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FASTING

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Key Verse: Luke 5:35
But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast in those days

Question: What does the key verse mean to you?

LESSON:

Fasting is probably the most unused tool the Christian has. The Christian has a tool box full of valuable tools, prayer is one tool, another tool is Bible study, another is fellowship with people of like mind. The Sabbath day and all the feast days are tools the Christian uses to finetune his relationship with God. The one tool that is seldom used is fasting, the reason for this is simple, itís an unpleasant experience, no one likes to experience hunger pain. In our culture, we have become so accustomed to eating three meals a day that if we miss a meal we feel something is dreadfully wrong. Since weíre using the analogy of the tool box letís consider the mechanic that works on your vehicle. There are some things that cannot be fixed on your vehicle unless the proper tool is used. Could the same be true about your personal relationship with God that there are some things that cannot be fixed unless we use all the tools in the Christians tool box?

Most people gloss over the fact of how much fasting was used throughout the Bible. Fasting was used when praying for the sick. David even used fasting when praying for his enemy (Psalm 35:13). Fasting was used when a king and his son were killed in combat (2 Samuel 1:12). In todayís society fasting would be used when calamity strikes America such as the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Fasting was used when David thought his infant son may die (2 Samuel 12:16). Fasting was used as a tool when a critical decision had to be made, a decision where the consequence could mean death (Esther 4:16). Fasting was used as a tool to gain direction from the Lord (Acts 13:2). Fasting was a tool to reveal the humility of the heart (Joel 2:12). Fasting was used as a tool for seeking God (Daniel 9:3).

We see, through scriptures, that fasting was a commonly used tool, much like prayer and Bible study. Jesus was specifically asked about fasting. Notice what He said (Luke 5:33-35). With this passage it is obvious that Jesus, after His departing, would expect His disciples to use the tool of fasting. If youíve encountered a tough problem that wonít go away, if youíre seeking answers from God then you may want to take another look at your toolbox and pick up that dreaded unused tool called fasting.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is fasting? (Exodus 34:28)

  2. Is Fasting commanded? (Leviticus 23:27, 29)

  3. Are there other times, besides the Day of Atonement, when we need to fast? (Matthew 17:21)

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