Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fasting- are you up for it?

It seems that God is directing us toward an extended fast. As I have been praying, I hear God saying "21 days". That is a rather extended time of fasting. I am hoping that you will join with me in the fast. I anticipate the first 21 days of 2009 will be the timing of the event. Can you join with me? If you need to think through it keep reading.

When is fasting valuable?
(1) Fasting may be beneficial in times of mourning. David and his men mourned and fasted upon hearing of the death of Saul (2 Samuel 1:12), and Nehemiah did also when he was informed of Jerusalem’s poor condition (Nehemiah 1:4). Fasting and prayer is fitting when a loved one is critically ill (2 Samuel 12:16).

(2) Fasting frequently accompanied repentance as an outward and genuine sign of sorrow for rebellion (1 Samuel 7:6). Even the pagan people of Nineveh proclaimed a fast when face with their sins (Jonah 3:5).

(3) Fasting was practiced in connection with great and important spiritual moments. Moses fasted during that period when he was receiving the Law (Exodus 34:28). Christ fasted prior to his encounter with Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2). The church fasted before sending Barnabas and Saul on that perilous first missionary campaign (Acts 13:2-3). Fasting was certainly a component in the dynamic ministry of Paul (2 Corinthians 6:5; 11:27). It is seemingly preparatory

Fasting can, however, be abused. It is never a replacement for personal godly living. Isaiah rebukes very strongly those who fasted improperly(Isaiah 58). Fsating cannot be an occasion for being proud. The Pharisees were guilty of 'wearing their fast' (Matthew 6:16-18).

Consider these thoughts as you fast;

(1) The Scriptures teach that God honors fasting when performed as a token of deep and sincere dedication.

(2) Doctors tell us that moderate fasting can be a benefit to health, having the effect of allowing our systems to occasionally cleanse themselves.

(3) The mind is more accutely aware during periods of fasting.

(4) Fasting trains us to be self-disciplined.

(5) Fasting also teaches us to be thankful for what we have.

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