Tag Archives: Fasting

Monday Devotion: Celebrating Fasting


Suggestions for Further Reading of Celebration of Discipline

I think fasting is required for every believer of Christ today. Although Jesus has not constituted fasting as commandment for his disciples in the New Testament, yet we can not ignore the truth of Jesus’ teaching on fast on the Sermon of Mount in the opening of his public ministry. He never taught his disciples not to fast, but he restored proper fasting. Indeed, Jesus has advanced on the principle that the children of God would fast in his Kingdom. Today, church should fast in the absence of her groom.

There are two major differences in fasting: one that is centered on God and other not centered on God. God centered fasting drives a man into the close relationship with God. This kind of fasting is a channel to connect with God which brings blessings in our spiritual and physical lives. In other word, it attaches us to the world through God’s spirit but gives us freedom from the worldly life. It is a spiritual discipline. Contrary, fasting that is not centered in God is merely a merit. It is a worldly discipline to keep metabolism in good condition. This kind of fasting seeks detachment from ones own mind and soul from the world. Fasting that is not centered on God is a mere practice of trying to keep oneself from worldly thoughts. It has nothing to do with the relationship with God. Nevertheless, people of different faith other than Christianity fast on a regular basis so that their will be fulfilled by their gods.

Specific Suggestions

General: Engaging in a partial fast by abstaining from a particular kind of food or beverage is one of the best suggestions for beginners. When you want to get rid of some of your habits or food or beverage, but you were not able to do so on your own, fast can be a greater help for you. I also had some issues with anger. Minor things used to annoy me a lot. I tried to not be angry, but my all efforts went in vain.  I was just struggling inside me and trying to build up my confidence and overcome my anger and bitterness toward people. My commitment seemed futile to the point that I felt completely helpless. So I fasted for getting rid of some of those mental and spiritual issues. After fasting, there is no more struggle and everything is in control. God gave me victory over my past habits.

Continue reading Monday Devotion: Celebrating Fasting

Monday Devotion: The Discipline of Fasting


Reading Notes

Biblical fasting refers to abstaining from food for spiritual purpose.

Fasting is a private matter between an individual and God.

Jesus expected his disciples to fast after he was gone.

Fasting must be God-initiated, God ordained, and forever centered on God.

Fasting helps us to keep our spiritual and physical balance in our life.

Reflecting on Fasting

My fasting experiences have been fruitful for my spiritual and physical health. When I fast, it has been a great help for me to concentrate on God’s Word and reflect upon his work in my life. It also helps me know how I am doing with my personal relationship with him, and respond to him accordingly. At the same time, it has also proved good for my physical health in regards to digestion.  A week long fasting could be a little bit painful for first two days and which it was. But it became normal after two days. I felt as if I were flying in the spirit during those days. My personal behaviors were under control of the spirit. However, a normal fasting has been helping me to balance my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual life.

The purpose of fasting is to discipline our spirit and body. Fasting reminds us that we are sustained by God’s word. Fasting is also another form of devotion to God by expressing our abstinence from food and other normal activities. The very purpose of fasting is to transform our outward and inward being to Christ-likeness.

A Light for the Path

Matthew 4:1-4

In the passage, Jesus was tempted in hunger right after his forty days of fasting. Hunger preoccupies one’s mind, and spirit of anger also becomes active quickly at that time. Yet Jesus did not fall apart from his purpose. He said that man does not live only by bread, but by every Word of God. Many times, we are also tempted by food. When we declare our fasting, we feel much hunger than other usual days. Our stomach demands much more than before. We feel “burning fire” in the stomach. Ironically, we may not crave for food due to busyness or fun or just skip our meal on other days, but on the we declare fast, it becomes challenging! Our flesh tries to resist us from overcoming our carnal nature. Basically, food appears as a tempter for fasting. Fasting and meditating on the Word of God sustains us and can lead us to victory as Jesus did. Continue reading Monday Devotion: The Discipline of Fasting

Monday Devotion: William Law on Fasting


William Law (1686 – 1762)

Background and Context:

William Law was a devoted Anglican priest. During eighteenth-century Enlightenment period, he was serving God. People were leaving their Christian faith and following the contemporary world cultures. Science and technology had revolutionized the world. Liberal faith challenged the monotheistic Christian faith and its devotion. Therefore, he saw the need of Christian literature to pass the true knowledge of God. He published his book called “A serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life in 1728. His work was very alike earlier writers John Tauler, John Ruusbroec, and Thomas a Kempis. Law’s book became very popular, and it is still widely read.

Later on, his working on the writings of Protestant mystic Jakob Boehme particularly helped Law to grow even more deeply in Christ. He understood the importance of Atonement.  He mentioned about God’s Atonement in his second major work, “The Spirit of Love”.  He became an English Evangelical Revival.

Law writes clearly about the practice of fasting, and he encourages us to fast. He focuses in Jesus’ teaching about fasting; he wants to remind us of Jesus’ central teaching and clarify it. Jesus teaches us to fast without deceiving close family members. The central idea is we should not publicize about our private prayer practice.

Summarization and Main Theme:

Law exhibits the true sense of prayer and fasting in this spiritual journal. He says that since the Bible opposes the prayer in public, yet private prayer also does not mean that we should not witness in public. The author talks about the involvement of close family members in devotion rather than concealing them about such devotion in prayer and fast.

In addition, Law adds that in such devotion we can either pray together in private or pray separately chanting Psalms. We should keep our family known about our fast. Therefore, the truest sense of fasting does not exclude everybody from knowing our fast. The main issue with fasting is not to make public display of our fasting to the world.

Law presents the case of Cornelius’s fasting to show how he reacts after getting vision. Indeed, his “fasting was sufficiently private and acceptable to God”[i], but it was also not entirely unknown to others. Cornelius calls two of his household servants, and a devoted soldier right after receiving vision from God (Act 10:7). The author argues that Cornelius’s fasting is not unknown or private; on the other hand, it is not a public ostentation as well. Hence, the main idea of the devotion is to help the believers around the world to fast in private between God and themselves.

Application:

The classical devotion on fasting is very contextual in the greater part of the world. Fasting is the most avoided disciplines in spiritual life. Today, I understand the meaning of prayer and fast in private. I used to think that I should not let my family members know about my fasting. I tried to keep it secret. Keeping secret means lying others. If I do not share about my fasting to my wife, I need to pretend so many things to keep private without noticing that I am telling white lies.  Therefore, I have come to know that sharing my fast to my close family members would not be a public advertisement of my spiritual life. Instead, they also see and take part in the good work for glory of God.

Our church should appropriately interpret the Scriptures and teach the believers the true meaning of fasting in private. The misinterpretation of the Scripture has confused people. Due to lack of biblical knowledge and appropriate understating of the Scripture, many believers in Nepal, my home country are living in confusion. When they fast, they think that they should not tell any of their family members. If the church helps them understand the meaning of private fasting, believers would not struggle in the day of fasting. The contemporary churches should share about private or public prayer and fasting.


[i] Spiritual Classic, William Law, pp. 74