Monday, October 6, 2014

Ought We to Fast?

Scripture: Matthew 9:14
Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

Insights: We have finally made it to the New Testament on Sunday mornings.  As a church we are praying and contemplating the possibility of adding a full time associate pastor and a part time ministry assistant to our staff here at FBCBG.  In this vein of thought, therefore, it was appropriate to preach on this passage in Matthew chapter nine as a way of gaining clarity and confirmation as to whether this decision is the right decision, right now.  We at FBCBG want to walk in the center of the Lord’s will and we need His guidance continually.  In today’s verse Jesus is asked why His disciples do not fast when it is part of the practice of other religious individuals.  This question opens up the door to us to ask the same question, ought we to fast?  If we give an affirmative answer, and I think it is an affirmative answer based on the rest of the verses we will read this week, then we must ask when ought we to fast?  The list could be long, but let me list three times.  One, when you are facing a decision like the one we as a church are facing.  Two, when you are in the middle of spiritual battle.  Daniel is a good example of this kind of fasting.  Three, when you desire to strengthen your spiritual disciplines.  What ought we to fast is another good question we can ask of ourselves as well.  Fasting, in the biblical sense, is literally the abstinence of food.  We even use a term in our daily lives that pertains to this abstinence from food.  That word is breakfast.  It literally was used to describe the breaking of the fast from the day before.  With modern medicine, however, it is unwise for some to practice a complete food fast.  What then are some alternatives?  One may choose to fast a specific meal for a period of time.  One may choose to fast from a specific type of food or beverage.  Typically, this kind of specific food or beverage is something that has gained mastery over you like coffee, chocolate or ice cream.  There is still another type of fast that I would highly recommend, especially in the modern day in which we live, and that is a technology fast.  For a length of time stay off of the internet, except for work specifically related to your employment.  Continue this technology fast with the purging of television and movie watching.  Add one more to this technology fast and eliminate the listening to the radio, iPods, etc.  You would be amazed at how much of your time is consumed with technology.  The point, Beloved, is we ought to fast and the previous information is some basic guidelines about fasting.  God bless you as you fast and seek the Lord.

1.  Are you currently needing direction, fighting a spiritual battle or practicing the spiritual disciplines that make us stronger in Jesus?
2.  Have you contemplated the possibility of fasting as one of the tools God has provided in our arsenal?

Prayer: Father, all too often I try to fight this spiritual battle on my own and continually fall short time and time again.  Lord strengthen my heart to incorporate fasting into my life patterns and let me walk in such a fashion that it brings You glory and me clarity.  Amen.

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