Fasting Guide for 2017 Fast

Each January Encounter Church starts out the New Year by fasting TOGETHER.  There is nothing special about the time of year, or even the mode of fasting that we encourage, but we believe this spiritual discipline will deepen a hunger for the Lord and draw us closer together as a body of believers. Join us over the next 21 days as we  PURSUE GOD TOGETHER...

 

What is fasting?

Fasting is a personal choice to abstain from food, drink, activity, or other comforts for a period of time as a means to growing spiritually.  The purpose of fasting is not to focus on the “lack of” but to help you “lean in” closer to God.  As you deprive yourself of a typical daily item such as food, a routine activity or comfort, use the space to pursue Christ and pray.  

Fasting is NOT required in scripture but encouraged and modeled as a spiritual habit as a means of growing closer to God. (Matt. 6:16-18)

Fasting is NOT a way to kick off a diet or break a bad habit,  although eating better or breaking a habitual cycle may result, the focus is to take our eyes off the things of this world and put them on Christ himself in a regular and routine way.

 

Why fast?

Jesus fasted before he began his ministry. (Matt. 4:2).  The disciples fasted when faced with big decisions (Acts 13:4; Acts 14:23).  We believe that fasting opens up opportunities for you and God to communicate in highly meaningful ways - ways that might not otherwise happen due to the satisfaction of food or other comforts.  Jesus demonstrated this in Matthew 4 and we learn that he was actually STRENGTHENED SPIRITUALLY though his body may have been weakened temporarily.  

 

Examples of fasts:

Fasting in Scripture is almost always a fasting from food and so we are encouraging you to try to fast from food in some form over the 21 days.  If you are being led to fast from another comfort such as social media or TV, this can also be a powerful experience.  Food is typical because there is a natural need for food everyday, but anything that you can temporarily give up in order to better focus on God can be considered a fast. Below are different types of fasts:

 

The Complete Fast  (Luke 4) is done by abstaining from all food, both solid and liquid, except for water.  Extended periods of time without eating can be harmful to the body, therefore, a complete fast should be done in caution and with full knowledge of your physical well-being. Fasting is not intended to punish our flesh, but to focus on God.

 

The Partial Fast (Daniel 10) is done by abstaining from a particular food or types of food:

  • Stimulants or sedatives such as coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, etc.

  • Eating between meals

  • Skipping the most enjoyable meal of the day

  • Liquid only fast where you are using a juicer or other type of nutrient drink

  • Specific types of food (sweets, sugar, meat, carbohydrates, etc)

 

The Daniel Fast is a specific 21 day fast based on the prophet Daniel’s experiences in the Bible.  The idea behind this fast is not to duplicate Daniel’s menu but to imitate his spiritual hunger. Daniel’s passion for the Lord caused him to seek spiritual food rather than physical food, which is the main desire for anyone seeking to fast.  The food guidelines are given to help you set boundaries for your fast not to push you into legalism. Again, the focus of any fast is not the food, but setting your eyes on the Father and drawing near to Him.

 

Please reference www.ultimatedanielfast.com for shopping lists, recipes, and additional information.

**Encounter Church is leveraging this resource but is not benefiting from the purchase or sale of any items on the website.  We are pointing you here due to its concise and helpful content.

 

While you Fast...

Use the following scripture to meditate on while you are fasting to strengthen you spiritually.  

Don’t forget to BE STILL in the Lord’s presence and LISTEN to the things He may want to share with you as you pursue Him.

 

  • Isaiah 58

  • Ephesians 6: 10-18 (spiritual protection)

  • 1 Kings 16

  • Daniel 10

  • Luke 4