WHY FAST? means to lose weight or to effect political change: The Fast Diet pushes intermittent...

WHY FAST? means to lose weight or to effect political change: The Fast Diet pushes intermittent fasting
WHY FAST? means to lose weight or to effect political change: The Fast Diet pushes intermittent fasting
WHY FAST? means to lose weight or to effect political change: The Fast Diet pushes intermittent fasting
WHY FAST? means to lose weight or to effect political change: The Fast Diet pushes intermittent fasting
download WHY FAST? means to lose weight or to effect political change: The Fast Diet pushes intermittent fasting

of 4

  • date post

    13-Oct-2020
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    0
  • download

    0

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of WHY FAST? means to lose weight or to effect political change: The Fast Diet pushes intermittent...

  • Room To Pray 2018: A Call to Pray and Fast Bible Study #1: WHY FAST? Page 1 of 4

    WHY FAST? Introduction Over the past few decades, we’ve heard or read about fasting in two contexts – as a means to lose weight or to effect political change: The Fast Diet pushes intermittent fasting as a way to eat well while getting slim and healthy and some reviewers bill this diet as the “health phenomenon of our times.” (www.bookrepository.com) At the other extreme, we know hunger strikes have been staged for political reasons throughout history. According to the BBC, hunger strikes were part of the legal system in pre-Christian Ireland. If a man felt wronged by you and starved himself to death on your doorstep, you had to bear the burden of his debts! In more recent history, hunger as political protest has been revived – used by everyone from the suffragettes to Gandhi. Biblical fasting The tradition of biblical fasting that we read in Scripture tells a different story. A biblical fast is never done to lose weight (though that may happen depending on your type of fast). Nor does fasting guarantee your desired outcome, political or otherwise. Fasting was regularly practiced throughout biblical times. Indeed, the list of biblical fasters reads like a “who’s who” of Scripture says Richard Foster. They include Moses, David, Elijah after his victory over Jezebel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Hannah, Esther, Daniel, Anna, Jesus (at the start of his ministry) and Paul, to name a few. Communities fasted as well: Jehosophat called Judah to fast when faced with certain annihilation at the hands of a vast army. Returning to Jerusalem, Ezra directed the hundreds of Jews with him to fast and pray for God’s protection. Esther called all Jews to fast with her for three days and nights before she went before King Xerxes. Jews were commanded to fast on the Day of Atonement. Pharisees fasted twice a week. (Luke 18:12). One of the earliest church-discipline texts that exists outside of Scripture, the Didache, instructs that Christians were also to fast twice a week. Why should we fast today?

  • Room To Pray 2018: A Call to Pray and Fast Bible Study #1: WHY FAST? Page 2 of 4

    Reason 1: We fast because of an urging or prompting, a sense of call or a sense of rightness. READ Matthew 6:1 – 18 How many whens do you find in this passage? ___________________________ List every sentence in which you find Jesus begins with When or And when e.g. When you give to someone in need . . . _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ When is a powerful word. Jesus didn’t say if you give . . . if you pray . . . if you fast. We fast because we have heard that call from Yahweh, the voice of the Lord and we must obey. Reason 2: We fast because fasting reveals the things that control us. We find Jesus’ directives on prayer and fasting in his teachings known as The Sermon on The Mount. Let’s not forget though that Jesus gives these teachings after He has been baptized by John and then “led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.” READ Matthew 4: 1-11 What does Jesus do in the wilderness and how does He physically feel? (verse 2) _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ What is Satan’s first challenge to Jesus? (There are two parts to this answer.) (verse 3) _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ What is Jesus’ reply? (verse 4) _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ READ Deuteronomy 8: 1-3. Then, if you have time, READ Psalm 78.

  • Room To Pray 2018: A Call to Pray and Fast Bible Study #1: WHY FAST? Page 3 of 4

    Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 to rebuff Satan’s temptation. What is Jesus saying to Satan, and to us, about God’s word? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ What is Jesus saying to us about the meaning and value of hunger? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ RE-READ Matthew 1 – 11 then READ John 10:10 The devil’s challenges/temptations to Jesus in the wilderness, and Jesus’ teachings about the Good Shepherd in John 10 make it clear: Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. And he does so by targeting the core things that control us: our appetite, our need for approval and our ambitions. (Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen) Satan will want you:

    • to question and disbelieve God’s word (verse 3) • test God’s power and faithfulness in your life (verses 5 - 6) • doubt God’s timing and plan for you (verses 8 – 9)

    (sourced from Fast Friends: The Amazing Power of Friendship, Fasting and Prayer by Suzanne Niles and Wendy Simpson Little. BroadSheet Publishing Group, Racine, WI) How would Jesus’ experience of fasting have given Him the strength to resist; to say no to Satan . . . three times over and to trust God His Father, His Word and His way instead? _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ We often cover up what’s inside of us with food and with other things, but in fasting, those things that control us begin to surface. As you think about joining Baptist Women in their month of prayer and fasting for more of God and of Jesus, what’s begun to surface for you as you’ve worked though this study? What are some of the ways in which you satiate your appetites, get approval from others and manage your destiny? List them here.

  • Room To Pray 2018: A Call to Pray and Fast Bible Study #1: WHY FAST? Page 4 of 4

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________ God knows your heart and He already knows what you need (Matthew 6: 32)! How could fasting help you resist Satan’s lies and opposition? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Reason 3: We fast as a way of celebrating the goodness of God while growing our trust in Him. READ Matthew 6:19 – 20 and verses 25 – 34 There are four “do not” commands given by Jesus in these verses. What are they? Verse 19: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Verse 25: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Verse 31: _____________________________________________________________________________________ Verse 34: _____________________________________________________________________________________ How could regular prayer and fasting help you grow in your ability to s