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True Christian Fasting

Every Christian needs to engage in fasting and prayer so that we can keep our bodies / flesh subject to the Spirit and will of God. Fasting usually breaks the power of the flesh and it empowers the spirit (inner man) and gives us strength to operate spiritually. The flesh is the major hindrance to our perfect fellowship with the Lord. It has many desires which are contrary to the Spirit and the Bible commands us to crucify the flesh daily (Galatians 5:24).

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4


Fasting is an intentional act or discipline of abstaining from foods and drinks and all sorts of pleasure including social media, TV shows, and all entertainment for a particular period covenanted with God. Fasting helps us to break through the flesh and it's a powerful tool for self-discipline, rejuvenation, spiritual peace, and drawing closer to God.


Every Christian needs to engage in fasting and prayer so that we can keep our bodies /flesh subject to the Spirit and will of God. Fasting usually breaks the power of the flesh and it empowers the spirit (inner man) and gives us strength to operate spiritually. The flesh is the major hindrance to our perfect fellowship with the Lord. It has many desires which are contrary to the Spirit and the Bible commands us to crucify the flesh daily (Galatians 5:24).


As children of God, we have two major enemies, i.e. Satan and the flesh. To defeat Satan is to submit to God and resist him and the bible says he will flee away (James 4:7), and to defeat the flesh we must engage in fasting and prayer. We cannot rebuke the flesh but we instead subject it under the authority of God through fasting and prayer.


Fasting is not just abstaining from food and drink but the real essence of it is to intentionally set oneself apart to seek the face of God and to draw closer to Him through a lot of prayers. Fasting without engaging in prayers (divine fellowship) and reading the Word of God is like a Hunger strike (vain fasting).


When we fast, we need to separate ourselves from all worldliness, fleshy desires, and all sorts of sins, avoid vain conversations, filthy jokes, comedy, and all sorts of entertainment. We must commit ourselves to seek the face of God through prayers, reading the Word, worship and praising singing songs to God and devoting ourselves to undo all the heavy ladens and to do good to our neighbors by helping the needy and sharing our goods with others that don't have.


Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7. Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?


How Many Days Should I Fast?


Fasting should not be done casually, recklessly, or religiously under bandwagon influences. It should be well thought of critically and decided sincerely with all our heart, soul, mind, and spirit. There should be a genuine reason and purpose as to why you want to fast. We don't fast to please men nor pastors and friends, but we fast because we need genuinely to encounter God and seek Him to divinely intervene in our affairs. The number of days to be spent in Fasting can either be determined by we ourselves depending on our spiritual capacity (faith in God) and the size of our prayer requests or as determined by the Holy Spirit.

 

a) Personal Commitment to Fast


“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”


It's essential for every Christian to fast so that we can break through the flesh and draw closer to God. We're encouraged to commit ourselves and determine a certain number of days to fast and pray in order to stay connected with God. There is no such formality and rule concerning how many days one can fast, but always as led by the Holy Spirit. Decide the days depending on your faith in God, spiritual strength and size of your prayer request.


You can decide to take 1 or 2 or 3 or 5 or 7 or 10 or 12 or 14 or 21 or 30 or 40 days etc, as purposed in your heart before God. Do not over fast too much and don't think to out fast anybody. It's not a competition that whoever fasts most will be more blessed than others; neither is it for pleasure and prestige as some religious men do who take pleasure in fasting so many days than others.


Fasting is a personal commitment between you and God and it's a binding covenant within the set days and time which once set should not be broken for whatever reason until accomplished.


Daniel is one of the servants of God who willfully committed himself to seek the face of God in prayer and fasting,


In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: Daniel 9:2-3

In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. Daniel 10:2-3


During the days of Daniel's fasting, he used to abstain himself from the king's table, worldly pleasure, good foods and drinks, and entertainment; but he was eating only fruits and vegetables and bread with water in minute quantities (Daniel 1:8-12). Most importantly his heart was set to search the face of God in Truth and Spirit and to please God and to understand the mystery of His divine will.


Like Daniel, You can fast while still carrying out your daily routine work in case you are duty-bound; but you need to keep it a secret between you and your God. Do not disclose it to anyone at all except your spouse or prayer partner.


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.


As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.


And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

 

b) God's Instruction to Fast.

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: 16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?


Many times the Holy Spirit can convict you to fast for a purpose; When He wants you or the church congregation or a group of people to fast, He will specifically give you the details of how you should do it, how many people to be involved and what to eat during or after breaking the fast etc.


When the Holy Spirit instructs you to fast, please fast alone; but if He wants the church or other people to join, He will surely give you the details, simply discern and understand what His wise counsel is. Many prophets in the Bible were directed by God to fast for specific days.

 

Jesus' Fast.

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungered.


Our Lord Jesus Christ after His baptism at the Jordan river, He was led by the Holy Spirit up into the wilderness (desert place) and there He fasted 40 days and 40 nights without food and water. Throughout the entire Bible history, only Three men had this kind of fasting and that is Moses, Elijah, and Jesus.


During those 40 days and nights of their fasting; they were completely in the spirit, in the most secret place of the most High God (Psalms 91:1). They were filled with the Holy Spirit and the glory of God was upon them. They were in complete fellowship with Yahweh.


He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

It was never their personal desire and commitment to fast those many days, but they were empowered divinely by the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish God's purpose upon their lives.

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

 

And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. 28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.


“And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee.”


And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

 

The Two Kinds of Fasting


There are two major biblical kinds of fasting namely:-

  • Dry (Wilderness) Fasting

  •  Wet Fasting

 

Dry Fasting


“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”


This is the kind of fasting where a person intentionally abstains from all sorts of foodstuff and drinks during the set period of fasting both day and night. Dry Fasting is a very effective kind of fasting because it completely kills the flesh and subjects it under the Spirit. During this fast, the spirit (inner-man) gets the power to dominate the flesh and it allows a person to operate in the spirit.


But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.


I advise you that when you opt for this kind of fast, undo all the heavy burdens, separate yourself completely from the world by closing yourself in a room, or go into the wilderness for a maximum of about 7 days only but rather 3 days for health's sake.


So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?


Don't engage in this kind of fasting while still entangled with your daily heavy duties, having conversations with people, using social media, etc; well you may opt for it still under these circumstances but your fasting will not be fruitful and you might wear out and there is a possibility of encountering other spirits instead of the Spirit of God. Be extremely careful when you fast and discern spirits that you may encounter along.

 

Wet Fasting


Whenever we talk about fasting, what should come first into our minds should be abstaining from all foods and drinks, afflicting our flesh and soul, separating from the world, and avoiding all sorts of pleasure for the purpose of drawing closer to God and seeking His divine intervention in our affairs.


Wet fasting can only be done at the point where circumstances don't allow us to have dry fasting. Daniel was the first person recorded in the Bible who engaged so much in wet fasting because he was duty-bound. He had to continue standing before the kings of Babylon performing all his duties perfectly daily him being God's free man in the country where he and his people were enslaved for 70 years according to God's word.


During the wet fasting, the Holy Spirit can forbid you from certain foods and drinks, simply be obedient and allow Him to lead you. E.g. He can forbid you from eating hot foods, sugar, milk, honey, sweets, etc. He can tell you to eat only water and bread, or fruits and natural juices or biscuits, etc. He may also appoint for you a place, time, and dress to put on during prayers. He is God simply follow His instructions and don't differ from it.


Though Daniel didn't engage in dry fasting, God had respect for his fasting and heard all his prayers, and answered all his requests. Our God is a God of justice and judges the intents of the heart. He will always have respect for our sacrifices offered before Him depending on the condition of our heart and state of our mind and level of faith.

If you are duty-bound like Daniel; please determine and search the face of God with prayers, supplications, and wet fasting and God will grant you the desires of your heart.


If you are a student, a teacher, a doctor, a housemaid, or employed in any field and it's not possible for you to take a vacation off duty, yet you want to seek God with fasting, please go in for the wet fasting with a sincere heart and God will answer your requests.

 

How Can I Fast in a Family Setting?


In a family setting where all family members are believers, it's very important to share with your spouse about your intentions. There should be a mutual consent between the husband and wife before any of you or both engage in the fasting. Remember you should not approach one another romantically or sexually during the set time of your fasting and there should not be sexual conversation between the two. That time is set apart for seeking the face of God wholeheartedly allowing the inner spirit man to take dominancy in your life.


The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.


A woman who is married to an unbelieving husband must be very careful and should ask God's wisdom when intending to fast. If your husband does not permit you to fast, you must consent with him in good peace yet you need to find another way of fasting with wisdom. You can fast in the hours and days when your husband is not at home and break the fast immediately when he is back. You should not deny his conjugal rights for your spiritual reasons. Be wise and keep your marriage.


For espoused young men and damsels; you should not engage in any filthy romantic, sexual steering conversations neither virtually on social media nor physically. You should keep yourselves pure and undefiled all the days of your separation.


Children with believing parents need to address their intention for fasting to either one or both parents so that they can give you the right hand of fellowship during your time of fasting. Children with unbelieving parents should keep it a secret when they intend to fast. It should be a covenant between them and God and should spend a lot of time in prayers, reading the Bible, and singing praises and worship songs to the Lord. If the parents are so hard on you, it's okay to once in a while give them a light reason like; I don't feel like eating today, I don't have appetite, I will eat dinner, am still satisfied, I will eat later, etc.


Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

 

Who Should Not Fast?


  • A pregnant woman

  • A nursing mother

  •   A menstruous woman

  • A suckling baby

  • A person without Faith and without a genuine reason

  • Any person on medication. A sick person can fast as so long as they are not on medication, even those with ulcers can fast provided they don't take medicine in the days of their fasting.

 

Things To Do While Fasting


  •   Praying

  •   Reading the Bible

  •   Fellowship with God and separation from the world. Isolate yourself from the public to avoid any worldly distractions.

  •   Do good to others including your enemies

  •   Provide the poor with food, shelter, and clothing.

  •   No foods and Drinks

  •   Avoid arguments (quarrels, strife, backbiting) and all unfruitful conversations (Politics, Gambling, Betting, etc).

  •   Avoid all sorts of entertainment, eg; TV, mobile phones, social media (No Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok etc), secular movies & songs, comedy, etc.

  •   Engage in a lot of worship and praise singing songs of adoration and admiration to God

  •   Share your possessions with others who don't have

  •   Don't let anybody know that you are fasting, keep it a secret.

  •   Never engage in sexual intercourse during all the days and nights set apart for fasting.

 

Is Lent a Form of Christian Fasting?


Lent originated in the ancient Babylonian mystery religion. “The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess.  Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz” (The Two Babylons).

Tammuz was the false Messiah of the Babylonians -- a satanic counterfeit of Jesus the Messiah!; The Feast of Tammuz was usually celebrated in June (also called the “month of Tammuz”). Lent was held 40 days before the feast, “celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing.” This is why Lent means “spring”; it took place from spring to early summer. Lent period starts from Ash Wednesday to Easter, where the faithful catholic folks mark their foreheads with ash.


''Lent'' was a time of penance, of fasting, of abstinence. people abstained from all sorts of good stuff including meat. They also gave up eggs and dairy products. So on Tuesday, the day before the start of the Lenten fast, people cleared out their cupboards of all the foods they could not have for the next 40 days. They cooked them up and ate like pigs and feasted on a festival called ‘’Fat Tuesday or Mardi gras’’ as it is called today in the western culture; In essence, they feasted before the fast.

The Bible records ancient Judah worshipping this false Messiah: “Then He brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14-15). This was a great abomination in YEHOVAH God’s eyes!


This kind of fasting is not biblical and it has its roots in the Babylonian pagan religion. Children of God should be forewarned to follow the scriptures and need to be taught the true ways of God. Lent is a pagan practice and it's not attributed to God, Let us turn away from all pagan Roman pagan practices and worship God in truth and spirit dear beloved children of God.


Other Scriptures about Fasting

  •   Ezra 8:21-23

  •   Isaiah 58:6

  •   1 Corinthians 7:5

  •   2 Samuel 1:12

  •   Acts 13:2-3

  •   Acts 14:23

  •   Luke 2:37

  •   Luke 18:12

  •   Nehemiah 1:4-ff

  •   Psalms 69:10

  •   1 Kings 21:27


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