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Jesus Is The Lord...     1 Cor 12:3

Fasting

First off what is Fasting?

Fasting is covered in both the Old and New Testaments so let's look at some Hebrew and Greek definitions. (I use a Strong's Corcandance for finding definitions)

Strongs Hebrew word # 6684

to cover over (the mouth) i.e. to fast

Strongs Hebrew word # 6685

a fast

Strongs Greek word #3521

abstinence (from lack of food, or voluntary and religious)

Strongs Greek word #3522

 to abstain from food (religiously) 


Fasting is a very important tool of believers, but, is probably the most neglected spiritual weapon in the church.

First of all, let me say what fasting is NOT...

Fasting is NOT keeping yourself from a favorite activity or hobby.

Fasting is NOT skipping desert for several nights in a row.

I have heard of people keeping themselves from going to the movies or not eating their favorite meal for several days and say this is a fast.

It may be the new modern day politicaly correct way of fasting, but it is not what Jesus was speaking about when He talked about fasting.

Fasting is not eating food for an extended period of time.

for example: If tonight you eat dinner and tomorow you do not eat anything at all until the morning after tommorrow, then you would have fasted one day.

Fasting is a personal decison that you must make. No one can tell how you should fast, or for how long.

IMPORTANT: Be smart about it. Don't decide to go forty days without food and water for your fast. If you have a physical condition such as Diabetes then you should have a doctor's supervision and guidance. God does know what your limits are and will not hold it against you if your longest fast is one day when someone else can go three. For those who are healthy and have a clean bill of health, they are the ones I believe God will hold accountable to fast. And for those who can't, I believe God will have respect to you

Your Motive when you fast is very important to God. If you fast so you can say to your friends at church your fasting then you are wasting your time.

If you are fasting to gain some power from God be careful. Although God does want people to seek after Him with all our hearts and this may include fasting, just be sure it is for the true annointing from God your seeking not a lust for power.

Fasting according to the Bible should be a part of a believer's life.

John the Baptist's disciples asked Jesus why His disciples did not fast and replied to them that they would later...

Mattew 9:14-15

Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.


Jesus gave the dicsiple's instructions on how to fast.

Matthew 6:16-18

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.


Fasting can also be used in spirtual warfare against Satan.

Fasting along with prayer can be used to deliver people from evil spirits, whether it be oppression from a spirit or even if the demon is inside of a person.

Mattew 17:14-21

And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Jesus made it clear that your fasting is to be in secret so that no one else knows that you are fasting except God. If you fast this way it helps to ensure your motives are right, that you are not fasting so that people can see you fast.


Fasting can also be found in the Old Testament in the book of Isaiah Chapter 58

Isaiah shows many promises God gives for those who fast with the right heart. God promises to answer prayer and break the bands of wickedness for you if you fast the right way.


Isaiah 58

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.

 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.


Isaiah also speaks about fasting for the wrong reasons. The people were fasting to argue instead of fasting because they were seeking God.

Another thing that Isaiah says is that the people stoped working while they were fasting. They were not keeping up their daily duties.

While you are fasting and seeking God your life should continue very normally unless you have set some time aside to be alone and seek God in prayer. Just because you fast does not mean you are to lie around the house and be lazy.

If you are giving up your chores around the house or your job duties because your are fasting then you are trading less work for no food. Fasting is not a trade off to God it is you sacrificing your body's desire for food in obedience to Him and to seek a closer relationship with Him.


Psalms 35:13

But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.