Biblical Fasting: The Acceptable Fast

Mat 6:16  “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

Mat 6:17  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

Mat 6:18  so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

On the occasion of the 21 day corporate Daniel Prayer and Fasting in which many believers all over the world are partaking of.  I wanted to share and minister on the importance of Biblical fasting and why we must look to the Bible for everything that pertains to life and Godliness in Christ Jesus our LORD, especially as it relates to consecration unto the LORD!

The Bible says in 2 Tim 3: 16-17:

2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

2Ti 3:17  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

As I was in prayer the LORD wanted me to share with you the importance of true consecration which is prayer and fasting.

Before we get started, I want to ask the question?  What is the Daniel fast all about?

How many times did Daniel fast in the Bible? Or should I say, how many times is it recorded in the Bible? 

Why did he fast?

Well, all these questions can be answered as we look to Daniel in the scriptures who was always praying and fasting unto the LORD. We find Daniel fasting in the following chapters listed below. For detailed information on why he fasted read the chapters and the following verses:

Dan 1: 1-17, Dan 9:1-12 and Dan 10:1-14

What is interesting is that the Angel of the LORD referred to Daniel as one who was “Greatly beloved” in the sight of the LORD.  You can read this in Dan 9:23 , 10:11, and 10:19.

I find that Daniel was an individual who was truly about the Fathers business. He was always praying and fasting unto the LORD and seeking God’s face, maybe this is why he was greatly beloved!

So the Daniel fast is a compilation of Daniels fasting of 10 days and 21 days in which he ate fruits and vegetables and drank water. Dan 1:12 says, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.” The Bible says in Dan 10:3, “I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”

When we look at prayer and fasting in the Bible, it is synonymous with mourning, surrender and humility. When you research the Bible, true consecration to the Lord is not supposed to be a happy event. It is a humbling event. If you have joy while you are fasting you are probably not fasting correctly.  Let’s take a look at what James had to say:

Jas 4:7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Jas 4:8  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Jas 4:9  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

Jas 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

If you read Joel 2:15-17, you will see that praying and fasting in the Old Testament days is a lot different from praying and fasting for most people today.

Joe 2:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly;
Joe 2:16 Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room.
Joe 2:17 Let the priests, who minister to the LORD, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ “

Old Testament prayer and fasting was no joke! They got results! If we want our prayer and fasting to not be in vain, we must get our focus off of ourselves and get it on God.

One of the most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare is fasting. In Matt 17: 14-21, Jesus gave the Disciples a spiritual lesson that each and every one of us should take heed to.  In the story they were trying to cast out a demon and they couldn’t do it. So Jesus had to cast it out and he told them the following:

Mat 17:19  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

Mat 17:20  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.

Mat 17:21  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Jesus basically said, that there are some mountains and situations that you can move with your faith, and then there are some mountains and situations that can only be moved when you pray and fast!  Did you get that? There are some mountains that you can move with your faith, and there are some mountains that can only be moved when you engage in prayer and fasting! Which means you have to go a little deeper!

Fasting is a significant part of your Christian walk just as praying and reading the Bible is significant. Fasting is for everyone who desires to draw closer to God.

Whenever you fast, you need to pray and seek the Lord; otherwise you are just on a spiritual diet, and not hearing what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you.

People in the Bible fasted for many reasons; they fasted to hear from God, and they fasted because of trouble, trials, tribulations and tests.

Moses fasted on the mountain for 40 days to hear from God to receive the 10 commandments and tabernacle blueprints.

Jesus fasted 40 days before he launched into his ministry which gave him spiritual power.

The Daniel fast is not so much about how much we can eat, it’s about eating less to afflict our souls so that we focus on Jesus Christ and God’s kingdom agenda.

Now God understands that we are all at different spiritual levels in Christ, so each time we fast, we should stretch ourselves a bit.

 There are different types of fast such as:

The Normal Fast involves abstaining from all solid and liquid food except for water.

The Partial Fast involves abstaining from just certain foods. You can live on just certain foods during the duration of this fast such as bread and water, or you may choose to fast a certain meal each day.

The Daniel Fast consists of fruits, vegetables, and water.

And for those that are on medication and must eat, there is the Television and Entertainment Fast which is setting aside television, radio, newspapers, social media (that’s what I said) and other forms of entertainment to seek the Lord.

If you desire more information on the acceptable fast, read what the Prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 58:3-12.

According to Isaiah 58: 6-7, the acceptable fast unto the LORD does seven things:

  1. To bring justice
  2. To undo heavy burdens and break the yoke of bondage
  3. To free the oppressed and loose the bands of wickedness
  4. To share food
  5. To provide shelter for the poor
  6. To clothe the naked
  7. To provide for one’s family

There are seven other reasons to fast as well:

  1. To mourn and repent
  2. To receive God’s instructions
  3. To die to the flesh
  4. For humility and deliverance from bondage
  5. To resist the devil’s temptations
  6. For health and healing
  7. For spiritual power to cast out demons

All of these are good reasons for fasting, but just remember prayer and fasting gives us spiritual strength to hear clearly from the LORD, it gives us supernatural power to engage in spiritual warfare and it also brings healing to our bodies. Whatever fast that you partake of, just be sure that it is an acceptable fast unto the LORD.

God Bless, Pastor Quinn

 

 

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