The Biblical Practice of Fasting Part 2

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
February 20, 1999

Last Updated :
March 16, 2012

NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.

Fasting And Spiritual Warfare, Casting Out Demons, Fasting Is Not For Everyone, Fasting Is For The Physically Strong

We know that the power to cast out demons was indeed given to the Lord's Disciples, so this may be another reason why the Lord said that they would fast after He had returned to His Father; because they would need that extra spiritual power, acquired during fasting, in order to perform many mighty works. In other words, fasting can be an essential part of our spiritual warfare, such as casting out demons. Consider the following verses:

"And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
Mark 9:17-29, KJV

"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."
Luke 10:17-20, KJV

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Mark 16:17,18, KJV

As we can see then, there are all kinds of good reasons for fasting; however, fasting is not recommended for everyone, as it might do them more harm than good. It is my view that fasting should only be performed by those who are of good health, and whose bodies can endure the lack of food. Even Jesus expressed concern for those whom He knew were not fit to undertake such self-denial to their flesh. In the Gospel of Matthew, we find the following verse:

"Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way."
Matthew 15:32, KJV

The lesson here is that those people who are capable of enduring a period of fasting, should not look down upon or condemn those who cannot do the same; but rather, like Jesus, they should have compassion upon their weaker brethren. As the Apostle Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Romans:

"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me."
Romans 15:1-3, KJV

These verses can be applied, not only to those who are weak in faith, but also to those who may be weak in the flesh as well; and indeed, there are many of us who find ourselves in this state. In conclusion then, if we are going to fast, let us make sure that we are doing it for the right reasons, and that it will glorify the Lord, and help to promote His Kingdom in some way. Let us not do it for vainglory, or to impress others with our false spirituality.

With these thoughts, I will bring this article to a close. It is my hope that you have found it informative, enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would really appreciate if you'd take the time to click or tap on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!

For additional information and further study, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were either mentioned in this article, or which contain topics which are related to this article. All of these articles are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server. To read these articles, simply click or tap on any link you see below.

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