A Note From Our Pastors

It’s a new year and we are so excited about what 2020 has in store for us!  We are also excited to be starting our annual 21-day fast. Fresh, new beginnings allow us to refocus and accomplish things we might not accomplish otherwise. We love setting the tone for the rest of the year by beginning it with prayer and fasting. During this time, we set aside opportunities to fully connect with God. Fasting helps us draw closer to God, increases our ability to hear from Him, and sets us up for breakthrough. Let’s press in and keep God first in every area of our lives... no matter what.  We believe 2020 is going to be an amazing year and we are so glad you’ve decided to take this journey with us!  So focus, press in, and stay faithful. Then watch what God is going to do!

 

We love you,

 

Pastors Paul and Becki Stieb

What Is Fasting?

      Fasting is a spiritual discipline designed to better connect us with God. Simply put, it’s refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. It’s all about aligning ourselves with God and what He really wants to do in and through our lives. As a church, we are fasting together in order to deepen our relationship with God as well as to get in step with His plan and purpose for us during this coming year. Over the next 21 days, we will substitute our regular food intake with those disciplines that help us better connect with God— reading the Bible, praying and journaling. The overall goal is to experience a genuine hunger for spending time with God. Remember, the idea is to be realistic, not legalistic. Focus more on the details of connecting with God than the details of the menu, and you will discover the blessings of fasting. If you have medical conditions that hinder your ability to fast, you may fast other things besides food such as tv, social media, etc. If you are unsure, consult your physician. Remember to use wisdom. Don’t be legalistic; God sees your heart and will honor your efforts.

Why Fast?

“Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food.”... Dallas Willard

 

1. God expects us to fast.

  • Matthew 6:16-17
  • Jesus said, “When you fast”, not if you fast.
  • Fasting is part of the Christian life.

 

2. Jesus Fasted.

  • Matthew 4:2
  • “And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.”
  • Fasting helps make us spiritually stronger and gives us to opportunity to draw closer to God.

 

3. The early Church fasted.

  • Acts 13:3, Acts 14:23, & Daniel 9:3
  • “Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”
  • The Church fasted for Saul (Paul) and Barnabas. Later, Paul and Barnabas appointed leaders in various churches, fasting and praying before commending these leaders to the Lord.
  • “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.”
  • Fasting helps make us sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and brings about spiritual revival to our soul.
  • Fasting prompts revival to an individual and to the country. It brings forth a stirring that will heal and change us and prepare us for greater things in God’s kingdom.

 

4. Fasting is good for our health.

  • Daniel 1:2 & Daniel 10:3
  • “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.”
  • “I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
  • Fasting improves our physical condition. Many impurities in the body are burned up when fasting, thus, clearing the mind, cleansing and healing the body.
  • Fasting is especially beneficial for spiritual cleansing and also for breaking addictive habits.

Types of Fasts

There are several types of fasting. The one you choose is between you and God. He will honor your best sacrifice.

 

Full Fast

Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).

 

The Daniel Fast

Eat no meat, no sweets, no dairy products, and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables. Click here for more information about the Daniel fast.

 

3-Day Fast

This fast can be a Full Fast, Daniel Fast, or you can give up at least one item of food.

 

Partial Fast

A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast, or you can give up at least one item of food

 

During A Fast

“Whoso will pray, he must fast and be clean; And fat his soul, and make his body lean.” -Geoffrey Chaucer

 

1. Seek the Lord.

Commit to prayer, worship and Bible reading during the times you usually allocate for meals. Be ready to respond when you hear from God. For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. The more time you spend with Him, the more meaningful your fast will be.

 

2. Commit to change.

Whatever God speaks to you, apply it immediately. If there are habits that need to change, make the adjustment immediately.

 

3. Pray continually.

Let us use this time to intercede for our family, our Church, our country, our government, Christians around the world, missions, etc.

 

4. Feed on the Word of God.

Although our body may hunger, our soul is being filled with the spiritual food as we read His word.

 

5. Keep the right motive.

Remember that your motive in fasting must be to glorify God, to listen to Him and be more intimate with Him. When your motives are right, God will honor your seeking heart and bless your time with Him in a very special way.

Quick Tips

How to Begin

Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, or restoration in your marriage or other relationships? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible.

 

Preparing Spiritually

Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).

 

Deciding What to Fast

The type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.

 

Deciding How Long

You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.

 

What to Expect

When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus' example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God's face.

 

How to End

Don't overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.

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