When You...

“When You _____ .”

 Throughout the Bible, we see "fasting" as a regular part of the lives of God's people. 

 Matthew 6:2 [NLT], "WHENyou give to someone in need..."

 Matthew 6:5 [NLT],"WHENyou pray..."  

 Matthew 6:16 [NLT],"And WHENyou fast..." 

 Notice Jesus said "WHEN" we do these things, not "IF" we do them.

 What does "fasting"mean?

 Fasting:  "to cover one’s mouth or to abstain from food for spiritual purposes."

 Matthew5:6 [NKJV],Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

 Types of Fast...

  • traditional fast [Zech. 8:19]  

  • partial fast [Dan. 10:3]  

  • absolute fast [Est. 4:16]  

  • media 

  • combination

 How long should we "fast?"  

 Why do we "fast?"

 Wrong Reasons:

  • weight loss

  • prove spirituality

  • hunger strike 

Isaiah 58:3-4 [NLT], "Why aren't You impressed?" "Why don't You  even notice our efforts?" ..."I will tell you why!  It's because you are living for yourselves even while you are fasting...This kind of fast will never get you anywhere with Me." 

 Right Reasons:

  • to draw closer

  • to humble ourselves

 Psalm 35:13 [NAS],“I humble my soul with fasting.”

 Matthew 6:17-18 [MSG],"When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don't make a production out of it.  It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won't make you a saint.  If you 'go into training' inwardly, act normal outwardly.  Shampoo and comb your hair, brush your teeth, was your face. God doesn't require attention-getting devices.  He won't overlook what you are doinghe'll reward you well

 How does God reward us?

 Benefits of fasting:

  • spiritual strength

  • increase in intimacy/sensitivity 

  • clarity in hearing His voice

  • effectiveness in prayer

  • reveals controlling habits 

  • purifies hearts

  • brings perspective

  • spiritual warfare

  • builds our faith

  • restores relationships

  • changes hearts

Matthew 17:14-21 [NKJV],And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Himand saying, 15 “Lord, have mercyon my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water." 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithlessand perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 Howeverthis kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

 Question:  What does not come out "but by prayer and fasting?"

 Answer:  Unbelief!

 If we recognize it or not..."Unbelief stops the kingdom of God from flowing through us."

 Recast the Vision!

  • what I'm going to do

  • encourage them to pray about what they should do - and when [how much]

Joel 2:12-13,Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all of your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hinderance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored]. Rend your hearts and not your garments.

 Joel 2:15-16 [NIV],Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly.  Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children...

Aubrie Powell