January 2, 2018 at 11:16 pm #30571
If you think fasting is an Old Testament concept, and since we are living under grace in the New Testament that it is no longer relevant, check out these scriptures: Acts 14:23, 2 Corinthians 6:5, 2 Corinthians 11:27, Mark 9:29 and many others. Sorry folks, as Christians we need to put on the whole armor of God, not just pick and choose the ones we “like”.
Fasting is a sacrificial practice found throughout Scripture. A Biblical fast is usually a voluntary, total abstinence from food for a set time to devote oneself to seeking God by denying our flesh what it wants.
We tend to think of fasting as going without food. But we can fast from anything. If we love music and decide to miss a concert to spend time with God, that is fasting. There’s nothing magical about fasting. It’s just a way to tell God that your priority at that moment is to be alone with him.
Jesus fasted immediately following his baptism. In Matthew 4, we see that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to fast for 40 days and nights. During those 40 days, when Jesus’ flesh was at its weakest, He endured relentless temptation from Satan. Satan offered Him alternatives to God’s plan, compromises that would satisfy His natural desires, but attacks upon His very identity as the Son of God. Jesus used the Word of God, not His own strength, to defeat those temptations and remain victorious over sin.
After Jesus’ fast, the devil left Him and “angels came and attended Him”. Luke 4:14 concludes the account of his testing by saying, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the Power of the Spirit.” He would not rely on His humanity to perform miracles, deliver the oppressed, or defeat death. Fasting was a way to declare mastery over His human nature so that He would live every moment directed by the “Power of the Spirit”. If the Son of God did not rely on His flesh to live in obedience to God, then we can’t either.
In Mark 9 NKJV Jesus heals a boy possessed by a demonic spirit. “17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out? 29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
There are several important points to notice here. First, the man brought his son to Jesus AFTER the disciples could not expel the demons. I could imagine that they were quite confused. Jesus gave them the answer in verse 29 when he told them that there is a two-fold attack to rid these types of demons – Prayer and Fasting.
During my preparation, I discovered something interesting. Not all parallel bible versions included the word “fasting”. So, I did some investigating. I looked at 60 different bible translations of Mark 9:29, and ONLY 25 of the 60 included the word “fasting”. This is because these versions are only translations. To find out the “real” meaning, I went back to the Greek to see what the original word form is. The Greek word is: proseuchē – and it means Prayer AND Fasting.
Satan’s job is to steal, kill, and destroy and he has many accomplices, demons, who are evil spirits hellbent on making one’s life miserable. Am I the only one who has things going on that make Life unhappy. Maybe for you it is: job, health, financial, relational, family, school, transportation, emotional, or just some other issue of life that tortures you. If want Power to remove these proclivities, Jesus told us the secret, just as he said to the disciples a couple thousand years ago, THESE can only be cast out by Prayer AND Fasting. This is a brand new year, let’s get that fasting Power and get free!
Just me 2 cents worth.
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