Gateway Friends

Fasting is a personal event: "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:16-18).

We're only a few days into our 21 day fast for the new year. My experience is that the first three days are often the most challenging.   

I have appreciated the words of Stovall Weems in his book, Awakening: A New Approach to Faith, Fasting, and Spiritual Freedom.

Why do we fast?  You can do it for the right reasons or the wrong reasons. I want to make it clear that under the New Covenant, fasting is not to get God to change His mind about something. Fasting is also not something we do to obtain favor or forgiveness. After you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your past, present, and future sins have already been forgiven! You don't need to fast to obtain favor or receive mercy because through Jesus you live in a continual state of God's mercy. Instead, fasting is a way of celebrating the goodness of God. You don't have to fast for mercy, instead, celebrate the mercy given to you as a free gift through your relationship with Christ. You don't fast to obtain the Lord's favor because you perpetually live in the favor of the Lord. 

May this be an encouragement to you this season.

Strong & Steady

reg

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