Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Monday, February 15, 2010

When You....

In Matthew 6 Jesus says, "When you give...." and goes on to describe how you should give. This is good because I give and I need to know how He wants it done.

He goes on to say "When you pray...." and teaches us how to pray. This is good because I pray and I want to know how to deepen my relationship with Him.

And then He says, "When you fast...." do it this way. Fasting...huh? Not IF I fast, but WHEN I fast. Me, not so much fasting.

Here's my question for you all: Do you fast? If so, how? If not, why not? If yes, why? I know, I know, that's more than one question. I want to grow my faith, that's a given. Where does fasting play a part in your spiritual life? Where are you on this question, bearing in mind that we are all different and none of us is wrong?

15 comments:

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

Because of blood sugar issues I don't do a real food fast but sometimes, for the spiritual discipline that fasting represents, I will give up one food or something like t.v. I don't think the Lord is so concerned that it is a complete food fast but rather showing Him that we are serious about what we are fasting about.

Lori said...

Our church does a 21 day fast at the beginning of every calendar year. This year was the first I participated and fasted Facebook. Here is what I learned...
I should have spent the time I typically would have on Facebook reading God's word more than I did. That was the whole point of the fast and I missed it.
I should have fasted something I would give up entirely even when the fast was over. I went back to Facebook and knew I would so what was the point.
Next time I would fast something and really concentrate more on why I was doing it and contemplate and pray during that time.
I feeled like I failed at it this year but I'm learning. I guess I'm a baby faster. :) Lessons learned!

Angie said...

No I don't fast. thought of a prologed food fast fills me with dread! I have never had much success in fasting any particular food either because while I may well decide to give up, say, chocolate, hubby doesn't and I would not inflict my fasting on others. Truth? I can't see that it serves any useful purpose.

kimbuktu said...

I am fasting from sugar for a couple of months. And I've tried fasting from food completely in the past (not very successfully). I do believe there is value to it. Have you read "God's Chosen Fast?" It is a good book on the subject.

Maggey and Jim said...

Love the stippling, think you did a great job and silly me put the fasting on the stippling post....Duh!!
Maggey

Robin Hill Quilts said...

Hi Marlene!
The pattern for the quilt on my blog is called House on Willow Hill~ You can find the pattern on www.willowhillquilts.net ~ I'm sure if you check around on the web you can even find a kit! This was a favorite of mine to quilt~ Thanks for your nice comments~
About fasting~I have been sugar free since Jan. first and it has been a struggle with great benefits..by that I mean having a sense of peace that i have kept my promise to myself and as my best friend always tells me "You can only build a better you" when I get around to thinking something in my life needs changing...so I have begun with myself...and I have been lifted "up and over~"
best,
sugar free E

Rose Mary said...

I have never fasted, Marlene. I've thought about it~prayed about it even, but it still hasn't happened. I know several people that do on a regular basis.

You are right, Jesus says, "when", so I know we are supposed to do it. I'm just not sure "when" exactly the right time is.

I'm interested to know more what you learn about it.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

I promised to fast one day this week. Oops. Had forgotten. I only try to fast one meal. I once fasted 21 days. It wasnn't hard at the time. Now it terrifys me to think of it. Fasting a meal is not the problem but praying that time is the problem. Its a tough thing but I believe in it.

zees5 said...

Well it's funny b/c I just heard a message on fasting on our local Christian radio station a couple of days ago and I have to agree that since the bible say "WHEN you fast", not IF then we should fast. I do believe it needs to be a food fast to be the most spiritually beneficial since the bible speaks of no other. Part of the fruit of fasting is that if we can give up food (a requisite for living) then we can give up anything else and that can really break strongholds.

I have low blood sugar, but have found that making a lemonade with 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup for 4-6 lemons and 64 oz. of water(no other sweetener can be substituted) makes for a very safe fast without crashes. You can alternate with one 8 oz. glass of water and one 8 oz. glass of lemonade throughout each day.

I do think it is very hard to fast when you have children to prepare meals for. But it is good for our children to see us fast and once they are 7 or 8 years old they can pop a hotdog into the toaster oven, fix a sandwich and pour a bowl of cereal for themselves so come to think of it, maybe it's time for a fast???

zees5 said...

Oops, I didn't answer your question. Fasting is a great way to deny our bodies so we can be filled with the Holy Spirit. It also frees up time (otherwise spent on eating and meal prep) for us to be with the LORD.

That said, the first day of fasting is the hardest. The second is much easier and in my opinion much more spiritually fruitful.

If you are thinking about fasting go to biblegateway.com and do a word search on fast and that will show you when people in the bible fasted, why and the results. It is a great way to seek answers from God and goes hand in hand with prayer.

I hope I have encouraged you in some way. ~Page

Marie said...

We fast the first Sunday of every month and then at church that day, we bear our testimonies if inspired to do so. Our fasts are always accompanied with special prayers as well. I think fasting helps you to focus more clearly on the important things and for some reason my prayers seem more focused as well. I don't know why this is. We also give the money we would have spent for the meals we have given up as a fast offering, which goes into our humanitarian fund. I think fasting is a good thing all around! xxoo

Arkansas Patti said...

Perhaps if we fast, we could better appreciate those who do it, not by choice but by circumstances. One day is the best I can do.

Valerie said...

I do believe in fasting and know a lot of people that do it faithfully. I have to admit that I am not good at it. We do something at our church that makes it a little easier on weaklings like me! We choose to give up something in our lives whether it be food or t.v. or computer or something for a certain amt. of time. I do believe though with all my heart.

Littlebit said...

I'm just thankful that fasting has nothing to do with my eternal security. I think a lot of people fast because they are "told" they should, not because there is any conviction to do so. Thank the Lord that He sees our hearts and doesn't hold our feeble attempts against us. Nice post.

Carrie P. said...

Our church usually does a fast during the beginning of the year. I have participated just about every year. This year I did a Daniel fast and I can't believe how good I felt while on it. I can say that I am actually trying to stick with it. But my flesh gets in the way sometimes. I love a good bread and butter.
I fast for many reasons. And I think when you fast and deny the flesh you can hear from God. I also think that food is what we have to fast not TV or other things we love.