How are you? How is your week going? Have you thought about fasting this week?
The topic of fasting is an uncomfortable one. It may even seem like an unnecessary one. But we do see it in Scripture as a spiritual discipline. Jesus talks about it. The church in the book of Acts practices it.
Food has a significant place in Scripture. We talked about that this past Sunday. That’s why food represents a good thing that can be turned into an ultimate thing. And unfortunately, our lives are filled with such ultimate things.
But fasting is an opportunity for us to realize the truth of our idolatries and repent of them. Fasting is an opportunity to experience outwardly what we are feeling inwardly. It is a representation of our true spiritual hunger, and it is an opportunity for us to realign our perspective. It is a time when we can see that God is the ultimate, and He is all that we need and desire.
We are able to receive the fullness of God’s presence, because Jesus received the fullness of God’s judgment for our sins. We are able to be satisfied in God, because Jesus experienced the ultimate thirst, hunger, and restlessness on the cross as He received God’s wrath for us.
Like the Puritan, Robert Bolton, said: Fasting is soul-fattening. We don’t fast to impress God or to be more righteous before Him. We fast, because we have been saved and have His righteousness imputed to us. We fast to be reminded of the fullness of the salvation we have received in Jesus by faith.
Here are the biblical reasons why we should fast that I mentioned this past Sunday (from Donald Whitney):
  1. Worship (Luke 2:37)

  2. Strengthen prayer (Ezra 8:23)

  3. Seek God’s guidance (Judges 20:26; Acts 14:23)

  4. Express grief (1 Samuel 31:13; 2 Samuel 1:11-12)

  5. Humble ourselves before God (1 Kings 21:27-29)

  6. Express concern for the work of God (Nehemiah 1:3-4)

  7. Repent and turn to the Lord (Jonah 3:5-8)

  8. Long for Jesus who is with us and who is to come (Mark 2:18-22)

  9. Identify with the needy (Isaiah 58:6-7; my addition)

And here are some tips for fasting from Daniel Doriani based on Matthew 6 and other parts of Scripture:
  1. Fast regularly

  2. Fast prayerfully

  3. Fast secretly

  4. Fast corporately

  5. Fast humbly

  6. Fast creatively

Pray and think about it. Maybe you can fast in the next few weeks. And may it encourage and bless you as you hunger and thirst for our God.
Have a blessed week. See you on Sunday for Lord’s Day Worship either in-person (ask about pre-registration) or online!
In Christ,
Pastor Tim
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