Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:16-18

Fasting is the practice of denying oneself food for a particular time. It was practiced by Godly Jews in Jesus’ day and by other ancient religion groups of that time.  It is still encouraged by religious sects in our day and some are quite radical in their observance of fasting.

Christ’s lesson is similar to His other teaching in this chapter. His disciples were not to make a show of fasting as others did. They were to be quiet and humble in their fasting. And God would reward them for trusting in Him as they sought to serve Him.

What is the purpose of fasting?  Let us examine a few reasons for this practice.

  1. To Seek God  

We fast in order to seek after God. We deny ourselves the pleasure of eating for a time so that we may hear from God through His Word, His People, and His Spirit. 

  • To Focus on God

Fasting allows us to focus our hearts more fully upon our relationship with God. Getting away from the earthly for a season is often a good way to get in touch with the heavenly.

  • To Pray to God

This reason may be obvious, but, we need to see it as well. Taking the time to pray when we would be eating is important for Christians. Prayer and the study of the Bible, while fasting, are two ways that God reveals Himself to us.

Fasting does not guarantee that we will receive everything we want. We will not always have all the answers we desire after fasting. But, the goal of fasting is to deepen our relationship with Christ. Our aim is to know Him better and fasting will help accomplish that goal.

Tony French



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3 responses to “Fasting

  1. Pingback: Fasting – Tonya LaLonde

  2. May we know God better than we know our food cravings😃


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