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Kelli
11-24-2010, 04:05 AM
Fasting to Feast

I was always somewhat confused about fasting. I wasnít entirely clear of its purpose. When I prayed and asked God to show me why, He opened my eyes through studying His Word. The Bible gives us several reasons for fasting. Fasting keeps you focused. Before I wrote this dayís study, when I tried to fast. Iíd put lots of cream and sugar in my coffee. I would try to trick my stomach into thinking I wasnít hungry by drinking a lot of water. While doing this study, I realized thatís the whole point of fasting. Every time you feel hunger, it reminds you to pray. It makes you so close to God, as your flesh submits to the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 34:8 Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

There may be some confusion about the word ďflesh,Ē we tend to think of flesh as the covering of our bodies, but thatís not what the Bible is talking about when it says flesh. The dictionary defines flesh as, the physical nature of humans as distinguished from the soul (or spirit) we are Flesh and spirit the flesh is the physical nature of human beings. The human part of us and our will, fleshly, not spiritual, worldly, carnal sensual. The Biblical describes the flesh as the weakness of man, Mark 13:48, such as apostles sleeping in Gethsemane. The flesh is the earthly part of man it represents lusts, desires, and primal reactions.


Our spirit part of us always wants to follow God and His ways. Our flesh part of us always wants to please the flesh. The flesh always wants to take the easy way. There is always a battle for control. The more you feed the flesh, the stronger it gets. By starving the flesh part of you, you make the flesh weak. Fasting and prayer brings the flesh part of you under submission to the spirit part of you.

By fasting, you tear your affection away from earthly desires and instead you seek Gods desire for you. When you fast and pray, you feast on the Spirit. You feel close to God. It humbles you, and makes you acknowledge your dependence on God. Every time your soul is afflicted, it brings your focus back to God. Your hunger pangs are like a spiritual alarm clock, reminding you to pray. When I fast and pray, it brings my sins into focus, I can see them for what they are. I get a greater clarity of Godís will for me. My spirit man is in control of my flesh man. I understand truths in the Bible that I hadnít seen before.

Fasting and prayer always go together. When I was trying to assuage my hunger by adding cream and sugar to my coffee, it wasnít really fasting, because instead of praying when I got hungry, I tried to fix my discomfort. Fasting without prayer isnít fasting; itís just missing meals. Cutting away the flesh man, takes prayer and fasting. You are in the flesh when youíre not trusting God.



Love, Kelli


EZMONEY
11-24-2010, 08:16 AM
Great topic Kelli :)

I have fasted before,when I was hurting from situations in life, but it is not something I do on a regular basis.

The following is what my church (LCMS) teaches



Nowhere do the Scriptures teach that fasting is required as a way of "earning" God's grace or favor. During the Middle Ages, many requirements were placed on Christians, including some that suggested that by fasting one could earn more merit before God. The central issue at stake in the Lutheran Reformation was the Scriptural teaching that it is God, in Christ, who has earned our salvation. We contribute nothing to that salvation, but only received --through faith--the benefits of Christ's suffering and death on our behalf.

That doesn't mean that fasting is wrong. Jesus speaks about fasting in Matthew 6, saying "When you fast..." (not "If you fast"). Fasting has always been recognized by Lutherans as a potentially useful and God-pleasing means of exercising discipline over one's own mind and body (see, e.g., Augsburg Apology XII, 139, 143). As Luther explains in the Small Catechism, "Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training. But that person is truly worthy and well-prepared [to receive the Lord's Supper] who has faith in these words: 'Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.'"

So, should you choose to fast at a certain time or in a certain way, do it as a way of "honoring God with your body" (1 Cor. 6:20). Use it as a time to be reminded that man does not live by bread alone (Matt. 4). But also recognize that God does not require this as a way of "earning points" with Him. You are His free and forgiven child in Christ.

Kelli
11-24-2010, 06:46 PM
Gary,

Thanks for your post, that is so true, it seems like Satan will use anything he can to beat up on us, so we really have to be careful about that. In fact, if I am not having an easy time of fasting and I am feeling like I have to use my own willpower, I take it as a confirmation that I should quit fasting for that day.

I have also fasted makeup before, isn't that funny. I did it, because I had always thought what I looked like was sooooo important, I felt like I was worth less than when I had makeup on. So, I fasted makeup for forty days, just to prove to myself that people would not run away screaming.:yikes:


EZMONEY
11-24-2010, 08:31 PM
...... if I am not having an easy time of fasting and I am feeling like I have to use my own willpower, I take it as a confirmation that I should quit fasting for that day.

Hummm...Kelli I am not so sure God would want you to stop under those circumstances....He knows our minds and thoughts wander..He knows we are not perfect....and HE knows our hearts....maybe next time, take a break from "thinking" about the fasting....try and do something that God would want you to do....take a walk and enjoy His the beauty of His world...call a friend....write a letter/card to someone...

....... So, I fasted makeup for forty days, just to prove to myself that people would not run away screaming.:yikes:

LOL...Angie would never do that...she swears people would run away screaming!