The topic of fasting can often generate lots of debate I encourage you to read about Fasting on the 40 Days of Discipline website. One of the important things mentioned in the description of fasting is that it “involves giving up something you do, for the purpose of focusing more time and attention on God. Fasting is also an excellent way to express sorrow to God, to be penitent to the Lord. The most common type of fasting involves giving up food but it could involve non-food items, such as movies or television.” I like this uncomplicated description of fasting.
Our focus this week will primarily be on action but we will also provide Biblical background information. Here are some clear Biblical examples of fasting:
- David fasted while the first child he had by Bathsheba the wife of Uriah lay dying (Joshua 20:26)
- Moses fasted 40 days on Mount Horeb before God gave him the two tables of testimony(Exodus 34:28-29) during this time he didn’t eat or drink.
- Elijah fasted 40 days during a trip from the wilderness to Horeb the mountain of God (1Kings 19:8)
- Christ fasted 40 days in the wilderness while he was tempted by Satan the devil (Matt 4:1-3, Lk4:2)
- Esther fasted on behalf of her people (Esther 4:13-16)
- And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief, for verily I say unto you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting (Matt 17:20-21).
- Can you make the children of the bride chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days (Luke 5:34-35).
So, should you fast? Well it could be argued that the Bible does not demand it of us, but it is clear that the bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable and beneficial. As presented in the description on the website, please be reminded that you should always take any medical conditions into account before attempting to fast.
Your assignment today is to simply talk to God about fasting. Seek guidance from him about what he wants you to do and learn this week.