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March 11,2024



And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Matthew 6:16-18 NLT 



Jesus is teaching His followers about the three major spiritual disciplines—praying, giving, and fasting. Jesus begins each topic with the same words, “when you….” Jesus does not say, “if you,” He always begins with the assumption that if they were going to follow Him this would be a part of their life. They would be praying, giving, and fasting.


As we prepare for Easter let’s take a moment to discuss the fasting issue. Fasting in Bible days was normally giving up food for a specific period during a day or number of days. It could be a total fast or partial fast. Daniel in the Old Testament fasted for 21 days from meat and sweats. (Cindy and I often begin our year with a 21-day Daniel fast.)


The purpose of fasting is to deny our flesh to heighten our spiritual sensitivity. By denying our flesh we allow our spirit to be more aware of God’s direction and speaking into our lives. 


Fasting is not playing “Let’s Make A Deal” with God. We don’t fast for a day or several days in exchange for that new job or a raise or a new relationship. Our fast can be directed at wanting to hear from God in specific areas of our lives, but it is not us trying to force God to do what we want done. Fasting is getting our will and desires in line with God’s will and desires.


Fasting is also to be a private issue that we don’t do to parade to others our spirituality. That doesn’t mean we can’t let others know we are fasting; it just means our motivation is not to impress others but to humble ourselves.


I believe you can fast from things other than food. I have at times taken a fast from television for a time. Other times I have fasted social media. The idea is to give up something you enjoy making yourself more sensitive to God. 


If you are fasting certain foods but don’t take extra time in reading the Bible and prayer you are just dieting. The idea is to shift the time you spend doing one thing and use that time to connect and listen to God. 


I would like to propose we consider fasting at least one day a week to prepare our hearts for Easter. Some may want to fast for the next several days before Easter. Others may choose to fast the week before Easter. The idea is to think about when you could fast and what you could fast. Then consider what you will do different to connect spiritually with God during your fast.


Something incredible will happen when we choose to deny the flesh to sharpen the spirit.



Holy Spirit, I ask you to show me how and when to fast. Help me to develop discipline in my spiritual life. Help me to hear You more clearly. 

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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