"As I Fast..."
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The Bible is full of doctrine that teaches us how to live.  I want to take a moment to explore "Fasting."  I've put my thoughts down, and I want to hear yours!  Share Bible texts, your own experiences, or those of others.  Let me hear from you - your thoughts on Fasting.


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As I Fast...
December 17, 2010

I was reading counsel on the practice of fasting.  What exactly is fasting?  Do I simply stop eating for a set period of time, depriving myself of food because I seek spiritual enlightenment?  Can anyone/everyone fast?  What if you are unable due to health risks?  Does that give the healthy, advantage over the weak?

I struggled as I read.  I want to fast.  I want to follow the words of Christ in Matthew 17, and Mark 9.  Early manuscripts actually remove the word "fasting" from the text.  The emphasis seems to be on faith, and earnest prayer.  There is a part of me that suspects the opposite of today's interpretation :  actually that I need a diet of that which I already derprive myself of - I need to feast on prayer because of the expectant faith I have for God to intervene in my life! 

So, what's your take on fasting?  Before you answer,  consider this counsel :  There are times when the Christian needs keenness of thought and discriminating judgment; he may have important decisions to make, or may need to discern more clearly the will of God. Under such circumstances fasting can prove a great blessing. Such fasting may not necessarily mean complete abstinence from food, but a diet limited to the simple essentials for maintaining health and vigor. The Christian may, like Daniel, refrain from the use of “pleasant bread” (Dan 10:3). God is not honored and one’s Christian experience is not promoted by any practice that weakens the body or impairs the health. See Matt. 6:16.
Nichol, Francis D.: The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 5. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1978; 2002, S. 584, 

and then this from Barnes Notes On The Bible:

Goeth not out but by prayer and fasting - That is, in order to work miracles of this kind to cast out devils in cases so obstinate and dreadful as this, faith of the highest kind is necessary. That faith is produced and kept vigorous only by much prayer, and by such abstinence from food as fits the mind for the highest exercises of religion, and leaves it free to hold communion with God.

My interpretation?  Fasting isn't as much about depriving myself of food and sustanence, as it IS about being aware of my faith or lack thereoff.  It shows me my need for Jesus, and His righteousness.  I should immerse myself for a season in the true words of Christ.  If Jesus is truly The Way, then perhaps I should put my dependace, faith, and trust in Him!  Fasting is about coming face to face with what I am not, and turning that over to the One who made me!  So, for the remaining 18 hours of my fast, I am going to quietly pray and listen for the voice of God.  I'll drink water, take some vitamins, only eating what sustains me to the Higher Purpose of exploring my relationship with Him.  Ultimately to earnestly plead for the Supernatural Presence of The Holy Spirit, and to rid myself of anything and everything that  will keep me from experiencing the freedom from sin and the peace of mind that He grants me!

Let me hear your thoughts on the matter!