Sunday, February 7, 2016
Fasting, The Forgotton Discipline
—Mike Teel, Pastor
James 5:16b (NKJV)
...The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Matthew 6:1, 5, 16-18
1“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven;
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full;
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Fasting is more than self-denial or abstinence. Fasting is abstaining from anything that hinders our communion with God.
Forms of Fasting: Luke 4:2; Ezra 10:6; I Corinthians 7:3-6
Motivation is key to fasting: Why am I doing this? Matthew 6:16
FOUR PRINCIPLES OF FASTING AND PRAYER
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Paul was warning about those who have allowed certain appetites for division within the church.
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge . . .
Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
LIVE IT OUT
1. Fasting will have no results without a personal relationship with Christ.
2. What is God saying to you today about fasting?
3. Will you commit to praying and fasting for the glory of God?