By Pastor Jeff,
Matthew 6:16-18, “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. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 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.”
Want to ruin any Fast? Just do what it says here; by openly making a scene you take what God could use to change your life to just a hunger strike. Attitude is the key to entering the presence of God in anything we do, prayer, giving, preaching, and fasting if we are doing it just to look good before man, it is of no effect with the Kingdom of God. James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” I mentioned Moses before as an example of someone who not only fasted for forty days once, but twice, and scripture says this about this man, Numbers 12:3, “(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”It was this meekness (humility) that allowed God to use this powerful man to deliver His people from Egypt.
There are different types of fasting, we find one God chooses for us Isaiah 58:6, “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?” You may be impressed by the Spirit of God to enter a fast which as stated here can do great things not only in your life but others! Some set a particular day every week, every month or more to fast to put power to our prayer life, Luke 2:36-37, “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 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.” Because of her dedication she got to witness the newborn Savior of the World Jesus Christ.
Then are those that a leader of the Nation, a church leader, may in response to a situation, a answer that they may be seeking will call a period of fasting and prayer, 2 Chronicles 20:1-3, “It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.” Many other fast are found in the Bible such as with the city of Nineveh, Nehemiah, King David, as well others.
In the next lesson I will discuss the different types of Fasting.
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