are you currently doing anything to expand the kingdom of God
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