When Ye Fast

BethanySMC - Friday, 23 December 2011 02:29

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:16-18

When Jesus walked on this earth his disciples were accused of not fasting. In defense and to resolve the issue, Jesus explained the matter of fasting in such a way that a time will come and all his people will be fasting. You see, fasting is such a special spiritual exercise that is very essential in the Christian life. We are not required to fast daily, weekly, or monthly; although, for many Christians throughout history fasting, on a particular day, was a regular practice.

Most common reasons for fasting are: victory over flesh and self, victory over sin, and fasting present in a time of sorrow and grief. Fasting is a very effective tool to depreciate expected evil and obtain an answer from the Lord. Fasting doesn’t force God to answer, rather then it is our attempt to humble ourselves before God, draw near to Him and know Him better. As we fast, abstaining from pleasures and food, spending time in fellowship with our Lord in prayer, paying extra attention to His word – God, who knows what we need, gives us abundantly all things, even those things that we pray for.   

Whatever your reason for fasting, when you fast, do it privately! Do not go about showing it off by the way you look; neither blow a trumpet about it. Ask for plain hot water, if for example your friends ask you to participate in a meal with them. Keep in mind you will loose your reward and power of your fasting if you want to impress someone with your piety. Every time you do fast, avoid hypocrisy lest your fasting will work against you. Do not promise someone to fast with them if have no heart for their need. Take a good night sleep while you fast, so you would not sleep throughout the day when you should pray. It also helps maintain that fresh look on your face!

Voluntarily abstain from food and pleasures in order to provide more time for prayer and reading of the word of God. Remember fasting in not an easy exercise, however, it is necessary to keep us in shape spiritually. Some things do not come automatically – some require fasting on your part.

As we are approaching the New Year, draw near to God, ask Him to guide you and keep you in the New Year! Would it be right to thank Him in a very special way?  Maybe it is a perfect time to call for a fast?

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