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What is Fasting

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Q: What is fasting?
It’s intentionally emptying oneself to be receptive to something else. When Christians fast, they become receptive to a closer relationship God and to being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Rules

Dont have to say what you are fasting from

A fast is spiritual, and it can be used by people to brag how holy, spiritual they are.
Matthew 6:16–18 ESV
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Don’t say how long of how short you are fasting for.

Don’t have to admit that you are fasting or not fasting.

For all we know each one of us could have just come here from a big meal. Even if that were the case and you are the only person doing it that’s alright.

NO shame for

If you are not fasting, do not feel ashamed that you are not.
If you broke your fast because you forgot, thats fine. No condemnation.
We will all work to do better next time.
I do highly recommend that you do it because God calls it a good thing to do in our lives.

When you fast, you shouldn’t:

-Fast to be seen by others -Fast for a reward -Fast to be more holy or righteous

But when you fast, you should:

-Fast to deny oneself -Fast to deepen spiritual hunger for God -Fast for God’s intervention
Q: Why is food and drink the main thing that fasting focused on?
Taking food away make you physically weaker. Your body doesnt respond the same, your mind doesnt respond the same.
You are in a place where you literally force yourself to depend on God and not your own strength.
Speaking about a food fast, how do you feel when you are on it?
Is there a difference between fasting and just going hungry?
The primary Biblical reason to fast is to take our eyes off of the things of the flesh and to open our eyes to the things of God.
What is required to fast?
Hebrews 12:7–11 ESV
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Q: Why would discipline be a major part of Fasting?

What do we see in the Bible?

David fasted when his son was sick and about to die.
2 Samuel 12:17–23 ESV
And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Fasting in mourning
Daniel 10:1–3 ESV
In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.
Fasting and prayer as a sign of repentance and confession
1 Samuel 7:6 ESV
So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah.
The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Fasting in Association with Danger)
When Haman’s decree to kill the Jews reaches the provinces of the king, there is mourning and fasting for the Jews.
Esther 4:3 ESV
And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.
Esther 4:16 ESV
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”
The Lexham Bible Dictionary Fasting in Association with Danger

Esther, who is about to risk her life by seeking an audience with the king, proclaims a three-day fast for all the Jews in Susa.

Has anyone experienced the spiritual benefits from fasting? Can you share?
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