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 FASTING

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Join date : 2010-08-21
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PostSubject: FASTING   Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:47 am

FASTING

FASTING MEANS TO ABSTAIN FROM PHYSICAL NOURISHMENT.
THERE ARE CLEAR BIBLICAL OCCASIONS WHEN PEOPLE SAT ASIDE TIME
TO FAST. WE HAVE TO TRULY UNDERSTAND FASTING SO THAT IT IS
NOT DONE IN VAIN. FASTING DOESN'T JUST WORK FOR ANYTHING JUST
BECAUSE YOU DO IT, THERE IS A PROCESS...

I. THERE ARE CERTAIN OCCASIONS FOR FASTING:

A. PUBLIC DISASTERS ( 1 SAM 31:11-13)
When Israel found out what had happened to Saul and his sons
( sacrilegious treatment of them) they went and got their bodies and brought
them back and buried them, then they fasted.
They fasted in grief and horror of the disaster.
When things happen we cant grasp or comprehend we need to fast
and to pray and wait on God to reveal his reasons, solutions, etc. to us...

B. PRIVATE EMOTION ( 1 SAM 1:7)
Hannah was so distraught over her taunting that she would grieve in her
emotional turmoil- part of that grieving for herself was not eating. ( fasting)
She did not realize God's plan was for her to wait until years later in her child bearing
so she acted off her emotions. This type of fasting is equivalent to a temper tantrum,
or rebellion- its not with pure motives. There is a such thing as privately grieving that
is healthy, to be grieved over no children should lead to prayer and fasting- not
starvation in a tantrum, same as with all sorrow, or concerns.

C. GRIEF ( 2 SAMUEL 12: 18)
David fasted in grief along with prayer in hopes and reverence that God would let his child live,
but that was not in God's will for him. This kind of fasting and prayer is part of the grieving
process and is natural- its not based off emotions and tantrums but is self denial
to show remorse or sorrow and reverence for God.

D. ANXIETY ( DANIEL 6:18-20)
Sometimes we cannot eat because anxiety has our stomach and minds at odds.
Sometimes this can be normal and healthy responses to situations-like for instance,
getting nervous about getting married, or giving your first sermon. But, sometimes
it can be unnatural fear ( or anxiety) in the form of phobias, or even anorexia- these
are NOT healthy and sometimes need to be treated not only spiritually but physically by doctors.

E. APPROACHING DANGER ( ESTHER 4:16)
Sometimes when you are facing trouble or danger fasting and prayer is the best solution.
In a situation where you are in a house and someone is breaking in, of course you call
the police- and then you pray until they get there but there are situations like, soldiers
going to war, facing a angry mob to speak for God, doing mission work in hostile territory, etc.
that fasting and prayer is PERFECT for!

F. NATIONAL REPENTANCE ( 1 SAMUEL 7:5-6)
There are times where we all need to come together as a body and fast and pray together.
The tragedy terrorist attack on 9/11 would have been a perfect opportunity for that to happen.
As a society we do not do those things anymore which is very shameful but we should do them,
and it should be encouraged!

G. SAD NEWS ( NEH. 1:4)
Whenever we are distraught over sad news before we react to it all, we should fast and
pray so God gives us mental clarity in how to deal with the situation.
We should never react off of emotion no matter how terrible the news really is, we
should fast to find peace and calm through all the storms of life!

H. SACRED ORDINATION ( ACTS 13:3)
Whenever there is any kind of leadership election or missionaries sent out
there should always be fasting and prayer involved for mental clarity.
We must always make our election ship sure, for ourselves and for others,
and the Holy Spirit speaks through fasting and prayer.

II. FASTING HAS THINGS THAT ARE IN COMPANY WITH IT.
WHEN FASTING ALONE ITS USUALLY NOT GODLY FASTING.
THE BIBLICAL THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY FASTING ARE:

A. PRAYER ( Luke 2:37)
Fastings number one associate is PRAYER.
Prayer and fasting are a intimate way to communicate with God.
Break through happen and bondage is broken this way.

B. CONFESSION ( Neh 9:1-2)
Fasting comes with confession to show reverence, sorrow, and remorse
for whatever you are trying to confess and purge yourself of.
This is also intimacy between you and God and brings restoration
and spiritual renewal.

C. MOURNING ( Jowl 2:12)
Mourning with fasting can be a healthy part of the grieving process.
It can help you to find peace as you commune with God.

D. HUMILIATION ( Neh 9:1)
As with mourning, humiliation can be healthy and lead to restoration and renewal but
either abused can be ungodly. Healthy always brings a closer relationship between you and God.
Unhealthy will always bring bondage, or a distance from God.

III. IMPORTANT BIBLICAL FACTS ABOUT FASTING:

A. WE ARE TO AVOID PUBLIC DISPLAY OF FASTING
Read Matthew 6:16-18
We are not to make our fasting obvious, hypocrites do that,
they are seeking human praise when doing so. Jesus specifically
tells us to do so in private and God will reward us.

B. WE ARE TO REMEMBER GOD WHEN FASTING
Read Zech. 7:5-7
The bible clearly calls us to analyze ourselves and our motives whenever we do things
that concern the body, or Holy things of God.
We need to ask ourselves who are we doing these things for, and why are we doing
these things. Remembering God should always be our motive in everything we do ,
church related or not.

C. CHASTENING THE SOUL
Read Ps. 69:10
When fasting and praying it builds our character the things that Satan may throw in our
way to distract, or destroy us. But we should use the opportunity to allow our faith to
be strengthened and our soul to be searched.

D. HUMBLING THE SOUL
Read Ps. 35:13
We are to fast and pray even if it feels that our prayers are unanswered, we cannot stop.
We as humans automatically assume that God is not listening but he is, and he
answers on his time, according to his will. What we think we want or need may not be
his will for us. We should use these times to humble our spirit and have reverence for God.
Humility deepens our faith and allows God to work through us. Sometimes we are meant
to just BE STILL and KNOW HE IS GOD!

E. WE ARE TO CONSIDER THE TRUE MEANING FOR FASTING
Read Isaiah 58:1-14
Fasting is more than a word, it is not just a religious ritual, its a deeper
understanding of God and his will for us. We have to have the right hearts,
minds, and motives when doing fasts or they are in vain!

Fasting is NOT about pleasing ourselves it is about denying ourselved and pleasing God,
humbly and reverently. Right and Just actions bring Right and Just rewards from God!

IIII. THE RESULTS OF PROPER FASTING

A DIVINE GUIDEANCE
Read Judges 20:26-28
Divine guideance is when your motives are pure and your fasting and prayers are heard by God.
In these situations he answeres or sends a messanger, or sign- he answers and lets you
know what he wants you to do in your situation.

B. VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION
Read Matthew 4:1-11
The other option in fasting and prayer is TRIUMPH over whatever situation you
are intercessing for. Jesus overcame his temptations with prayer and fasting.
We should look to Jesus as our role model in fasting and in prayer.

WHEN WE APPROACH GOD APPROPRIATLEY< HE WILL HEAR OUR PRAYERS!

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