When ye fast
“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Matthew 6:16 (KJV)
Fasting is one of the pillars of the Christian faith. Fasting is not done in order to change God’s mind concerning a situation. Rather, fasting is done to properly position yourself to receive from God.
Jesus, in talking about fasting, did not say “if” you fast. If He had said “if you fast”, then fasting would not have been a pillar; but as He said of prayer, “when ye pray”, He also said of fasting, “when ye fast”. What does it mean to fast? To fast is to deliberately abstain from food for a period of time in order to give full attention to prayer and seek the face of God. Fasting is not starvation; so it is not just abstinence from food but rather abstinence with a view to seek the face of God in prayers and study of the word of God. The main thing about fasting is your motive. If you do not get the motive right, then you might not enjoy the benefit of fasting. Just like prayer, fasting brings you into a closer relationship with God. It is something you do consciously and deliberately, not out of compulsion but out of a desire to develop a closer relationship with God.
Remember that fasting is a time set aside to seek the face of God. So even though you may not be able to take time off work, you must ensure that you spend more time with God. You can decide to wake up earlier than usual or sleep later, but when fasting, spend more time with God. When fasting, consciously put God first in all you do. Be more conscious about God and at every opportunity, take time to pray, look at the scriptures, and make declarations over your life. Don’t just abstain from food without praying, otherwise you will be simply starving yourself.
Remember that in prayer you are not changing God’s mind; you are only aligning yourself with the word of God. And as you do, heaven will move on your behalf and your testimony will not be denied.
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
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