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Showing posts from October 17, 2010

Fasting for Spiritual Growth

Fasting is the ancient practice of not eating in order to discipline your body so you can make room in your soul to commune with God. It must be, as Richard Foster writes, "God-initiated and God-ordained."

The spiritual practice of fasting is NOT designed for weight loss or health reasons, although there are physical benefits for doing it. But the primary purpose of fasting is to deny our physical appetite(s) in order to feed our spiritual hunger and thirst for God with the Spirit and Word.

During a time of fasting we mourn our spiritual condition or the condition of others, confess our sins, and seek God in prayer (See Nehemiah 1:4-11). This is why the practice is "God-initiated." In our relationship with God, we see our lives and the lives of others from his perspective, and he calls us to confession and prayer.

Jesus expected that his followers would fast. In his kingdom-inaugurating message we know as the Sermon on the Mount, he addressed the subject by saying, &…