I have chosen this scripture because it is a rich source for that I wanna talk about. Fasting is anything given up temporarily in order to focus your attention on God. Temporarily, because it should be for a limited time, more so when fasting from food. Extended periods of time without eating can be harmful to the body. Please note, fasting is not intended to punish the flesh, or is it a dieting method, but is redirecting attention to God.
The purpose of a biblical fast is not to lose weight, but rather to gain deeper fellowship with God. Anyone can fast, can temporarily give up on something, but we fast in order to draw closer to God.
By taking our eyes off the things of this world, or pressures of life, we can more successfully turn our attention to God. Fasting is not a way to get God to do what we want. Fasting changes us, not God.
Fasting is to be done in the spirit of prayerfulness, humility and with a joyful attitude. Matthew 6:16-18 says, “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.” Fasting is not a way to appear more spiritual than others.
The purpose of fasting should be to take your eyes off the things of this world to focus completely on God, and fasting is a way to demonstrate to God, and to ourselves, that we are serious about our relationship with our Creator. Fasting helps us gain a new perspective and a renewed reliance upon God.
In Mark 2:18-20, The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him [Jesus], "Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus said to them, "Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.
They could not fast for as long as they had the groom with them, but when he was taken away from them, they started fasting, according to how he had ordered it.
Verse 21-22 says, "No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins." Jesus was teaching He had not come merely to reform Judaism but to present previously unrevealed truths.
But New Testament fasting is not same as Old Testament fasting. Then, they were not doing it right for they practiced their righteousness in front of others, that we shouldn’t do, but we pray in secret to Father who is in secret.
Fasting is to be done in the spirit of humility and a joyful attitude, is not a way to appear more spiritual than others, but when you fast, you must not be like hypocrites - Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.
Scripture does not command Christians to fast, it’s not a requirement, but what the NT teaches is present fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial.
God bless you,
Simple Gospel Summation