Fasting at Beach Church

a note from Pastor Jerry on fasting

 

As we head into the Easter season, my hope for our church is that we would prepare our hearts and minds for what God wants to do in and through us. And I believe that one of the best ways to discern God's voice is by fasting. That's why I'm encouraging us all to FAST AND PRAY every Thursday from dawn until dusk leading up to Easter. 

There are always a lot of questions concerning the idea of fasting. So for those of you who want to learn more, here are some thoughts on fasting that may be helpful:

 

  • How do I fast?

    • The idea behind fasting would be to use the time we would normally eat to focus on God either through prayer or spending time reading/reflecting on scripture.

 

  • Why do we fast?

    • From a biblical standpoint, fasting was practiced as a way of humbling ourselves before God, repenting of sin, acknowledging our mortality, opening our lives to more of God in seeking spiritual revival in one’s personal life or the life of God’s people, and guidance with a big decision or calling from God.

 

  • What does food have to do with it?

    • Taking away food for a period of time creates a hunger in the stomach that reminds us of our need for God’s provision. This allows fasting to be a spiritual practice that challenges us to have the same hunger for God and His Word as we have for food. For me personally, every time I think of my hunger (which is often on a fasting day!), my thoughts turn to God and find myself more connected to Him in conversation throughout the day.

 

  • How do I know if I'm doing it right?

    • The degree of one’s fast shouldn’t be legalistic, but a heart issue. I will fast from the last thing I eat on Wednesday until the sun goes down on Thursday. I usually still have coffee in the morning and water through the day. Some have nothing. Once again, this spiritual discipline is not meant to be legalistic. It is also not to be used as an occasion to boast. The discipline is not a chance to make yourself look more spiritual than others, but to draw closer to your Heavenly Father.

 

  • WHAT IF I CAN'T FAST FROM FOOD?

    • Some of us are not medically able to fast due to medications, medical conditions, or eating disorders. In those cases, I encourage you to find something else to fast from. Some examples include social media, television, or anything else that can take your attention away from Jesus.