Pastor Dan spoke this week on fasting and it's impact on us as believers in Jesus Christ, as we will be fasting in the month of January as a church.
John the Baptist's disciples came to Jesus to ask why Jesus' disciples did not fast like John's disciples did(Matthew 9:14.) Jesus responded that their was no reason for his disciples to fast while the bridegroom was present with them. They could be full of joy and festivity knowing that the one whom they had longed for was in their midst. Jesus was not abolishing fasting but showed John's disciples that they were in a different season, not full of mourning and fasting.
However, Jesus did say that his disciples (that includes us) would fast when the bridegroom would be taken away. This fasting would be the product of a mourning/longing heart for Jesus to return. It would be a longing for more of the bridegroom in this temporary state of His physical absence. There is a tension between now and the future when Jesus will dwell with man forever in his perpetual kingdom. Fasting is an acknowledgment that these temporary pleasures are fleeting in the face of the one our soul longs for, that is, Jesus. Godly fasting is built on a desire to know and experience this God-man, Jesus Christ. It is an outpouring of our love-sickness for the Bridegroom (Jesus) to take us (the Bride) to Himself forevermore. It is a desire for Isaiah 62:4-5 to be fully realized.
Some Practicals for Fasting
- You will be restraining natural pleasures (such as eating) to position yourself to open up your heart for more of what God has for you.
- As you hunger for the thing you fast you will want to fill it with the sustenance of God's word and of course prayer to continue to posture yourself before God to receive what He has for you and our church.
- We can't do it light-hearted but must really seek God before we come into this time of fasting to see what God is calling us to do and set our hearts on accomplishing it with His help.
- (Matthew 6:16) Make sure your heart is in the right place! You don't want to get into fasting for some other reason as this may allow your heart to go in the wrong direction. Guard your heart and continue your fast and prayer so as not gain glory from others or from yourself. Do it for the Lord, to know Him more.
- Use the Foursquare Prayer app as a tool to help you as well. For Android users and iPhone users.
- Tuesdays, during January 6th-27th, will afford the church with much needed fellowship and corporate worship/prayer. This will replace bible studies during our time of fasting and prayer. If you have questions please reach out to your small group leader.
Overall this should be such an impactful time for our church as we grow closer to the maker of heaven and earth and seek Him out. If you have questions please email email@example.com.