Can you tell me the Biblical reasons and benefits of fasting?

14 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    The Bible does not actually command fasting. Fasting is not something God requires or demands of Christians. However, the Bible does say that fasting is a profitable and beneficial spiritual discipline. In the book of Acts, believers in the new church fasted together before making important decisions (Acts 13:2, 14:23), and fasting is often combined with prayer, especially prayers of particular import (Luke 2:37, 5:33). When most people think of fasting, they think of denying oneself food for a period of time. But the main purpose of fasting is not to increase one's hunger, in a self-punishing way, but to increase one's focus on God. Fasting is meant to express to God, and to ourselves, that our relationship with Him is our main need and nourishment. Fasting gives us a picture of our ultimate dependence upon God.

    In Scripture, fasting is almost always done by abstaining from food. However, it is possible to fast in other ways. Anytime we give something up, temporarily, to focus exclusively on God and knowing Him and knowing His will, can be considered fasting (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). When fasting, especially from food, it is wise to limit the time spent in the fast. Long periods of time spent without eating can be counter-productive and even dangerous to one's health. Also, fasting is not "dieting". The correct motive for fasting is to grow nearer to God, rather than to lose weight. In addition, it is important to consider that some people may not be able to fast from food – those with diabetes or other digestive disorders – and God does not want us to harm or maim ourselves in an attempt to prove our allegiance to Him. Other forms of fasting are just as acceptable to God.

    The idea is that by taking our eyes off of the world, and our fleshly, bodily desires, we can increase our attention to the Lord. Fasting should not be thought of as a way to manipulate God, or to barter with Him. The exercise of fasting is meant to change our hearts and perspective, not change God's mind or His will. Fasting should be seen as a spiritual exercise in giving something up to express dependence on our Creator – not an attempt to prove our allegiance to Him, or to show off our spirituality. Matthew 6:16-18 tells us, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men 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."

    We know from this verse that God's purpose for fasting is not for us to lord it over others or prove how much we are willing to suffer for God, but simply to grow nearer to Him and experience the resultant peace and joy that is our reward.

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    Source(s): TR
  • 7 years ago

    The Mosaic Law ordered the Jews to “afflict [their] souls,” that is, to fast, once a year on Atonement Day. (Leviticus 16:29-31; Psalm 35:13) This was the only fasting that Jehovah ever commanded his people to do.* Jews who lived under the Mosaic Law would have obeyed that command. But Christians are not required to observe the Mosaic Law.—Romans 10:4; Colossians 2:14. Although Jesus did fast as the Law required, he was not known for this practice. He told his disciples how they were to act if they chose to fast, but he never commanded that they fast. (Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14) Why, then, did Jesus say that his disciples would fast after his death? (Matthew 9:15) This was not a command. Jesus’ words simply suggest that at his death his disciples would feel deep sorrow and would lose the desire to eat. Two Biblical accounts of early Christians who did fast show that if with good motive a person chooses to abstain from food, this is acceptable to God. (Acts 13:2, 3; 14:23) Christians, then, are under no obligation to fast. Yet, a person who chooses to do so should be alert to certain dangers. One pitfall to avoid regarding fasting is self-righteousness. The Bible warns against adopting “mock humility.” (Colossians 2:20-23) Jesus’ illustration of the proud Pharisee who felt morally superior to others because of his regular fasting leaves no doubt that God rejects such an attitude.—Luke 18:9-14. It would also be a mistake to publicize the fact that you fast or to fast because another person tells you to do so. According to Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus counseled that fasting should be a private matter, between you and God, and that you should not announce it to others. One should never think that fasting somehow compensates for sinning. To be acceptable to God, a fast must be accompanied by obedience to his laws. (Isaiah 58:3-7) Heartfelt repentance, not the act of fasting itself, is what leads to the forgiveness p. 29of sins. (Joel 2:12, 13) The Bible emphasizes that we receive forgiveness by Jehovah’s undeserved kindness expressed through the sacrifice of Christ. It is impossible to earn forgiveness through any works, including fasting.—Romans 3:24, 27, 28; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8, 9. Isaiah 58:3 illustrates another common error. The Israelites suggested that Jehovah owed them something in return for their fasting, as if by fasting, they were doing God a favor. They asked: “For what reason did we fast and you did not see, and did we afflict our soul and you would take no note?” Many today likewise think that because of their fasting, they can expect God to perform some favor for them in return. May we never imitate such a disrespectful and unscriptural attitude! Others believe that it is possible to earn merit by submitting the body to discomfort through fasting, whipping themselves, or the like. God’s Word condemns this notion, showing that “a severe treatment of the body” is “of no value in combating” wrong desires.—Colossians 2:20-23. Fasting is not obligatory; nor is it wrong. It may be beneficial in some circumstances if the dangers mentioned above are avoided. Fasting, however, is not the focus of acceptable worship. Jehovah is “the happy God,” and he wants his servants to be happy. (1 Timothy 1:11) His own Word says: “There is nothing better for them than . . . that every man should eat and indeed drink and see good for all his hard work. It is the gift of God.”—Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13. Our worship should be characterized by joy, but the Bible never associates fasting with happiness. Moreover, if abstaining from food were to affect our health adversely or sap our energy for the joyful work that our Maker has entrusted to true Christians—that of declaring the good news of the Kingdom—then it would clearly be counterproductive. Whether we choose to fast or not, we should avoid judging others. Among true Christians, there should be no controversy over this subject, “for the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but means righteousness and peace and joy with holy spirit.”—Romans 14:17.

    Hope this helps.

    Source(s): The Bible and
  • 7 years ago

    Under the Mosaic Law, people fasted to acknowledge their sinful condition before God and to manifest sorrow and repentance. However, Jesus died for our sins and the Mosaic Law is no longer in effect. There are no scriptures requiring Christians today to fast since our sins are atoned for by Jesus' ransom sacrifice.

  • 7 years ago

    Fasting is just a symbolic practice to tell God that your focus isn't on food and drink, living arrangements, and cares of this world. It shows your dedication and thereby multiplying effectiveness in spiritual warfare (Matt. 17:21)

    Good additional reading... Matthew 6:16-18

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  • Erika
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    . it really is a substantial meat in very few international locations, truly in suitable Asia, in spite of the undeniable fact that it varieties a needed component of the culinary traditions of many others, from Europe to South u . s . to Asia. the accurate 8 international locations devour about 4.7 million horses a year. for most folk of mankind's early existence, wild horses were hunted as a source of protein it really is somewhat sweet, comfortable and occasional in fat. it really is a taboo nutrition in some cultures. those historic institutions, besides as ritual and faith, further about the shape of the aversion to the intake of horse meat. the horse is now given puppy status with the help of many in some elements of the Western global, quite contained in america, uk and eire, which further solidifies the taboo on ingesting its meat.

  • me
    Lv 4
    7 years ago

    Fasting should only be done for a short period of time, in secret for the purpose of removing the the mind-numbing effects of food. Fasting allows you to surrender to God and opens you up to listening to him. It should be reserved for serious matters or when you feel you need to break habits or be closer to God. It is very important to fast when God's spirit is desperately needed.

  • 7 years ago

    Try fasting and prayer and watch amazing things happen. If i wanted to break an addiction i would fast and pray my heart out to God and watch the addiction melt away. Most people do not know what it does because most never try it.

  • 7 years ago

    Start by reading Isaiah 58. Alot of things there to branch out from.

  • bugsie
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    None that I know! Good thing I am always hungry! OH you must be Muslim, those folks fast all the time, SORRY I didn't mean to sound rude.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I can see only one, that would be if they were all required to go through a 100% fast for a period of one year.

    That would benefit all mankind by removing "stupid" from the gene pool.

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