How Often Do You Fast? - Saturday 20, May 2017
Memorise: In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. – 2 Corinthians 11:27
Read: Matthew 6:16-18 (KJV)
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 33-34, Jeremiah 32:36-44, Hymn: Sing hymn 6
One of my sons was travelling with me for the very first time sometime ago, and after we had been together for two days he asked me, “Daddy, why do you pray so much?” He said he observed that before we left the room, we prayed; when we got into the car, we prayed; on arrival at our destination, we prayed; when we entered the venue of the programme, we prayed; when we finished the programme, we prayed; on arrival at our lodging place, we prayed; also, when he peeped to check on me, he still saw me on my knees. Well, I pray a lot because prayer is an activity we are commanded to always engage in (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How often do you pray? Do you use every available opportunity to pray?
Apart from prayer, another spiritual activity you should regularly engage in to keep you spiritually fit and growing is fasting. Some people believe that doing a long fast for 30 days or 100 days is sufficient for one year. While this is a good spiritual exercise, there is still the need to continue fasting in the course of the year. When the Lord addressed the question of why His disciples were not fasting often like those of John the Baptist, here is what He said in Luke 5:34;
“34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”
Since the Master has been received into glory, it is clear from His words that we now are expected to fast often. Some people fast for a short period at a stretch and thereafter they want to feast for the rest of the year. This is not good enough. A better practice is to find or create some time monthly or better still weekly to engage in fasting. Fasting was not strange to the patriarchs of old. Fasting does you so much good spiritually, so it should be a part of your lifestyle. You can live a fasted life. While detailing his experiences in life, Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:27 said that fasting was a reoccurring activity in his Christian life:
“In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”
Most people who find it difficult to fast simply have a problem with discipline. They are so used to eating that they cannot sacrifice a few meals to seek God’s face. Anyone who cannot control his or her appetite may remain enslaved to the body. Fasting helps to subdue or break the controlling power that the weaknesses and desires of your body have over you.
Action Point: Stop talking about your plan to fast; just go ahead and fast. You can start with one day per week.