Sunday, October 12, 2014

Feasting in Fasting – Part 1

 Matthew 6:16-18 “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. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 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.

Last Sunday Pastor Kyle preached on the spiritual disciple of fasting before the Lord. Fasting is the voluntary abstinence from food, as a religious mortification or humiliation; either total or partial abstinence from customary food, with a view to mortify the appetites and being literally, set, stopped, and pressed close to take fast hold of the Lord in a strong and firmly fixed adherence to Him alone. Fasting is refraining from food, with the intention of feasting on God. Jesus gives some guidelines in the opening passages to flip the physical to the spiritual. (1) When going without meals, emotions can leak out and show and so when we fast to the Lord, we need to recognize what’s visible to others, (2) We do not fast for the praise of others, so there is no announcing, no putting on an act or a face … look normal; not giving a clue, and (3) Know that God will reward open and honest fasting in the secret place directed to our Heavenly Father alone.  There are immediate and eternal rewards because we are body, soul and spirit in essence, so truly need Jesus in our greatest capacity.  This tent has a patch that says: “Property of J.C.”.

1 Corinthians 6:19Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

It’s not always easy to get our mind, will and emotions to look beyond our physical needs. Fasting is not a weight-loss program before the Lord. Its eating small regular meals of nutritious food, combined with daily exercise for a spiritual life change. In fasting, we reach beyond the body through the soul to our spirit in right relationship to make your voice heard on high. In no way, shape or form is fasting a way to twist God’s arm to do what we want. This is not an “I’ll do this for you, if you do that for me” proposition, but strictly a “moment-by-moment” experience with the Lord; not the result. We are never to seek our own pleasure, but to humble ourselves before God. True joy will come.

Isaiah 58:6-10 Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.”

Let’s finish this message on “fasting” from Pastor Kyle tomorrow.

In Christ, Brian

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