The Discipline Of Fasting!

Matthew 6:17-18 (KJV)
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 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.

Introduction:
God’s people have been fasting from the very beginning. When we fast and pray we do it for results, but we must always remember that the results are in God’s hands
so we cannot manipulate God.

One of the greatest benefits of fasting is becoming more attentive to God. We become more aware of our inadequacies and of his strengths. Fasting focuses on
God but it changes us. Today we will discuss why we should fast, what fasting does and doesn’t do. During this time of fasting and prayer, I believe that we will
recapture that hunger for God that so many in the church have lost in this modern time.

DEFINITON OF FASTING: Fasting means to abstain from food for some religious or spiritual purpose.

I.

WHY SHOULD WE FAST?

(1.) To become more INTIMITE with GOD!

(2.) We have a huge PROMBLEM that hinders us:

(a.)The desire we all have to give our hearts to Him is shared with a desire for things

(b.)Nibbling at the world’s table of food & entertainment has left us with no appetite for God! Illustration: when you nibble before a meal it stifles your appetite for the meal.

(c.) Even though wholesome food & entertainment is not bad, we often are unaware how full we get of it and that it robs us of our hunger for God. Fasting food & the pleasures of the world is a step in the right direction to correct that problem.

(3.) Fasting is that discipline which tries to recapture our hunger for God.

(4.) Fasting expresses the passion to know Him more!

II.

WHAT FASTING DOESN’T DO

( 1.) Fasting does not inspire or provoke God to love you.

(2.) Fasting doesn’t make God enjoy you any more.

(3.) Fasting isn’t a get rich scheme to holiness.

(4.) We don’t fast so that God would forgive us… but because He has already forgiven us!

(5.) Fasting is not a substitute for obedience.

III.

WHAT DOES FASTING DO?

(1.) FASTING EXPOSES OUR HEART

(2.) FASTING EXPRESSES OUR HUNGER FOR GOD HIMSELF

(3.) FASTING CHASTENS THE SOUL: Ps. 69:10

(4.) FASTING HUMBLES THE SOUL: Ezra 8:21; Ps 35:13

(5.) FASTING SETS US UP TO SEEK THE LORD! 2 Chron. 20:3-4

(6.) FASTING EMPOWERS US TO RESIST & OVERCOME THE

ENEMY! Matthew 4:1-11 (Jesus)

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