As Christians we are supposed to live disciplined lives that should challenge others to discover who the God is that we serve
We are supposed to be self controlled and disciplined as Christians.
In the Past, our church has done a Daniel fast for 21 Days and this year we’re not doing it
Complaints about length, about food, about cost, about weight gain, about the Biblical nature
Very easy fix- this year we’re going to do a Biblical fast and consume only water. (how at the end)
But first let me talk about something we don’t talk about in the church enough
One of the areas that Christians don’t talk about is gluttony
Proverbs 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
Gluttony isn’t an event, it is a lifestyle. In the Christian world, we have to abstain from every manner of flesh, so food becomes the acceptable sin that isn’t talked about
It produces guilt, shame and cyclical bingeing like any other sin in our lives.
I’m not body shaming. I’m not saying you need to be a super model. I’m saying that being gluttonous is a lack of self control and we are supposed to live self controlled lifestyles.
I can’t preach about sin and not touch on a lifestyle of overindulgence of the flesh
Proverbs 23:2 And put a knife to your throat If you are a man given to appetite.
This is the thing that Christians don’t talk about .its what we do every day and its something most of us have struggled with and I want to help you overcome it
We must serve the God of the Bible in all that we do- and if we can’t control our stomachs, we will lose. If we can control our stomachs, we can overcome many sins through the HS
Ezekiel 16:49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
1Tim 3:1-5 READ
The Original sin in the Bible had to do with food-Adam and Eve ate the fruit
We need to be people with self control- in all areas- and that includes FOOD. WE need to MASTER IT
And the KEY to the breaking of the Glutton and the lack of self control is found in Fasting.
It brings you closer to God- and it teaches you self control.
the word fast in the Bible is from the Hebrew word sum, meaning “to cover” the mouth, or from the Greek word nesteuo , meaning “to abstain.” For spiritual purposes,
•The Bible gives examples of God’s people occasionally combining fasting with their prayers so as to stir up their zeal and renew their dedication and commitment to Him.
King David wrote that Psalm 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart.
David saw fasting as a way to reignite zeal for prayer. It humbled him.
Fasting is primarily an act of willing abstinence or reduction from certain or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time.
An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day (24 hours), or several days.
Fasting is the pushing away of the plate.
Abstaining from food for the purpose of spiritual growth and clarity of God’s Word and PRAYER
Let me make this clear… Fasting has to do with food.
If you stop watching TV or going to the movies or not using your microwave is not Fasting.
We don’t fast to move God, we fast to move us closer to God.
2 Samuel 12:21-23 READ
What had happened was, David fasted when he needed to hear from God, but once he realized what God was going to do, he just got on board with God and got back to eating.
Fasting isn’t about God moving what we want- its about us lining up with what God wants.
REASONS WE SHOULD FAST
1. Jesus commanded it
Matthew 6:16-17 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
Jesus fasted. Jesus told his disciples to Fast. If they did it in the Bible, we should do it
We’ve done the DF in the past- I know some people might miss it- you can still do it, but we’re doing it the Jesus way- The Bible way- We’re going without food
I started Fasting when I was in college- it was painful- but I did it
2. Fasting help us Master our sin
Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
when those strong urges in life seem to always over take or as the scriptures say… “Master you” Fasting helps you master your flesh and put it under control of your spirit.
1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Sin wants to destroy you. And it destroys through its desires- your FLESH that wants to sin
But we must take part in it- we have a role to play in mastering our flesh- we have to fight it
Fasting teaches self control. If you can go without food- you can go without anything, because you fight the basic instinct of man- eating.
3. Fasting helps us master our Soul.
Psalm 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart
Depression, loneliness, anxiety, inadequacy, can be very load strong holds on our life and we succumb to these spirits we become ineffective as Christians.
When you deny the flesh, you go to prayer- that’s the whole point- you don’t eat and you PRAY and it becomes spiritual food for you- and your emotional issues fade away
You need to become a person whose response to calamity is fasting. Denial of the flesh
You want to see growth? Become a faster
4. Fasting helps us Master ourselves
Fasting and Prayer Put You into the Best Possible Position for a Breakthrough
That breakthrough might be in the realm of the spirit. It may be in the realm of your emotions or personal habits. It could be for someone else, or something you don’t know
1 cor 6: 12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
It may be in the realm of a very practical area of life, such as a relationship or finances.
What I have seen repeatedly through the years-not only in the Scriptures but in countless personal stories that others have told me — is that periods of fasting and prayer produce great spiritual results, many of which fall into the realm of a breakthrough.
LIfechange, job, relationships, spiritual growth, finances, health
THIS IS WHAT YOU DON’T DO WHILE FASTING
ISAIAH 58:2-5 READ would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord?
THE PROPER WAY TO FAST ISAIAH 58:6-11 READ
SO how do you do a Biblical fast
I am not a doctor. If you have health concerns, consult your doctor before fasting
If you can’t and I mean CANT. Find the most personally excruciating thing you can do to fast
TV for a month. No internet. No Music. No entertainment for 3 weeks. PAINFUL
But for those of you who can-
You make a decision to do so- There will be a time to pray about it for future reference in your life, but this isn’t the time
This is a spiritual discipline- do you pray if you should pray? Jesus said ‘when’
You drink only water for a period of time
You must drink lots of water
1-2-3 plan for three weeks. This wed, next tue, wed, next mon, tues, wed
Some people will struggle with this. .Maybe a 1-1-2 or a 1-1-1
24 hrs 9 to 9 or the full amount- Becareful what you eat when you come off the fast
You don’t announce it to everyone
Jesus said Matthew 6:16-17 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
Its no bodies business what you’re doing. Plan around it. Don’t post it on facebook. Don’t announce it at work
You pray instead of eating an preparing
If you just don’t eat you’ll miss the point. If the first day is easy- you have to make it painful
The pain of it doesn’t impress God- it gets you to press-in to get closer to God
Make it a lifestyle- I fast on average one day a week for 24 hours. Keeps you spiritually sharp