Fast Approvals

Like many other spiritual disciplines, fasting can, unfortunately, be a means to gain the approval of others. Jesus taught that fasting should only be something directed to and noticed by God.

Matthew 6:16-18

  • Fasting is the predetermined abstaining from essential nourishment for a spiritual purpose.
  • In the Bible, fasting is often used to intensify mourning, repentance, or prayer.

Fasting Should Be Regular (6:16)

  • Jesus didn’t say “if you fast” but “when you fast.”
  • Fasting is one of many spiritual disciplines that help us focus upon God better.
  • Typically, the more affluent the group of Christians, the less likely they are to prioritize fasting.

Fasting Shouldn’t Be Advertised (6:16-17)

  • As with all spiritual disciplines, if you fast for the affirmation of others, you forfeit the approval of God.
  • We do everyone a disservice if we appear miserable as we express devotion to God.
  • Scripture encourages corporate fasts among God’s people but not for attracting attention from outsiders.

Fasting Should Be Directed Towards God (6:18)

  • Prayer doesn’t always include fasting, but fasting always includes prayer.
  • Fasting is meant to remind you of how desperately you need your Heavenly Father.
  • Fasting helps you avoid enslavement to earthly desires while pursuing devotion to heavenly desires.

Fasting Shouldn’t Be Avoided

  • Your next application of fasting should be one step further than your last attempt.
  • What if you fasted at least one meal this week to pray for one hour and reserved that money to help the hungry?

Practical Way to Start

This Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the sanctuary will be open during lunchtime from 11:30-1:30. If you want a tangible way to start, come to the sanctuary instead of going to lunch. Bring the money you would spend on lunch and drop it in an offering box, and we will use it to help Project Host feed the hungry in our city. We will provide a list for you to pray over, and you can leave your requests there for others to pray for you.

One step. One meal. One hour.