Would You Fast With Me?

11.22.17 | Heartbeat | by Matthew St. John

Would You Fast With Me?

    New Hope Church is experiencing immeasurable grace and we believe God is inviting us to remain steadfast in moving toward Jesus and taking others with us. Our Lord is leading us. We are a gospel-mission church, eager to declare God’s glory and seeking the good of people from all walks of life. Any and all praise is for God and God alone!

    Friends, to ensure that we remain ever-available to Him and His purposes, I want to invite you to join me on a unique pathway. Each of us should be sensitive about participating well in what God is doing. Being so has real implications for how we leverage our lives for God’s great glory and the gospel. To deepen this sensitivity, assuming your health would tolerate it, would you consider fasting with me?

    “Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God.”

    These words from Dallas Willard highlight the value of fasting, but a common question arises about how to fast. Perhaps the following, from our friends at Chicago’s Moody Church, will prove helpful:

    The evening before, eat a light dinner. Spend time in personal confession and surrender to God. Abstain from things that would divert you from having a special meeting with God.

    The day of the fast, drink water, coffee or juices, but abstain from food for either a substantial part or all of the day. Resolve to focus on two or three promises from God (Psalm 145:18, Jeremiah 33:3, John 15:7). Ask God to show you how the gospel applies to sin in your life that needs to be confessed and forsaken.

    Add your own concerns for yourself, your family, New Hope Church, our nation and the world. Then continue with your regular activities throughout the day, using your hunger as a reminder to love and trust God with the burdens on your heart. Pray silently as you work. If asked why you are not eating, simply say that you have chosen to fast on this day.

    In the evening, ask yourself: What did I learn today? What sins were revealed? What burdens were taken from my shoulders and transferred to God? What do I now believe more fervently for my church, family or community? What do I see more clearly? What is the next step in my walk with God? 

    Light dinner
    Water, coffee, juice, no food
    Focus on promises
    Pray: family, NHC, nation & world
    silent prayer
    What did I learn? Sins
    Transformation? Clarity? Next? 

    Perhaps you would be willing to make this a weekly practice, at least for the foreseeable future. If you do, pray that New Hope Church would be found faithful to God, tender to His Spirit, enjoying His protection and useful for His glory. Pray that for yourself as well.

    If we desire God to use us for His glory and for peoples’ good, then we should enter into a posture of humility and trust for those things. Fasting is a personal, quiet and time-tested way to humble ourselves and trust God with our burdens.

    Will you join me? 

    Pastor Matthew St. John is senior pastor at New Hope Church. He nurtures a deep passion for telling stories that share God’s Word so that those who are spiritually hungry may experience and proclaim the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. He and his wife, Christa, love sports, unique restaurants and long walks. Follow him on his blog, Twitter or Facebook.