FASTING OR MERELY DIETING?

Matthew 9 fasting plate
There is a way to get that fabulous body we see advertised, you know the one, the body that is air brushed and edited to show the perfect body we all desire for ourselves…or so we have been told. With Keto and other fad diets we are now told we need to add what is called “intermittent fasting”.
 
Diet gurus are now telling us, “Intermittent fasting is an effective tool to lose weight. It can help you eat fewer calories and optimize numerous hormones related to fat loss.” “It’s not WHAT you eat, it’s WHEN you eat it.”
 
Matthew 9 hunger for GodWell, duh. Yes, that is my professional opinion as an eater all my life. When I eat and sit on the couch and binge watch TV, I gain weight. When I do not eat and sit on the couch I might lose weight but will gain it all back and more when I go back to eating. That’s the real science of fasting.
 
Why do we fast, really? As believers, jaded by worldview thinking, we are embracing fasting as religious way to lose those unwanted pounds that we have added through undisciplined lives. We think that by fasting God will answer our prayer to take away the multitude of sin lbs that we acquired over the years to our bodies.
 
Mm. That being said, let’s find out what Jesus says about fasting. It’s a new way to think and behave…but then, with Jesus it will always be different than what the world thinks. True fasting is a hunger for God.
 
Matthew 9
 
Matthew 9 new wine 2Jesus Questioned About Fasting
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
 
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
 
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
 
WHAT DOES THIS REALLY MEAN?
 
Matthew 9 skinsJesus presents four pictures of His ministry and mission. Ministry is to those who believe. Mission is seeking and saving the lost, (those who do not yet believe).
 
1. Jesus, as the Physician, came to bring spiritual health to sick sinners.
2. As the Bridegroom, He came to give spiritual
joy. The Christian life is a feast, not a funeral.
3. The illustration of the cloth reminds us that He came to bring spiritual wholeness; He did not come to “patch us up”
and then let us fall apart.
4. The image of the wineskins teaches that He gives spiritual fullness. Jewish religion was a worn-out wineskin that would burst if filled with the new wine of the gospel. Jesus did not come to renovate Moses or even mix law and grace. He came with new life!
 
HOLY PAUSE
Matthew 9 fasting all of me for all of HimFasting is not about food intake as much as it is about thoughts and subsequent behaviors. Are we merely adding Jesus and His saving grace to our already overwhelming, crowded, busy worldly thinking lives?
 
OR are we “fasting” all that the world has to offer and leaning the full weight of our existence on God alone?
 
Matthew 9 new bodiesNew life means no longer thinking like the world. Everything old is gone. Everything is new! Our new life in Christ means fasting from world thinking. We feast on thinking like Jesus and then behaving like Jesus taught us to live. (Review the “sermon on the mount” as a beginning.)
 
Be spiritually fit first. Do what God wants for you by asking God. He will tell you, guide you and provide this new way of thinking.
 
And guess what, when we pass from this life to the next we are promised that new, perfect body! Paul explains God’s “body work” for us;
 
“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
Matthew 9 made by God
We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
 
For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.
 
God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.” 2 Corinthains 5:1-5
 
NEW HOUSES, NEW BODIES-Built by God, Himself
 
God, our Body Builder
Jesus, our Savior and Lord
Holy Spirit, our Body Coach
 
Matthew 9 please GodWe have all the help we need. So fast if and when you must but only if it brings glory to God and is good for your soul work.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
I love where Your Word takes me each morning. I love how you love us. I love how you save us from ourselves. I love how you lighten the load we place on ourselves. I love how you coach us in this life, encouraging us to exercise our faith in preparation for eternal life with you…in a new body! Thank you, Lord for changing our obsession with earth body work for spiritual health! Continue to change and transform me.
In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Blessings, Christian Living, Christian Perspective, Creation, Discipleship, Embrace, Emotional Health, Encouragement, Faith, First, God, Following Jesus, Forgiveness, Grace, harvest, heaven, Holy Spirit, Hope, hospitality, hugs, insight, Jesus, joy, Leadership, Listen, lost but found, Love, marriage, Mercy, ministry, Praise, Prayer, relationship with God, repent, Revelation of Jesus, Salvation, Searching, Teaching, temptations, Thanksgiving, Training, Transformation, trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Unconditional love, waiting on God, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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