Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Fasting for Christians is not if but when.* In other words, believers need to fast. Our gimme society disagrees. America, the bountiful, detests every potential form of emptiness: like empty stomachs, wallets or airtime. Some people can't sleep without TV noise.
I believe fasting from food is vital. If not, why did Jesus fast forty days? Also, why was food His first temptation?** Surely Christ needed no such discipline. So why did God's Spirit lead Him to it? Since no man saw His wilderness trials, why did He share them with His disciples?
1) After His Baptism, Jesus went to war. As a Man, He could not fight without God. When God's Holy Spirit entered our King, He became our military Captain. He thoroughly emptied Himself from food to be thoroughly filled by His Father. With Him, Jesus triumphed over Satan.
2) Perhaps food was the Lord's first temptation because it's our most common temptation. Because God wants us to enjoy food, He gave us taste buds and delightful treats. But for countless people (including me), food can become a lust and an idol. Gratification becomes addiction.
3) Jesus died to free us from Satan's grip, but He lived to become our Example. Therein, He shared His Personal stories to teach us how to live successful lives: not just to die successfully in God, but to live victoriously in Christ. Thereby, we're called to be examples, too.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Because food is a big stumbling block, diets are a public obsession. So if you diet, don't discuss it. Publicity furthers mania, and your job is to further your King.
Also, fasting's not about weight loss. So don't consider it a diet. Do consider it self-denial: a crucial step to connect with God. To deny yourself some worldly bread will enrich you with the Bread of Life.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: 7 Good Reasons Christians Should Fast:
* Previous AMTC Devotion: Diets Of Deprivation, a.k.a. Fasting:
* Previous AMTC Devotion: Beauty Ingredients: Prayer And Fasting:
* If a total fast from food is not advisable (for children or adults with certain medical conditions/lifestyles), know this: fasting from your favorite foods (sugar, sweets, bread, snacks, soda, etc.) can serve the same purpose. Because God looks at your heart when you fast. Also, be sure to keep your fast private. Don't lie if someone asks you a direct question, but don't advertise it either.
* Recommended author on fasting: Jentezen Franklin:
* Recommended author on fasting: Derek Prince:
Video sermon (excellent!), Self-Humbling Through Fasting:
* Video sermon by Derek Price (excellent!): Prayer and Fasting:
* Small book: Fasting by Derek Prince:
** The Temptation of Jesus:
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.