The Biblical Meaning Of Fasting
Ramadan has just ended and so is the fasting period for Muslims. Fasting during the daylight hours of the Ramadan month is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and therefore considered to be of utmost importance for everyone who claims to be a real Muslim. You cannot be a Muslim if you do not fast during Ramadan.
The question that many Muslims ask is: Do Christians fast? The truth of the matter is, many Christians do fast. Although we find no explicit command in the New Testament for Christians to fast, there are indications that fasting was a normal practice in the Old Testament and even during the time of Jesus. So why do Christians fast if the Bible does not command them to? What is the biblical meaning of fasting?
Fasting In The New Testament
First, let me just say that fasting does not have the same place in Christianity that it does in Islam. For a Muslim, not fasting during Ramadan jeopardizes his ability to be with Allah in paradise. In Christianity, fasting or not fasting has no bearing with ones salvation, because salvation , is received by grace through faith alone in the Lord Jesus .
What does the Bible have to say about fasting? More importantly, what was Jesus stand with regards to fasting? In the New Testament, the first mention of fasting is in Luke 2:37 wherein a prophetess named Anna, the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, is said to have never left the temple. Instead, she stayed there day and night worshiping God with fasting and prayer.
And this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. Luke 2:37
In this instance, fasting is said to be one way of serving God. There is no indication whatsoever that Anna was required to do this. Her fasting and prayer seemed to have been prompted by a felt need. Perhaps, Anna was so burdened at the coming of the Messiah that she spontaneously devoted much of her time to fasting and prayer.
Jesus also fasted when He was tempted by Satan . For 40 days, while Jesus was under tumultuous attack by Satan and in the presence of wild beasts, He ate nothing . But was this a fast? Although Matthew used the word fasting, Luke didnt.
Amazing Facts About Number 222
Biblical number 222 can help us to find the answers that we need â If we put an effort, we will surely find them .
These answers are not too complicated. In addition, they can help us already lead a meaningful life and have wonderful hope for the future. And in the Bible, Hope is the biggest treasure.
Now, we must come back to number 2 and its significance in the Bible.
In total, numeral 2 was used 21 times in Daniel and Revelation.
As we look at the symbolical meaning that is behind number 2, or triple 2, we will add this also: number 2 in the Bible represents the truth of Godâs Word for example, the Law and the Prophets , two or three witnesses , and a sword sharp on both sides .
For this cause, take all the weapons of God, that you may be able to defend yourself in the day of evil, and endure all things.
Hold on, then, covering your thighs with your truth and clothed yourself in the armor of justice, and put your feet in the preparation of the gospel of peace: which you will be able to exterminate all the blasted arrows of the ungodly, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spiritual which is the word of God. â
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What Is Biblical Fasting And How Does It Work
For thousands of years, biblical fasting has been the practice of abstaining from food for spiritual purposes. If youre used to a routine of three square meals a day, going without food as a spiritual practice may sound strange. But fasting was a very common religious practice when the Bible was written.
In his book Hunger for God, John Piper writes: Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God. Christian fasting is not only the spontaneous effect of superior satisfaction in God, it is also a chosen weapon against every force in the world that would take that satisfaction away.
But how does biblical fasting work and how can someone do it today? In this guide, were going to cover what every Christian should know about fasting: what it is and how it works.
If you want to jump ahead, heres what were going to look at:
Some Christians use the word fast when abstaining from pleasures besides food, like TV, internet or, for married couples, sex. You might know people who have gone on a social media fast or a screen fast for spiritual reasons. For the purposes of this article, were going to focus on traditional Christian fasting: abstaining from food.
Ezra And The Israelites Fast For A Safe Journey
In Ezra 8:21-23, Ezra proclaimed a fast at the river of Ahava for 220 temple servants that they might humble themselves before God and ask Him for wise guidance and a safe journey for them, the children, and all of their possessions. Ezra was embarrassed to ask the king for a bodyguard because he had just told him that God lovingly looks after those who seek Him and turns away in disgust from those who leave Him, so they fasted and prayed that God would take care of them and He listened.
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What You Need To Know About Fasting From Food And Drink
a progression should be observed in your fasting, especially if this discipline is new to you and you are unfamiliar with its physical effects. Dont start out with a weeklong water fast! Begin by skipping one meal each day for two to three days and setting aside the money it would have cost to give to the poor. Spend the time praying that you would have used for eating.”
“If youve never fasted before, be aware that in the early stages you may get dizzy and have headaches. This is part of the bodys cleansing process and will pass with time. Be sure that you break the fast gradually with fresh fruit and vegetables. Do not overeat after the fast. Chili and pizza may sound good after several days of not eating, but please, exercise a little restraint and say no! What Christians Need to Know about Fasting by Sam Storms
When starting your fast, consider possible dietary restrictions. Pastor Brian Croft writes, Be mindful of any health issues that could make a fast unwise. For example, if you are a diabetic or have any other physical condition that requires a strict diet, be especially mindful not to put yourself in a compromised position as a result of a fast.”
For more Practical Guidelines for Fasting, click here.
How Do We Apply These Fasts In The Bible To Our Lives Today
As the Bible says: Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 1 Corinthians 10:11 ESV. They are examples, instructions, to strengthen us, encourage us and empower our walk with God. Not just for our comfort, but so that we might be strong in the Lord, in the power of His might and be able to be that Light in the dark, dark world we find ourselves living in.
Fasting with a right spirit, for the right reasons, truly does get Gods attention. We dont do it to be seen or heard or to make ourselves something we are not. It is all about Jesus, and when the glory goes to Him, we will see the miraculous and be a part of a great and necessary awakening in these last and glorious days until we see the coming of the Lord.
Which types of fasting in the Bible has impacted you the most? Did you learn about a new one in this article?
*Related:Get a free copy of our Daniel Fast meal plan when you join our email list.
This post about the types of Biblical fasting was compiled by our guest contributor, Nannette Elkins, who has served as a pastors wife, missionary, speaker, and teacher. She also authored The Daniel Fast Devotional: A 21 Day Journey of Faith, available on Amazon.
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This Is The Perfect Time To Start A New Project
The angels are telling you that this is the perfect time to start a new project or business, because the world needs what you have to offer as well as your personal talents and gifts. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.
1111 is offering you an opportunity to expand your brand, increase profits and reach a larger audience of interested customers.
You may have seen other numbers such as 333 and 444 attached to this number. This is true! These numbers all refer to angels! Each angel has his or her own unique message for you, so pay attention when you see these repeating numbers in your life.
The angels want you to be aware of your inner strength and confidence! This means you can easily overcome any obstacles that arise on your path toward achieving your goals. The angels are letting you know that you are more powerful than you think!
Positive change is coming into your life right now due to confirmation from Divine Spirit and from love itself. All things come in divine order when we have faith in Gods plan for our lives, so keep up the good work!
Remember that positive change happens when we ask for it, believe it will happen, then take action towards making it happen.
Angel Number Meaning And Symbolism
Repeating numbers have deep and significant spiritual meaning. Since ancient times, human beings have used symbolic numbers to interpret glyphs and even predict the future.
If youre seeing a repeating number sequence frequently, or youre suddenly seeing a certain number pattern too many times in a day, then it means you need to pay attention to the divine energy that is surrounding you.
In this article, we will talk about the 222 Angel Number meaning. This repeating number has a profound meaning for anyone who sees it. In fact, the very thought that youre reading about Angel Number 222 right now could be a message from your guardian angel.
Before we dig deeper into the 222 Angel Number meaning, what you should do when you see it, and what it implies for your life purpose, lets discover its biblical meaning and significance.
Angels are messengers from God and they are used to relay messages that we must act upon in our lives.
Each of us has a guardian angel who guides us in many aspects of our life path, such as our career, our finances, our love life, and even our inner self. A guardian angel is a spirit guide.
So what is the 222 Angel Number meaning and what is its biblical meaning? Lets begin.
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Fasting As A Form Of Protest
In addition to its role in religion, fasting may be used to express social and political views, particularly as a gesture of protest or solidarity. The classic example of this approach was set by Mahatma Gandhi, who in the early 20th century conducted a fast in prison to atone for the violent excesses of those of his followers who did not practice his teaching of satyagraha against British rule in India. Gandhi later often fasted in pursuit of similar objectives, including the removal of disabilities imposed by the government on the untouchables. Fasting has frequently been practiced to protest against war and what are considered social evils and injustices, as in the fasts of the American black comedian from the 1960s in protest against the violation of civil rights of American Indians and against U.S. military activity in Southeast Asia. In 1981, 10 Irish nationalists died in a Belfast prison during a hunger strike conducted to urge recognition of themselves and their associates as political prisoners.
What The Scriptures Say About: Fasting
When your stomach begins to growl halfway through fast and testimony meeting, you probably do not think of fasting as rejoicing, yet this is the way fasting has been scripturally defined: âVerily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.â Rejoicing means to express joy, and joy is the reason for manâs existence. Fasting, then, is an activity that brings us back to the state of being for which we were created.
Our ability to rejoice on fast Sunday or at any other time we choose to fast is dependent on a number of things. One of these is our purpose in fasting.
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Moses Fast Before Receiving The Commandments
Moses went up on the mountain and fasted food and water for 40 days and 40 nights before receiving the commandments of God written on stone tablets. After the 40 days and 40 nights, the Lord told Moses that the people whom he brought out of Egypt have become corrupt, turned away from what He commanded them, and made an idol for themselves. They transgressed the commandments the Lord had just given them, so Moses angrily breaks the tables of stone. He then ascends to the mountain once again and fasts for another 40 days and 40 nights before receiving the commandments once more.
Does 222 Mean Anything In The Tarot
Tarot and Numerology are separate systems. However, some readers have found that certain cards and numbers have similar meaning or significance.
There is a correspondence between 222 and the cards of the Minor Arcana that have the value Two, all of which represent duality on some level. For example, the Two of Swords pertains to decisions being made: yes or no, stop or go, agree or disagree, while the Two of Cups denotes the building of a relationship.
In the Major Arcana, the second card is the High Priestess. She is perhaps the most sensitive and psychic of all the characters in the Tarot and often highlights the need for faith in your intuition.
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Return To God With Repentance
Even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.
Return to me.
What a powerful phrase coming from our Almighty God.
This was a call to repentance, for the people to return to Gods mercy and steadfast love.
And one of the ways to show their truly repentant heart was through fasting.
Even here in the Old Testament, God was not asking for the act of fasting alone. Fasting was a way to show that they desired to return to God with all of their heart.
Do Christians Need To Fast
Fasting might sound sensational today. But in Jesus culture, it was weird for a religious person not to fast.
The disciples of John the Baptist, an important prophet who prepared the way for Jesus ministry, often fasted. So did the Pharisees, a group of religious leaders who opposed Jesus teachings and conspired to kill Him!
During Jesus earthly ministry, His followers didnt fast. But Jesus assumed they would fast after he returned to the Father . In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives His followers instructions on how to fast, specifically telling them not to make a show of fasting like others in their culture .
Jesus may not have commanded his followers to fast, but He expected them to.
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Spiritual Preparation For Fasting And Prayer
In preparation for this special time with God, cru.orgs guide to fasting urges that you examine your heart. Ask God to help you see your brokenness clearly so that you can confess your sins and repent. In Scripture, God frequently calls upon people to repent of their sins before listening to their prayers.
You can look to King Davids example in Psalm 66:16-20:
Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me. I cried aloud to him, and he was extolled with my tongue.If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.But truly God has listened he has given heed to the words of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
To Express Love And Worship For God
Fasting can show, as John Piper says, that what we hunger for most, we worship.
How should we equip ourselves when God calls us to declare a holy fast? Here are some things to consider as you prepare for fasting:
Pray and confess your sinsA necessary step before fasting is to humble yourself before God and confess your sins . Prayer should be our sustenance throughout the fast, but it is imperative we begin the fast with a contrite heart.
Turn to ScriptureSpend additional time meditating on Gods Word, before and during the fast.
Keep it secretFasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others . Dont boast about your fast tell people you wont be eating only if necessary. Fasting should not be done when imposed for false motives .
Prepare your bodyFasting, especially for days or weeks, can have unexpected and even detrimental effects on your health. There is no scriptural warrant for harming yourself to undergo a fast. Be sure to consult a doctor before starting any fasting regimen to make sure you can fast in a healthy manner.
Fasting is an appropriate bodily reaction to the grievous state of our soul. If it is done correctly you can expect many results, including growing closer to God, feeling more solidarity with those who suffer, and increasing self-control.
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