Positive results – Biblical examples
- A nation is saved from extermination – Esther 4 (especially verse 16)
- The city of Nineveh is spared God’s judgment – Jonah 2 and 3 (especially 3:7-8)
- Evil spirits were cast out – Matt. 17:14-21
- The will of God is revealed – Acts 13:1-4
- Leaders are appointed by means fasting and prayer – Acts 14:23
Why do we fast?
- To inquire about God’s will pertaining to a situation – Judges 20:26-28
- Spiritual preparedness to overcome temptation – Matthew 4:2 and 3
- Humility before God – Psalm 69:10
- When in danger, for protection and deliverance – 2 Chron. 20:3, Ezra 8:21-23
- Fasting is a type of worship – Luke 2:37, Acts 13:2 and 3
- Because we are concerned about the work of God – Nehemiah 1:4
- Fasting manifests our commitment to God to the exclusion of all
- Fasting crucifies the appetites in order that all available time can be given to prayer
When do we fast?
- When the Spirit of God leads us – Luke 4:1-2
- When I, as the individual have the need – Matt. 6:16-18
- When the church as a whole is called to fast and pray – Joel 1:14 and 2:15 and 16
Fasting is not…
- A diet or hunger strike – it is a very specific spiritual practice with profound spiritual implications!
- An opportunity to brag about your spirituality – when you fast, the Bible teaches us to do so privately and as unobtrusively as possible. Matthew 6:16-18
- Read Isaiah 58 where God Himself explains what He considers to be true fasting. Matthew 6:1-8, 14-21 is also important.
- FASTING and PRAYER ALWAYS go together!
Blessings of Fasting
- Fasting brings fresh revelation of God’s will – Dan. 9:2, 3, 20-22, 10:1-3; Acts 27:21-24, 10:9-11
- Fasting humbles us – Psalm 69:10
- Fasting can be part of spiritual warfare, and according to Isaiah 58:6 free the oppressed
- Fasting may avert God’s judgment – Jonah 3:5, 9-10
- Fasting helps you to show your body who is boss – 1 Cor. 9:27, 6:13-20
Various methods of biblical fasting
- Normal fasting – abstaining from all food (i.e. solid and liquid foods) – but NOT from water – Matt. 4:2
- Total fasting – no eating or drinking at all – Acts 9:9 (maximum period: 3 days!)
- Partial fasting – “Delicious food, I have not eaten meat or wine entered my mouth come…” – Daniel 10:3 (Some Christians call this a fruit and /or vegetables fast or a Daniel fast.
NOTE: Your motives and attitude in the fast, not the particular food you consume or don’t consume, is important. Whether you’re just on carrots or juice is not important to God.