The 411 On Fasting

Jesus assumes his followers will fast, and even promises it will happen. He doesn’t say “if,” but “when you fast” (Matthew 6:16). And he doesn’t say his followers might fast, but “they will”  (Matthew 9:15).

Fasting is markedly counter-cultural in our consumerist, pleasure seeking society. We fast from what we can see and taste, because we have tasted and seen the goodness of the invisible and infinite God — and are desperately hungry for more of him.

Fasting is for stretching our hearts to get fresh air beyond the pain and trouble around us. And it is for the battle against the sin and weakness inside us. We express our desire for God.  Fasting is a temporary measure, to enrich our joy in Jesus and prepare our hearts for the next — for seeing him face to face.

How to Start Fasting

Fasting is hard. Its easier said than done! It can be surprising how on-edge we feel when we miss a meal. You will most likely feel “hunger pains.”  You will have to deal with distractions. Here are six simple point to help you through! Fasting is Abstaining from something we enjoy.

1. Start small.

Don’t go from no fasting to attempting a weeklong fast. Start with one meal; maybe fast one meal a week. Then if you desire try two meals a week. Eventually you can do a daylong fast.

2. Plan what you’ll do instead of eating.

Fasting is a time for seeking more of God’s fullness. Which means we should have a plan for what positive action to take at the time it normally takes to eat. Take time for prayer and meditation on God’s word or some act of love for others. Have a plan with your Spouse. Each fast should have a specific spiritual purpose.

3. Consider how it will affect others.

Love for God and for your "neighbor" go together. Good fasting mingles horizontal concern with the vertical. If anything, others should even feel more loved and cared for when we’re fasting.

4. Variety of fasting. 

The typical form of fasting is personal, private, and partial, but we find a variety of forms in the Bible: personal and communal, private and public, congregational and national, regular and occasional, absolute and partial.

5. Fast from something other than food.

Fasting from food is not necessarily for everyone. Some health conditions keep even the most devout from the traditional course. “Fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything which is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose.”

6. Don’t think of white elephants.

When your empty stomach starts to growl and begins sending your brain every “feed me” signal it can, don’t be content to let your mind dwell on the fact that you haven’t eaten. Dwell on your Purpose! Pleading for the salvation of souls!

IDEAS: Fast Food, Sweets, Drinks, TV, Movies, Anything that you enjoy that if taken a break from, can raise your spiritual awareness of God. 

Right Attitude During a Fast:  Matthew 6:17-18 NLT But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Happy Fasting! I hope your journey with God and experience with Him will only deepen as you practice this spiritual discipline! 

Finding That Place. By: Pastor Karina San Martin

Being in God’s presence is truly the sweetest spot in life to be. I’m not talking about just hearing a great message, or really “feeling it” during the worship time at a church service or conference. I’m talking about being in that completely private, intimate time where it is just you and God that exist. Maybe you’ve been there, maybe you haven’t. The interesting thing about God is that He is always ready and available to us all, no matter what walk of life you come from or what “level” of relationship you may have with Him. But He is WAITING… waiting for you and me to draw near to Him. Find time, no: MAKE time to be totally alone with God. Put on some music that takes you deep into Him, shut off your phone, close your eyes and listen to His voice. I guarantee you, you will come back for more. THIS is the place when our relationship with Him gets real. 

 

Parenting...and...Leading : By Pastor John Arana

I believe and have experienced that our gifting, temperaments and talents is what God has placed inside us to impart to our children and others. Its the gift of God operating in us and through us that others will be blessed as they encounter us.  We are all designed to complete and compliment others as we interact with them. We are not responsible for every one but we are blessed to impart into them the gift given to us. The absence of this impartation can cause a void in the development of our children, families and disciples equating consequences based on the void created by holding back. If we have it, it is because our children will need it! Most likely they are different from us but that is exactly God’s point. Differences create completions if we cooperate with each other. 

 

What is within us, given by God is what our children and family need for completion. We have what they need and they have what we need. It becomes a complementary relationship, mutually beneficial for completion! Every child, person has their own set of gifting’s. What they need from us parents or leaders is to impart to complete them. The denial to impart into them in an organic way cause the failure to complete. We have the privilege of imparting into our children and others in order to bring completion and facilitate destiny! Lovingly give what has been given to you! Freely you have received, freely give!