I remember the first time I read a passage like Mark 2:18 and thought my Bible had a misprint in it. As I was a fairly new believer who quickly surrendered my life to ministry, I hadn’t gathered a full understanding of my theology prior to entering seminary. I was a foodie and had only ever witnessed in churches gatherings called “potlucks” where it seemed as everyone in the church brought their prized dish to share. It appeared as though the passage should have read “feasting.”
Much to my surprise, fasting actually is a word and it really is something the Bible teaches. So I continued my search for the understanding of this term. Why would I want to give up food? I’m a foodie!
That’s when I found out that it wasn’t much for me to worry about. This term described the latest and greatest Christian diets, which were often advertised on social media. Whew! I wouldn’t need that for a few more years, or so I thought.
Then, I discovered the true meaning of fasting. Leviticus 16:20 introduces the concept of fasting, but does not use the word fast so that we would not limit the definition to the absence of something (i.e. work, food, etc.). The word fast entails a quickening (Judges 4:21) and enduring (Deuteronomy 11:22) boost to our intimacy with God. As we lay aside the provisions to focus on the Provider, we turn to God more quickly and more often, no matter what we are encountering in life.
Here are some fast facts [haha I’m punny] to get you started:
-Fasting helps us to turn to our conversations with God more quickly and steadily.
-Fasting does entail a sacrifice of time, food, etc. to give more of ourselves to God.
-Fasting is to be done in times where we need to draw close to God.
-Fasting is to be done privately (You may tell your spouse or pastors for prayer).
A few weeks ago, I shared from Luke 10 all that Jesus taught was a part of normal Christian life. In Mark 9, Jesus teaches his followers that if their life isn’t all that it was created to be as a Christian, then we need to gain intimacy with God. Jesus taught that fasting can assist us in this process.
If you feel that God has called you to give something up to spend more time with him, please message us so that we may be praying for you and can answer any questions you may have.
Pastor Zac Breckenridge