Edited and Adapted from Chris Hodges
True Christianity is about a genuine, successful, personal connection with Jesus. There are times when we deny ourselves in the natural in order to press in spiritually. Fasting removes distractions and gives our spirit man strength so that we can make a purer connection with the Lord.
Personally, fasting clears our focus, and puts in an appropriate position before God;
Corporately, fasting proves our sincerity, and gives us audience with the Lord in a way we did not have his attention before.
Jesus fasted before He began His public ministry.
The details of this fast are recorded in Matthew 4:1‐11, Mark 1:12‐13, and Luke 1:1‐13.
The characteristics of Jesus’ fast include:
1. Absolute physical dependency upon the supernatural power of God for the ability to remain alive;
2. Perfect subjugation of the flesh, including the will and desires of the body in order to face the enemy;
3. Victory in spiritual warfare through the ministry of the spoken [confessed] Word;
4. Angelic ministry for refreshing and supply.
Jesus’ disciples were criticized by the Pharisees because they didn’t fast while Jesus was alive.
In Luke 5:34‐35, Jesus answered their criticism, "Can you make the guests of the Bridegroom fast while He is with them? But the time will come when the Bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.” Jesus was predicting the time that He would be gone from His disciples after His death, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven. He said after that time, His followers would fast. Fasting is a part of the lifestyle of our staff and leadership of Lighthouse Christian Church and encouraged for every member. We follow the example that Jesus set for us.
In both the Old Testament and the New
Testament, fasting was a common practice.
It has not been until about the past 100 years that fasting has not been a part of the lifestyle of the church. Believers in the early church fasted as a normal part of their worship and prayer.
Most Christians have never heard or read a single teaching on fasting and will never do it in their life time. However, in order to be a New Testament Christian, fasting should be a part of our lifestyle just like prayer, reading our Bibles, and worship.
In Acts 13:2‐3
• …what happened while the believers worshiped and fasted?
“The Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.’”
• God’s Holy Spirit acted to give them direction and communicated a course of action to take that He could bless because He had ordained it!
• The Corporate fellowship were given exact instructions as to the will of the Lord, and the means of carrying out that will as they sought His face by fasting and prayer.
• Notice that God chose particular individuals in the context of a company of others.