FOUNDATION TRUTH - Lesson 6

FASTING

Memory Text - Isaiah 58:6

The Bible clearly shows that prayer is definitely linked with fasting. Biblical fasting is intensified prayer. Things are accomplished through prayer with fasting which cannot be accomplished by prayer alone. "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." Matthew 17:21 Remember: Adam and Eve plunged the entire human race into sin over food.

WHAT ARE SOME BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF FASTING?

Prophet's Fast:
a. Moses - 40 days. Exodus 24:17-18, Deuteronomy 9:9
b. Elijah - 40 days. I Kings 19:8
c. Jesus - 40 days. Matthew 4:2; Luke 4:2

NOTE: Moses and Elijah fasted 40 days without food or water. They were supernaturally sustained by the presence of God. These were God-directed fasts. We should not attempt to imitate them unless it is clearly commanded by God.

Total Fast:
a. Esther fasted three days and nights without food or water. Esther 4:16
b. Paul fasted three days. Acts 9:9
c. Paul fasted often. II Corinthians 11:27
d. David fasted 7 days without food. II Samuel 12:16-18

Pleasant Food Fast:
a. Daniel fasted 21 days without sweetened food. Daniel 10:1-3

Group Fast:
a. Israel had special days of fasting, especially the Fast Day of
Atonement. Numbers 29:7; Acts 27:9. This was a day of affliction of soul.
b. The church at Antioch fasted. Acts 13:2

ARE THERE OTHER EXAMPLES OF FASTING ?

Yes: Any kind of self-denial, if done with the proper motivation and attitude, can be considered a form of fasting and discipline. I Corinthians 7:5
Partial Fast:
a. Denying yourself certain foods.
Mental Fast:
a. Reading nothing but the Word of God.

CAN WE HAVE THE WRONG MOTIVE IN FASTING?

Yes! the Bible speaks of those whose motives were wrong, and their
fasting was in vain. Some people try to bargain with God and impress
others with their fasting.
a. The King of Israel, Ahab, fasted with evil motives. I Kings 21:4
b. The Jews fasted to themselves, not to the Lord. Zechariah 7:1-14
c. The Pharisees fasted twice a week, hypocritically. Matthew 9:14; Luke 18:12

WHAT IS THE PROPER MOTIVE IN FASTING?

Isaiah 58 is called "the fasting chapter." It gives us a description of the proper fast before God. Note especially verses 6-7, and the promises of God which follow in verses 8-14. This chapter shows the proper motivation for a fast is to humble ourselves and to discipline our souls.

HOW ARE WE TO FAST?

a. Fast unto the Lord, not unto men like the Pharisees did, disfiguring their faces. Matthew 6:16-18
b. Humble ourselves with fasting. Psalm 35:13
c. Correct with discipline our souls in prayer and fasting. Psalm 69:10-11
d. Fast with pure motivation. Isaiah 58:6-7
e. Fasting and prayer should not be used as "works" to earn something from God, but to bring ourselves into line with His Word and will.
NOTE: If a believer cannot take an extended fast, it is good to fast one or two meals, when possible, and devote this time to prayer. It is also wise to drink plenty of water during fasting for cleansing purposes. It is absolutely important to PRAY in order
to receive the full benefit God intended in FASTING.

WHEN SHOULD WE FAST?

a. When directed by the Spirit of God. Luke 4:1-2
b. When we know as individuals that we need to. Matthew 6:16-18
c. When the Church as a whole is called to fast for special occasions. Joel 1:14, 2:15-16


WHAT ARE SOME RESULTS TO FASTING IN BIBLE TIMES?

a. A nation was delivered from death. Esther 4:16
b. The city of Nineveh was saved from divine judgment. Jonah 3:5
c. Demon spirits were cast out. Matthew 17:14-21
d. Elders were ordained. Acts 14:23
e. The will of the Lord was revealed. Acts 9:9-15. "The Spirit said..." as they ministered to the Lord and fasted. Acts 13:1-4

WHY SHOULD WE FAST

a. In obedience to God's Word. Joel 2:12; Matthew 6:16; 9:15
b. To receive God's grace and power. Ezra 8:23, 31; II Chronicles 7:14
c. To overcome temptation. Luke 4:1-2, 14; Matthew 9:15-17
d. To be cleansed from sin. Jonah 3:5; Daniel 9:3; I Samuel 7:6; Nehemiah 9:1-2
e. To weaken the flesh and receive spiritual power. II Corinthians 12:9-10; Psalm 109:24
f. To accomplish God's will. Acts 13:3, 14:23
g. To find help in difficult situations. II Samuel 12:16; Esther 4:16
h. To find God's direction. Ezra 8:21, 23
i. To obtain Divine revelation. Daniel 1:8-17, 10:7-8


 

Memory Text __________________________

The Bible clearly shows that prayer is definitely linked with_____________________. Biblical fasting is

_____________________prayer.

REMEMBER: Adam and Eve plunged the entire human race into sin over __________________.

Define these types of fasts:

Prophet's Fast. ____________ without food and water.

Total Fast. ______ food or water during fast.

Pleasant Food Fast. Not eating any _______________ food.

Group Fast. When more than two agree to fast _______________.

Partial Fast. Denying yourself _________________ foods.

Mental Fast. _________________ nothing but the word of God.

What are some wrong motives for fasting?

Trying to ______________ with God and to ___________________others.

What are the right motives in fasting?

_______________ ourselves, ______________________ our souls.

How are we to fast?

a. Fast unto the ______________ and not unto men.

b. Humble ourselves with ___________________.

c. ________________ with discipline our souls with prayer and fasting.

d. Fast with ________________ motivation.

e. Fasting and prayer should not be used as _______________ to earn something from God.

When should we fast?

1. When _______________ by the Holy Spirit.

2. When we know as ____________________ that we need to fast.

3. When the _____________________ as a whole is called to fast for special occasions


Answers: Isaiah 58:6; Fasting, Intensified; Food; 40 Days; No;

Sweetened; Together; Certain; Reading; Bargain; Impress; Humbling;

Disciplining; Lord; Fasting; Correct; Pure; Works; Directed; Individuals; Church

 

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