Concept of Fasting in Christianity
Christian fasting- What is it?
Biblically, fasting is abstaining from food, drink, sleep or sex to focus on a period of spiritual growth. Specifically we deny something of the flesh to glorify God, enhance our spirit and go deeper in out prayer life. Christian fasting isn’t some kind of “work” that’s commanded by Christ or required by scripture. However, that doesn’t mean that fasting isn’t recommended as a part of our spiritual growth. The Book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:4; 14:23). Fasting and prayer are often linked together (Luke 2:37; 5:33). Too often, the focus of fasting is on lack of food. However, the purpose of fasting is to take our eyes off the things of this world instead focus on God. Fasting is a way to demonstrate to God and to ourselves that we are serious about our relationship with Him. Although fasting in Scripture is almost always a fasting from food, there are other ways to fast. Anything you can temporarily give up in order to better focus on God can be considered as a fast (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Fasting should be limited to a set time, especially when the fasting is from food. Extended periods of time without eating are harmful to the body. Fasting is not intended to punish flesh, but to focus on God. Fasting should not be considered a dieting method either. We shouldn’t fast to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God. Yes, anyone can fast. Some may not be able to fast from food (diabetics, for example), but everyone can temporarily give up something in order to focus on God. Even unplugging the T.V for a period of time can be an effective fast. It’s a good idea for the believers to fast from time to time, as fasting is not required in Scripture but it is highly recommended. The primary reason Biblically to fast is to develop a closer relation with God. By taking our eyes off the things of this world, we can focus better on Christ....
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