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Old 04-13-2012, 11:21 AM
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Blacknarwhal Blacknarwhal is offline
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Default On fasting

This is one of those strange topics that gets jumbled around a lot, and since I've seen a lot of people go a lot of different directions with it, I figured I'd bring it up here for the sake of seeing what other folks had heard.

I was reading about the Fast of the Firstborn, part of the Passover celebration, and what I'd read suggested that a Hebrew fast actually only went from sunrise to sunset, and not a full 24 hour run as some had suggested previously.

I'd also heard about the spiritual benefits of such a move and wondered if it may not be a good idea in times like these, which are full of the need of spiritual benefits.

So go ahead, folks, fill me in. I've heard plenty of things, and a lot of them contradict, so I figured this might be a good way to tip a scale one way or another.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:40 AM
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I have fasted some, before, but I'm not very good at it I'm afraid. Flesh is strong, and we Western Christians give in too easily.

I will say this, though, I think it's easier to fast if it's done in the context of community. I had a friend in college who was Jewish, and one of the Jewish feasts that he went to they all gathered in a high school gymnasium and ate nothing, drank nothing -- for however long it lasted. He told me, "The only thing we swallow the entire time is our own spit."
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:46 AM
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Given all the people with blood sugar problems who refuse to admit it, I think fasting is a terrible idea for most. Half of the avoidable auto accidents on our freeways are caused by people not getting their meals on time or getting enough sleep.

I think eating "plainer" meals (simple meals) accomplishes many of the same things.

I know a Catholic family who during Lent this year did all their cooking from scratch, serving meals like bean soup and fresh bread. They donated the savings to a local food bank.

I know a number of people who would be unhappy with that amount of carbs in a meal, but that's just an example. One could also serve a portion of marinated flank steak over a bed of lettuce, plus a piece of fruit and water to drink . . .
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
Given all the people with blood sugar problems who refuse to admit it, I think fasting is a terrible idea for most. Half of the avoidable auto accidents on our freeways are caused by people not getting their meals on time or getting enough sleep.

I think eating "plainer" meals (simple meals) accomplishes many of the same things.

I know a Catholic family who during Lent this year did all their cooking from scratch, serving meals like bean soup and fresh bread. They donated the savings to a local food bank.

I know a number of people who would be unhappy with that amount of carbs in a meal, but that's just an example. One could also serve a portion of marinated flank steak over a bed of lettuce, plus a piece of fruit and water to drink . . .
This is also an issue. Some have said a fast is only the elimination of food, and that drink is immaterial at this point. Others have said only water comprises an acceptable fast. And like grower said, some still have said not even water is acceptable.

Not all of them can be right. So which definition does God use? The Bible seems a bit short on the definitions, at least that I've seen, and I've read it a few times in my life.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:11 PM
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For what it's worth . . .

Answer: Scripture does not command Christians to fast. God does not require or demand it of Christians. At the same time, the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial.

http://www.gotquestions.org/fasting-Christian.html
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:56 PM
joyfulheart joyfulheart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
For what it's worth . . .

Answer: Scripture does not command Christians to fast. God does not require or demand it of Christians. At the same time, the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial.

http://www.gotquestions.org/fasting-Christian.html
Agreed.

Also, many believe "fasting" does not have to be food related. Many will fast something that takes up alot of their time/distracts them from the Lord.

I have only fasted twice (both in the last month) and both times it was a VERY positive experience!

Yes it was hard for me, I like food! And I do have blood sugar problems, so I was careful.

The hardest was preparing meals for my family and NOT taste-testing. I had to keep reminding myself that I was on a fast, or I'd forget.

The first time I fasted, I went a little over 24 hours. No food, but I did allow liquids, including one of my son's carnation chocolate breakfast drinks. (like I said, blood sugar issues). I also "fasted" off the internet during that time. I spent the time instead of the internet in prayer, reading and studying scripture.

The second time I fasted was one week later, I fasted for 36 or 48 hours (I cannot remember exactly but am pretty sure it was 48 hours) . That time, I drank only water or milk, no food.

I cannot go into specific details as to the exact results, but I will tell you that God provided HUGE blessings and really moved in our lives as a result.

No, I did not fast to "get my way" or manipulate God-- He doesn't work that way. I fasted as an effort to show my dedication on trusting HIM on the important matters/struggles in our lives, to ask for him to listen to our prayers. And He did! I have to give 100% credit to God for what he did in our lives, as there is NO chance things could have happened the way they did without HIM acting. (total miracle!)

I learned alot during that fasting, and actually felt GOOD during and after the fast. I had peace, energy, slept well, and what normally would give me blood sugar issues, amazingly I felt fine the entire time.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:12 PM
1Ms. America 1Ms. America is offline
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Blacknarwhal said:
Quote:
I was reading about the Fast of the Firstborn, part of the Passover celebration, and what I'd read suggested that a Hebrew fast actually only went from sunrise to sunset, and not a full 24 hour run as some had suggested previously.
Blacknarwhal, I wondered if perhaps you might go to the Bible itself and check the accuracy of that "something that you read" regarding the fast of the firstborn.

I'm no expert, but I've just finished the 'Feast of the Firstborn" and there was no fasting involved at all beyond eliminating all yeast/leavening agents from eaten foods..ie eating only unleavened bread which is bread made without yeast. It involves avoiding muffins, or bisquits, or cookies, or even cereals which are made with leavening agents. There are other foods in the grain/starch category which are consumed instead.

The feast begins with a huge Passover celebration involving bible reading, prayers, psalms, songs, ritual memorial foods, and a big dinner! The remaining 7 days is what I meantioned above..a week of avoiding leaven.

The only day I've found so far that involved fasting is Yom Kippur and it IS a FULL 24 hour fast. Some even do a 3 day fast depending on how they view scriptures regarding the moon.

According to G-d's calendar, a day begins at sundown and a day ends at sundown. The ending of the day at sundown begins a new day. Therefore, from sundown to sundown is a full 24 hours.

This Yom Kippur fast, as far as I'm unstanding it, is a FULL fast which means BOTH food and drink. It could seem a 12 hour fast because most people do sleep at night and so they would get up in the morning and not eat that day till after sundown, but some people don't sleep; rather they spend that time in intense prayer. If a person is of the 3 day school, one would have to spend quite a LOT of time in prayer in order to honor it.

I hope that helps a bit. Please, do consult the front of the book for further, first hand information.

I don't mean to knock the Rabbi's regarding their wisdom and interpretation, and instructions, but one has to admit that ALL religions have been contaminated with some 'leaven' and so none are absolutely pure except for the word of Yah as he wrote, and intended it. And one can take it a step further in saying that things do get lost in translations so if one has a grip on the original language, you'll pull some additional stuff from it.

I do hope that helps!
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:12 PM
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fasting is simply a denial of self, a way to crucify the flesh and to show God you mean business, for whatever reason your doing it for. But in the end, your motive is what the Father looks at (the heart).

You can fool everyone, including yourself, but you cant fool God.

I believe fasting has much benefits in the physical, and certainly in the spiritual.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:35 PM
joshua79109 joshua79109 is offline
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I find Biblical examples of fasting.

I find fasting to be wonderful and worthy.

I find it odd when the discussion moves in the direction of what we don't have to do as opposed to what we get to do for Him.




Blessings all
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:28 PM
MarkB MarkB is offline
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Our personal experiences with fasting are no doubt as varied as we are in number. Of the many benefits to be reaped while fasting, the two that stand out most to me are an intensified personal awareness of the presence of God, to include a much improved ability to hear His voice as part of ongoing communication with Him, and a tangible increase of His power at work either personally in my life, or on my behalf in the lives of family and acquaintances, circumstances etc.

It is not that I become more powerful spiritually, but that His awesome power becomes more evident as I get out of the way, in large part specifically due to my flesh being put on a back burner because of the fast itself. He increases as I decrease, and the relationship becomes something much closer to what He intended all along, in my opinion.

God simply responds to right hearted fasting in a unique way, whether it be demonstrated through relationship with us, or His responding to a situation for us. Fasting and prayer with another or others for a specific reason, or with a specific request of God, even if separated by distance, produces results which are seldom seen otherwise.

I often think of Jesus' words to the disciples in Matthew 17, when they had been unable to cast out the demon from the "lunatic, sore vexed" son of the father who had then brought him to Jesus. Christ said that their problem had been twofold - one, unbelief, and two, that "this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. I have with my own eyes seen God drive an unbelievably powerful spirit out on our behalf in answer to several days of prayer and fasting with another Christian for this battle. He and He alone took up the fight on our behalf sovereignly in His power, our role was obedience and surrender.

I probably have as many fasting failure stories as I do big fasting success stories, specifically because satan fights fasting and prayer tooth and nail, and to be honest, I have by no means won them all. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, mine moreso than others it seems at times. I know people who have done long fasts with nothing but water, others who have done juice fasts, still others who have had a cup of broth maybe twice a day, and everything in between. Most everybody agrees that whatever you do, it is best to give up caffeine for the duration. Personally, I've done best with nothing but a small bowl of liquid only soup or broth once or twice daily, and personal communion nightly during the fast, the longest of these going 5 to 7 days or so? I also once did a multi-day fast when doing physical labor by eating a piece of nutritious Ezekiel type bread once daily, and liquids otherwise.

Blacknarwhal, I couldn't agree more that prayer and fasting can tip the scales in times like these.
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