Additional Thoughts: August 12, 2018

This week I completed a two part message on fasting. You can view those two videos from the links below:


Here are some additional thoughts from today's message.

Scripture

  • Isaiah 58:1-5 This was the basis for last week's message
  • Isaiah 58:6-10 This was the basis for this week's message

It's not about you

In the passage we examined in this message we see where the Israelites were only concerned with themselves as they fasted. They complained because they "fasted" and didn't feel like God was listening or answering their prayers. Fasting is not about getting God to do what you want Him to do, it's about denying yourself in order to grow closer to Him.

It's not just about food

Fasting is also not just about doing without food. It really is about denying yourself. This means it CAN be about food, but it can also be about doing without any number of other things.

A few years ago I felt the need to do a 40 day media fast. So, for 40 days I didn't check Facebook, or any other social media. I didn't do any email, except where I had to for work. I didn't even watch TV. During those times that I would normally have done those things, I prayed, read my Bible, studied and just tried to hear from God. It was an amazing time of growth for me.

For many a fast from Facebook or social media might be an easy thing. For other the thought of 40 days without TV might actually be a relief. If your either one of these people, then this is not the kind of fast for you.

Additional Scripture

  • Matthew 6:16a "When you fast..."
  • Mark 914-29 "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."
  • James 2:17 "...faith without works..."
  • Romans 8:8 "All things work together for good..."
  • Philippians 1:21 "...to live is Christ..."
  • Jeremiah 14:12 A warning against false fasting

Methods of fasting

  • Daytime fasting
    • Judges 20:26
    • 1 Samual 1:12
  • 3 day fast
    • Esther 4:16
  • 7 day fast
    • 1 Samuel 31:13
  • 40 day fast
    • Exodus 34:28
    • Matthew 4:1-2
  • 3 week fast
    • Daniel 9:3, 10:3
  • "Daniel fast"
    • Also called a vegetarian fast
    • Daniel 1:11-16
  • Other fasts
    • Ultimately fasting is about denying yourself and leaning into Jesus. For this reason, sometimes the stuff that needs to be removed in order to deny yourself is not food. Here are some examples:
      • Video games
      • Television
      • Social media
      • Internet
      • YouTube
      • Secular Music
      • Movies (or certain TYPES of movies)
      • Sweets
      • Meat

Quotes

  • "Fasting in not simply about doing with food. It is about denying yourself, regardless of what form that takes." - MN
  • "Sometimes our job is to PRAY. Sometimes our job is to be the ANSWER to prayer." - MN
  • "When we fast, pray, AND work to me the needs of the people around us. THEN our light will "appear like the dawn." - MN
  • "How many people around us are in darkness and just waiting for the light of morning? WE HAVE THAT LIGHT!" - MN