a note About fasting

from pastor joe...

We're going to take some ground in our walk with God over the next 21 days.

From the beginning of New Chapel, we have made it a priority to seek God first in prayer. We do this collectively as a church in January and August through 21 Days of Prayer. These two months are intentional, as they begin new seasons of the year. Together, we faithfully seek God first, trusting in His power alone to create lasting impact in our lives, our church, and our world.


If you sense God has more for your life, 21 Days of Prayer is a great place to start believing Him for all that He has for you. As you practice seeking Him first, He will move on your behalf like never before. You will start to see the power of prayer impact your relationships, work, family, and every area of your life. We would love for you to be part of 21 Days of Prayer!


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“…When you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:16-18



Fasting is all about winning the war in the spiritual first.


I can’t think of a better way to start a devotional tool like this than to take inventory of our spiritual condition. The best way to, “win the war in the spiritual” is to consider a fast. Please check with your doctor to ensure you are ready to embark on these various fasts. 

Get ready for spiritual breakthrough in your life!

                                                                        

What is Fasting?

Fasting is doing without food for a designated period for a special and spiritual purpose. 

 

It's not something for fanatics or monks up in some holy cave; rather it's a normal Christian way of life for the New Testament believer. The New Testament mentions fasts and fasting nearly twice as much as prayer! That's not to say that fasting is twice as important as prayer, but it may speak to how misunderstood this discipline is. The root of disciple is discipline. The cost of being a disciple of Christ, is that we must discipline ourselves to His ways. Fasting is a discipline of the Christian faith and has been embraced as a part of orthodoxy since before Christ. Fasting is for every Christian Disciple.


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Is Fasting Healthy?

People don't die from Biblical fasting! People die from over-eating! You can dig your grave with your own teeth. John Wayne died with 50lbs of impacted fecal matter in his colon. Think that's gross?  Elvis had 70lbs of fecal matter in his colon, found after his death! Wow! Besides the spiritual benefit, Biblical Fasting is a God-designed relief to your digestive track. When you submit yourself to a fast, your body has the opportunity to clean house and release toxins.

 

Dr. Oda HF Burdlinger, a medical doctor who had supervised more than 70,000 fasts said, "Fasting is a royal road to healing for anyone who agrees to take it for recovering the regeneration of body, mind and spirit. It can heal rheumatism of the joints and muscles, diseases of the heart, circulation, blood vessels, stress-related exhaustion, skin diseases including pimples, irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, diseases of respiratory organs, allergies, and eye diseases."


That just cites what medicine says a fast can produce...

Think about what God can do for you in a fast spiritually!


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What are the supernatural benefits of fasting?


There are four primary rewards that come from fasting that are

beyond the natural and medical element:

            1. Supernatural Physical Healing

            2. Salvation in Your Family

            3. Financial Breakthrough

            4. Spiritual Connection With God and Others

 

The New and Old Testaments record Biblical Fasting…

Moses: He fasted two separate times; 40 days

Paul: 14 days (eyes were healed)

Peter: 3 days

Joshua: 40 days

Daniel: 21 days

Jesus: 40 days (before God sent Him into His earthly ministry)


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There are significant lengths of Biblical Fasts. 

1/2 Day Fast is from sun up to 3pm

Whole Day is a 24hour period

3 Day    (3 is the number for holiness or perfection in the Bible.)

7 Day    (7 is the number for completion.)

14 Day  (14 is 7 times 2; 2 represents unity in the Bible)

21 Day  (21 is 3 times 7; giving the meaning "perfect-completion”)

40 Day  (40 is the number for testing. There are interesting parallels between Christ's 40 day fast and the 40 days He spent on earth in His resurrected body. Tests prepare us for where God is calling us.)

 

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When is the best time to Fast?

Good news! There is never a good time to Fast- so now is as good as any! You need to determine to fast, regardless of schedule. Honestly, most people say that the first 2-3 days are hell on earth. I agree! You’ll probably notice more people giving you free food; things like birthday parties, anniversaries, and friends asking you out to breakfast, always seem to happen while you're on a fast. Just process the emotion of it all, and move on with this discipline. You have to push through the "now pain" and realize that your personal and corporate breakthrough is on the other side.

 

Remember, this is a discipline of Christian faith!

Jesus urged us in Matthew 6:33 to, "Seek first the Kingdom of God ..." 

At New Chapel, we’ve got to put first things first! 


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There are several different types and kinds of Biblical fasts:


>> Types:

1. Private Fast

This is when an individual calls for their own personal fasting time with God.

The power of one person seeking God is powerful!


2. Public Fast

This is when Christian leadership calls for a Public Fast.

The Bible says that one can chase 1,000- two can chase 10,000!

 

>> Kinds:

1. Normal Fast

Going without food; only drinking water and/or juice.

(Drink one gallon of liquid the first day...)


2. Absolute Fast

Going without food or water.


3. Partial Fast

(Commonly called “Daniel Fast.”  See Daniel Chapter 10)


Partial fasts look like:

A. Restraining from "meats and sweets" 

(Bible calls it meats and pleasant breads)


B. Restraining from "pleasant drinks"

(Bible notes wine; so let the caffeine go, start slow!)

 

By the way... 

Fasting is not from 12am - 7am! Most of us "fast” that anyway... I know I (often) do!


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Why does a fast, "work?”

Fasting releases the blessing of God, not because God is pleased with you changing your eating habits. Fasting doesn't work because you're twisting God’s arm, either... Fasting does something to you: it starves your (very loud) flesh. Because you are a tripartite being (you are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body), fasting quiets your soul and your body to release the work God is trying to do through your spirit-man into the natural. 


Sound like a lofty task? Well...

Let me put it this way: God is always trying to bless you, heal you, and take you higher. Fasting gets the “fleshy” you out of the way so God can accomplish what He's desiring for you. 

 

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Need some scripture on this?

I Kings 21:9, “Proclaim a day of fasting…”

 

Jeremiah 36:6, “So you go to the house of the LORD on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the LORD that you wrote as I dictated. Read them to all the people of Judah who come in from their towns.”

 

Daniel 9:3, “So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”

 

Matthew 6:16, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

 

Matthew 6:18,“...so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

 

Mark 2:18, “Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?"

 

Mark 9:29, ''This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting."

 

Luke 2:37, “...and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying.”

 

Acts 13:2, “While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

 

Acts 14:23, “Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.”


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Convinced? 

Want to learn how to start?

You need a plan! You need to have scripture in your heart to defend against the attacks that surely will happen against you. The great news- God will grace you, or enable, you to do this. You're more than a conqueror!


Use this list of questions to write your fasting goals:

☐ What are you fasting? 


☐ How long?


☐ Why?


☐ What do you expect to receive?


☐ What do you expect to purge?


☐ What are your confessions during this time?


☐ When will you set apart time to pray?


☐ When will you set apart time to worship?

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If this is your first time fasting, start with one meal, one day, or a few days. Though Biblical fasting is forgoing food for a period of time, you can also fast other luxuries; such as TV, Movies, or coffee treats. Only do what God directs & you'll be fine.


Now, Let's seek God in a public fast and watch miracles happen on our behalf!