Our walk with Jesus Christ teaches us new things every day. Day after day we are learning new ways to live in communion with the Lord ways of exercising our faith.
There are three things that are essential in a Christian’s everyday life. Bible reading, prayer and fasting. Of course, no one has any doubts about how to read the Word of God and how to pray daily. But something that has always been difficult for me to understand as a Christian was how to fast correctly.
In the beginning, I used to do fasts of food for purposes. Fasts of some kinds of songs and even of social networks. But did I do it right?
WHY WE MUST FAST?
First we must understand the reason why we fast. There’s a lot of people that do it for material things or blessings for the earthly life. And ok, I can’t say that this is going wrong. After all, we live by faith and not by the ways stated in the law. As the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:16,
“know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in” (NIV)
We were created to have eternal life with the Lord, and not to have eternal life in the earth. So we should focus our lives and activities in the Kingdom of Heaven. Where we will not have material blessings, but spiritual blessings. Thinking this way, we see that fasting must be done to strengthen us in our walk with Jesus and to achieve more of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
In Mark 9:28 we find a well-known passage. The disciples ask Jesus why they have not been able to cast out an evil spirit from a child, and Jesus responds by saying that that species would only come out with fasting and prayer.
“After Jesus had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately,” Why can not we cast him out? “(29) He replied,” This kind only goes forth in prayer and fasting “(NIV)
Many Christians confuse themselves with this passage and begin to believe that fasting brings us a kind of gospel superpower to cast out evil spirits and better manifest the gifts. But the truth is that it only does one thing to us: it increases our faith, and makes us more aware of the authority that has already been given us by the name of Jesus
A few moments before the passage quoted, in Mark 9:19, the father of the demon-possessed boy tells Jesus that the disciples failed to expel that spirit from the boy and Jesus responds:
“O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How much longer will I have to endure them? Bring me the boy. ” (NIV)
It is clear when we link verses 29 and 19 that the greatest problem of the disciples was not “lack of powers” but lack of faith. That is, the way to correct this lack of faith would come through fasting and prayer. Because it is something that brings us closer to Heavenly Father and leaves us more in communion with Him.
And what better way to have the freedom to ask something to God, or to see the manifestations of the Holy Spirit happening through your life than to be in full communion with Jesus?
THERE IS A CORRECT WAY TO FASTING?
The Holy Bible teaches at no time a pattern for fasting. The only thing that is clear in all the texts is that the person who dedicated himself to fasting abstains from essential or pleasing things to the physical life.
In particular, I do not believe that my social networks or my television are things worthy of a fast for my life, in fact I think it’s good to stay away from them to dedicate myself more to God. But when I cut something that I can not really live without, as is the case with food and water, I believe that I am literally hurting my carnal needs to approach of Jesus Christ through prayer. But each one must fast according to his faith, according to the quotation from Paul at the beginning of this text (Gal 2:16).
You can fast the way you want, for a few hours or for a whole day. You just need a time dedicated to strengthening your friendship with Jesus. Then a fast is worthless if it is not accompanied by prayer, praise, and worship of God.
If by chance there is no time in your daily life because of work and studies, no problem. God is fair and will see you separating a while, even if you are in the midst of your everyday activities and remaining without food to think of the things of Him. Praying in thought, listening and singing praises and reading some passages from the Holy Bible.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you! Amen!
Marcelo Brandão, from Bible Offline.