Transcript - Why should we fast?

Author: The Bible Why Guy
Title: Why should we fast?
Plot: If you’ve ever wondered why you should fast this podcast is for you!
Notes: If you need a nudge to do what you know you should, this podcast is for you!

Listen to "Why should we fast? [14 Mins]" on Spreaker.

Full Transcript
Hey, Welcome back!

Have you ever wondered: 

  1. Why should I fast?
  2. What is the point?
  3. What good comes from it?

By the end of this message it should be abundantly clear that fasting is powerful and it's useful for setting yourself free. Fasting is freedom!

I could begin with the health benefits of fasting. I went through a bad experience where I rocketed up to 275 pounds, and the way that I lost weight was intermittent fasting. Each month for nine months, I had a water only fast three or four times that month. and between nine and twelve 600 calorie days that month. And for the past two years I've fasted at least once a month to maintain my weight.  So I know a lot about fasting from both a health and religious standpoint.

From a health standpoint, I came to discover that weight-loss depends on the liver. And so if your liver is busy filtering out alcohol or all the foreign chemicals  that come in our food these days, it doesn't have much time left to burn fat. And so if you have a day with zero food intake, your body can expel noxious chemicals from your system, get caught up with digestion, and of course burn fat. 

I noticed that after nine months of fasting I looked at least fifteen years younger. So those are the health benefits. But what are the spiritual benefits to fasting?

Fasting forces you to bat away repeated temptations throughout the day, and so you build up your anti-temptation muscles by fasting. In the beginning my stomach would say, "Can we eat yet?" And I would say, "No." 

"Can we eat yet?" ... "No." 

"Can we eat yet?" ... "No." 

"Can we eat yet?" ... "No." 

After a while my stomach stopped asking because it knew the answer would be no.

The more I said no, the more I meant no. I became stronger and more convicted with every no.

And that translated into other kinds of temptations as well. So it builds a spiritual muscle for resisting temptation. And that is useful.

I think that those of us who were born again and saved by grace get a little confused about how good we're actually supposed to be. Since we were forgiven of our sins past, present and future, we think we can live any way we like. And I know this gets confusing. We were saved by grace through faith not of works lest any man should boast. But we are also on display for the world to see and so God wants us to resemble Christ to them. And he will change us from the inside out so that we do. Even during a ten year backslide I experienced significant spiritual growth. But after the backslide ended, and I committed myself to trying harder and serving God better, my spiritual growth skyrocketed. I grew fast and strong very quickly.

And so it makes sense for me to take a moment and explain the nature of spiritual blindness to you using a physical analogy:

During my backslide, while partying with friends, there were occasions where me or one of my friends would um.... make a social mistake with someone of the opposite sex. And in those situations I have been known to say, "What happened? Your beer goggles fog up?" 

For the sake of the uninitiated podcast listeners, I think of my mom in particular when I say this... when a person wears beer goggles, it means they are drunk and not making good choices. The girl they think they see isn't quite so attractive as they think she is -- because they're drunk. Hence the expression: beer goggles. And so the implication of your beer goggles fogging up is... okay, mom, even you should be able to take it from here now. 

Similarly, there is a common expression. When someone makes an inappropriate sexual comment we often say they have a dirty mind. And I have found that expression to be useful. Since we see the world through the lens of our mind, when that lens is dirty, we don't see very well. Meaning that your dirty mind can impair your spiritual vision. And you would be surprised at what you can see after you clean that up. I did a podcast on why we shouldn't masturbate, and if you listen to that you will be shocked at what you learn. And I know that after a year of total obedience having control over my thoughts batting down every single dirty one that entered my mind the instant it did. It was as if my spiritual goggles cleared up and now I see things that shock and amaze me. If you can manage to bat down every dirty thought while avoiding sex and masturbation for a year (assuming your single) and particularly if you ask God to apply the salve that will enable you to see clearly, you too, will be shocked and amazed at what you once couldn't see, but now... now you can. And how obvious it is to you now.

And when you combine all of the above with the discipline of fasting you are likely to discover secrets and revelations that make it worth continuing these disciplines.

You hear creative ideas more often. You get more revelations, and you begin to realize that these ideas aren't coming from you, they're coming from God. So you start taking notes, and in time a picture emerges, and your life improves because God has great ideas and makes great suggestions.

But wait! There's more!

There are certain things that happen in everyone's life, and they don't necessarily have to happen in the same order though.

I'll give you some examples: I got saved at the age of 27. But I have friends who were saved between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. And so there are things I've explained to them that happened before I got saved, and others that happened afterwards. For them though, nearly everything in their lives happened after they got saved, yet I notice that we share similar experiences - just out of order. They naturally happened in different orders because of the timing of when they got saved. For example: before I got saved, I had an empty hole in my soul, and after I got saved, immediately afterwards the hole was filled. For some of them, that didn't happen when they received Jesus, it happened after they made him their Lord. And there is a difference. You can receive Jesus and yet not view him as your master. You can accept his spirit and yet disobey him when he gives instructions. And of course we've all be known to do this, but after receiving Jesus he will wrestle you into submission because he loves you.

Fasting is one way you can humble yourself. Because it's not always pleasant to wrestle with God. The more you fast, the more spiritual insight you receive because when you fast, you weaken your flesh through malnutrition. And so your spirit naturally becomes dominant because your flesh is weaker.

There is another thing that happens after you get saved and make Jesus your Lord. And that is what I call your Exodus moment. This is when you realize that even though you were saved and had Jesus in your heart, and perhaps you even made him your Lord, you suddenly realized that you were still in bondage to the god of this world. And he doesn't want to let you go. The story of Moses and the Israelites makes it abundantly clear that Pharaoh who was a type of the devil, held onto his slaves despite a series of terrible plagues. And even after letting them go, he still changed his mind and chased them down. It was only by an act of God, a miracle that ultimately God broke the yoke of Pharaoh leaving him powerless and unable to do the thing that he wanted because he was defeated. Meaning after his entire army was destroyed he lacked the power to enslave a grasshopper. God broke the yoke of pharaoh and set his people free. Which leads us to 

Isaiah 58:6 which says,

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

Though you may not be physically be enslaved, you might be spiritually enslaved even if you have received Jesus. I view this particular lesson as one for mature adults not children. Meaning if you are still feeding on spiritual milk and being hand-fed by pastors or bishops, you might not understand what I'm saying, and you may not be ready to hear it. Because this is not for the faint of heart. Breaking the yoke of spiritual enslavement leads to some scary experiences. While it might seem cool to walk through a parted Red Sea while your enemy chases you, make no mistake, it is intense and not for the faint of heart. But it is also a necessary experience on the road to Canaan, where you will then afterwards battle giants in order to enter the promised land and obtain your inheritance. And since all of these are spiritual concepts, I understand that it might take time and prayer and perhaps another listen before this message makes sense to you.

Many years ago I gave myself the Penn name Tom Freedom because I wanted to set people free. And because I wanted to write books under a pseudonym. In the back of my mind I wondered if I was free and I later came to discover that I wasn't. During that time, I sensed God had called me to a period of constant fasting. Every week I felt prompted to fast and after the first few times, I hated the suggestion and convinced myself it was all in my head. God couldn't possibly want me to fast this much. What reason could there possibly be. Finally he allowed such a horrible set of experiences to occur in my life that I gained 100 pounds and I found myself doing exactly what he told me to do: having a weekly fast for months. He wasn't being inconsiderate, it turns out I had gotten myself into a mess that I didn't understand and he was trying to fix it, but I was in the way. It was through that set of experiences that I came to understand the nature of my spiritual enslavement and how I needed to engage in prayer with God to set myself free. I would imagine this is different for everyone, but I encourage you that if you sense God is calling you to fast often, then it implies something serious is happening in the spirit realm and he needs you to take notice so you can fix it. And so he can fix it. And God may have allowed you to get fat to compel you to engage in fasting in order to help you see clearly in order to... And now I'll remind you of the quote:

Isaiah 58:6 says,

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

If you are struggling and especially if you are struggling with a problem that is as persistent and relentless, maybe as persistent and relentless as pharaoh, then I suggest to you that you may have a spiritual enslavement that requires your undivided attention. And if so, I suggest you fast. And say these two prayers:

  1. God please reveal the secret hidden things I must deal with.
  2. God please reveal the secrets behind my problems in the name of Jesus Christ.

If you are miserable, sick or depressed, and if you feel like God has been prompting you to fast, then I suggest you do - whenever you feel prompted! And that you ask God to tell you what prayers you should pray. Write them down, repeat them and add to that list as often as God makes new suggestions. And before you know it, you will discover that God is leading you and you are suddenly following. 

And on that note: perhaps you'd consider following me: the Bible Why Guy.

I hope this helped!

That's all folks!

Y'all come back now! Ya hear?

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