Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Life in the Fast Lane

Photo* by Photopin plus some Photoshopping by me.
My husband and I developed the habit of fasting in January as well as throughout the year. Fasting is what I call spiritual discipline. It has a lot of great benefits such as these listed in the Dake's Annotated Reference Bible:

• Fasting humbles the soul before God (Psalm 35:13)
• Chastens the Soul (Psalm 69:10)
• Crucifies the appetites and denies them so as to give the entire time to prayer (2 Samuel 12:16-23, Matthew 4:1-11)
• It manifests earnestness before God to the exclusion of all else (1 Corinthians 7:5)
• Shows obedience (Matthew 6:16)
• Gives the digestive system a rest (Matthew 6:16-18, 9:15, Luke 5:33)
• Demonstrate the mastery of appetites;
• Aids in victory over temptation;
• Helps to attain power over demons;
• Develops faith;
• Crucifies unbelief;
• Aids in Prayer (Matthew 4:1-11; 17:14-21)

How long should one fast?
It depends on individual desire and needs (Matthew 9:14-15; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Acts 13:1-5)

Fasting has been an amazing way to get closer to God. I feel like I recalibrate my walk with God when I fast. I am able to hear from God and get some amazing direction for my life. The words of Isaiah 58:11 really come to pass in my life when I fast. At the end of it, I feel refreshed like a well-watered garden. I feel like I am a spring of waters because I have received so much from God I am able to give to others.

The challenge my husband and I have is to continue to make fasting a part of our lifestyle. I feel really inspired when I read or listen to the teachings of Pastor Jentzen Franklin on Fasting. This time around I went back and read about the basics of fasting. I also listened to teaching and read the Scriptures for myself, especially the story of Daniel, Matthew 6 and Isaiah 58.

I also have a greater awareness that fast is NOT twisting God's arm to do something I want. God is a good God who loves me and has promised to bless me. During the fast, I am in a position to receive all the goodness that God has stored for me. I went from a place of begging for stuff to the position of a Daughter who has an amazing spiritual inheritance in Christ.

I encourage you to search the Scriptures for yourself and live in the Fast lane.

QUESTION: What are the benefits of Biblical Fasting in your opinion?

*Photo Credit: kyz via photopin cc