Did You Know?

Did you know that the real purpose of fasting is about oneself? Part 2

by A Life In Spain
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Did you know that the real purpose of fasting is about oneself? Last month it was outlined in simple terms the purpose for fasting in Scriptures. Many fast for a variety of reasons. The reality is that fasting to the Christian is beneficial, if done in the right spirit and context of the word of God. Lets look at the Scriptures again to find some examples of fasting.

In Psalms 35 and verses 9 to 14 David fasts for his enemies who were sick “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord, it shall rejoice in his salvation. All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, which delivereth the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? False witnesses did rise up, they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick…I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother. I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother”.

Nehemiah fasted and prayed when he heard bad news about the affliction of his people. In Nehemiah chapter 1 and verses 3 and 4 it states “And they said to me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach… And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fastedand prayed before the God of heaven”.

In the book of Isaiah there is a clear example of the real purpose of Christian fasting. In Isaiah chapter 58 and verses 3 to 7, 9 it explains “… Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure and exact all your labours. Behold ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness, ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul?… Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer, thou shalt cry, and he shall say, here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity”.


From the above quote in Isaiah it is clear that fasting changes us, our attitude towards Yehovah God and to others, and develops our character to Yehovah’s (Jehovah or God) standard. Within the same chapter it speaks of keeping the Sabbath. What does it say? Isaiah chapter 58 and verses 13 and 14 reminds us “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I shall cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”.

Some may say there is no need to fast in these times. But what does the New Testament say about fasting? At the beginning of Yeshua’s (Jesus) ministry he fasted. Mathew chapter 4 and verses 1 and 2 says “Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred”.

Some disciples asked Yeshua or Jesus about fasting. Mathew chapter 9 and verses 14 and 15 records “Then came to him the disciples of John the Baptist, saying, why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said to them, can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast”. Also in Mark chapter 2 the same question was asked and in verse 20 Yeshua or Jesus replies “But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them and then shall they fast in those days”. This explains that whilst he was with them in person, there is no need to fast, but after his death and resurrection, they would fast.

The Scripture explains how you should fast. Mathew chapter 6 and verses 16 to 18 clarifies “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance. They disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly”. When you fast as an individual, it should only be known between yourself and Yehovah God. You should never advertise it to others. Yehovah will reward sincere Fasting.

Fasting is a blessing if conducted in accordance to the Scriptures. Fasting has many benefits to the believer. Fasting from food helps to rest the organs in the body, which is good for health purposes. It also keeps the mind focused on Yehovah (Jehovah). Fasting humbles us to recognise the need for a relationship with our Creator. It helps and encourages us to grow in faith and trust. How does this work?

When time is taken out of our daily routines of life and directed towards the Almighty Yehovah God (Jehovah), a two way conversation takes place. We speak to him in prayer and he speaks to us through the holy spirit, which declares his words of truth in the Scripture. John chapter 17 and verse 17 says “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth”. Also in John chapter 14 and verse 6 it explains “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me”. He alone can read the hearts of people and able to direct their paths in life.

I hope you have learned more from the Scriptures. Next time I will continue with Fasting (Part 3).

If you would like to know more, contact Sandra on 602 466 534.

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