Seeking God’s Will for This Year
How do your spiritual decisions in January set the course for the rest of the year?
And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is giving up something for a specified number of days for a specific purpose. The type and length of the fast you choose is between you and God, and should not be determined by what anyone else is doing.
Fasting, prayer, and reading God’s Word go hand in hand. When you fast, also pray for God’s purpose and plan for your life to be revealed. Fast and pray about every major decision in your life.
Simply put, fasting is a way to conquer the physical and open the door to the supernatural in your life. When you deny your body, you feed your spirit and grow closer to the Lord.
In Matthew 6, Jesus gave us specific directions on how to live as a child of God. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian – giving, praying, and fasting. Jesus said, “When you give”…”when you pray”…”when you fast.” He made it clear that fasting – like giving and praying – is a normal part of Christian life.
Types of Fasts
Be sure to consult a doctor before beginning any fast, especially if you have any type of medical condition.
FULL FAST – Drink only liquids—especially water. On this type of fast you may also take in clear broth and 100% fruit and vegetable juices in order to maintain your strength. You establish the number of days for your fast in juices in order to maintain your strength. You establish the number of days for your fast in your prayer time.
DANIEL FAST – The most frequently used example of a partial fast is found in Daniel 10. The Daniel Fast is a fast from meats, sweets, breads, and any drink, except water, for a specific time period (Daniel 10:2-3). The easiest way to think of this fast is eating only vegetables and fruits, and drinking only water.
PARTIAL FAST – There are many options for partial fasts. Below are just a few for you to select from.
The following are examples of other types of partial fasts:
- Give up one item of food or drink such as caffeine, coffee, soft drinks, or sweets/desserts.
- Give up one entertainment item; TV, movies, internet, etc.
- Give up one meal a day for a specific amount of time, one meal a week, etc.
- Fast for a specific number of days…one day, three days, and so on.
- Choose to fast for a certain amount of time each day, for example 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from sunup to sundown.
Jesse is a pastor, speaker, author and former professional goalkeeper. He invites you to explore his website https://jessebradley.org.
Pray this week:
Heavenly Father, I want to grow closer to You. I want You to guide my life. Show me how fasting may help in this way.
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