Why We Fast
WHAT IS FASTING?
Fasting is mentioned 77 times in scripture. Biblically, fasting can either be done corporately for a shared vision or desire, or it can be done privately where it is something personal between you and God. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that Jesus commands us to do. In Matthew 6:16 Jesus says, “When you fast…” not if you fast. The time we would normally spend eating should instead be focused on prayer and scripture.
How Do I Fast?
Fasting is traditionally abstaining from food, but can be done in many ways. As we fast, we allow God to sustain us in ways we may not feel are possible. Some may fast social media, tv, coffee (terrible, I know), or anything we feel we cannot live without. As we do this we allow the power of the Lord to fulfill us. Every time you notice you are hungry (if fasting food), stop and pray. He is bigger than our earthly needs.
Fasting does not impress God. Fasting does not win God over so He will immediately give us what we have been asking for. If that was the case, we would not have the need to trust in Jesus like we do. Fasting is not self-sacrifice, for nothing but the sacrifice of Jesus’ life Himself can redeem us before the Father.
We do not fast to get things from God. In the New Testament, there are many times when followers of Jesus fast in hopes to see God bring something come to pass. It is an amazing thing to fast believing in the mighty power of God and the work He can do, but our confidence is not in the work of the fasting itself but in the work of Jesus Christ, believing that He will meet our needs. (Philippians 4:19)
Why should we fast?
Fasting is something that needs to be a discipline. If we are not disciplined when we fast we will not receive the full blessing of fasting that God has in store for us. Not only can we fast to build our faith and reliance in God, but we can fast in times of need, in times when we need guidance, or in times of spiritual hardship. We can fast for anything.
FAST WITH US THIS WEEK
This coming Wednesday, we are calling our church body to a corporate fast with our staff and elders. If we expect to abound in the works of God, then we have to abide in God. Join us this Wednesday as we practicing abiding in God through fasting and prayer.
Fasting is a temporary way to remind us of our need for God and how our souls should rely on Him daily. Psalm 34:8 says “Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”. He is so good that we can ask Him to fully sustain us – and He will.
Grace Savage is the Deacon of Music and Liturgy at Doxa and has been on staff for two years. She graduated from Northwest University in 2019 and enjoys coffee, time on the water, and spending time with her family.