Challenge / ReGroup

ReGroup: Fasting

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”  I throw that quote out a lot but it always seem to come up when I feel called to fast.  ReGrouping your life is all about simplicity.  What better way to have simplicity than to fast.  Fasting can be a sensitive topic because you feel like less of a Christian if you don’t do it or intimidated when you know someone who is fasting or you may not even know where to start.

12.  Fasting

A couple of months back I read a great article on DesiringGod.org about fasting.  David Mathis said, in that post, “Our problem might be how we think of fasting. If the accent is on abstinence, and fasting is some mere duty to perform, then only the most iron-willed among us will get over the social and self-pampering hurdles to actually put this discipline into practice.”  Ouch.  Man, David Mathis that hurt.  It hurt but it’s true also.  Today our church made an emphasis to collect food for local food pantries for Global World Hunger Relief day.  While watching the video about this day and listening to the statistics about world hunger I wondered how many people gave up a meal today voluntarily.  It was just a fleeting thought.

Back to fasting and regrouping…If you feel God is calling you to fast I find it easier to have a plan.  Because not eating is hard it’s best to pray and get direction about the length of your fast, what you are fasting from, what are you hoping to gain from your fast?  In Don Whitney’s book, “Spiritual Disciplines,” he gives the following purposes of fasting in the Bible:
* Strengthening prayer (Ezra 8:23; Joel 2:13; Acts 13:3)
* Seeking God’s guidance (Judges 20:26; Acts 14:23)
* Expressing grief (1 Samuel 31:13; 2 Samuel 1:11–12)
* Seeking deliverance or protection (2 Chronicles 20:3–4; Ezra 8:21–23)
* Expressing repentance and returning to God (1 Samuel 7:6; Jonah 3:5–8)
* Humbling oneself before God (1 Kings 21:27–29; Psalm 35:13)
* Expressing concern for the work of God (Nehemiah 1:3–4; Daniel 9:3)
* Ministering to the needs of others (Isaiah 58:3–7)
* Overcoming temptation and dedicating yourself to God (Matthew 4:1–11)
* Expressing love and worship to God (Luke 2:37)

I started this post with a quote that comes to mind when I think of fasting.  Well, David Mathis has the same thought.  Here are the closing words of his post, “It is a desperate measure, for desperate times, among those who know themselves desperate for God.”

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