Sanctify A Fast
Pastor Phil Derstine
Fasting - What does the Bible say?
- Joel 2:15 “Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.”
- Sanctify (set it apart for God) - Abstain from certain things in order to “feast” on God’s Word & Prayer.
Fasting is a normal Christian lifestyle
- Jesus taught it - Matthew 6:16-18 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting… but your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
- The Early Church did it - Acts 13:2-3 “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So, after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”
- Today is the time to fast - Matthew 9:15 “Jesus answered, How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.”
- Fasting is always voluntary - don't do legalistically, but out of love and obedience to God.
- Usually involves abstaining from food - but make your primary goal to grow closer to God!
- A “fasted lifestyle” is a disciplined lifestyle
5 Biblical Benefits of Fasting
1. Increases power over TEMPTATION
- Luke 4:1-2 “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. (14) Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit and news about him spread through the whole countryside.”
2. Fasting is the cure for UNBELIEF
- Matthew 17:19 “Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? (20) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief… If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed… (21) Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
- Your faith grows through PRAYER, your prayer grows through FASTING.
- Fasting feeds the SPIRIT like food feeds the FLESH.
3. Fasting heightens your DISCERNMENT
- I Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
- Daniel prayed, and fasted, in sackcloth and ashes, THEN had visions & revelation - Daniel 9:3
4. Fasting starves out STRONGHOLDS
- Isaiah 58:6 “To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”
- Brings the flesh into subjection – I Corinthians 9:27
- Breaks strongholds in marriage – I Corinthians 7:5
5. Fasting CHANGES God’s mind
- Jonah 3:5 “The Ninevites believed God, They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. (10) When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.”
- I Kings 21 – Because King Ahab fasted and humbled himself, God relented His judgement.
The Story of Esther - God’s people joined together in prayer and fasting for an epic deliverance of the nation
- Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”