June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
The beginning of an endeavor is usually an easier task than the finishing of it. At least in my life I have found this the case. To finish well, or sometimes at all, takes discipline and determination. To finish well, it also helps to have words of encouragement to refer to.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. ~Proverbs 25:11.
A few years ago, after the birth of our first child, Emily, Ron joined with a group to bike 163 miles across the state of Florida. For months they had trained and gotten ready for the big day. Just before Ron left, I wrote out a few encouraging cards. My favorite was one of a clown fish that looked like Nemo. On the inside I wrote, “Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling…” You get the picture. I wanted him to think finish.
In order to think fast, I am in need of some encouragement. Are you also? Below are some quotes that remind us of the importance of fasting. Also you will find a link that will take you to a list of Bible verses which reference fasting. Why not refer to these this week and use them as an encouragement to think fast.
Fasting possesses great power. If practiced with the right intention, it
makes man a friend of God. The demons are aware of that.
Fasting reminds us that we are sustained by every word that proceeds from the
mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). Food does not sustain us; God sustains us.
Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering
knees. Have you any days of fasting and prayer? Storm the throne of grace and
persevere therein, and mercy will come down.
– John Wesley
Of the things that enter the stomach, not all are turned into nourishment,
for not all of the food itself is nutrition, but part of it in the process of
digestion is turned into nourishment and the rest into the stool…Now if food
be taken in too great a quantity, even the nutritive part can be harmful… for
when gluttony, like a rain storm, has flooded the intestines, it throws
everything into a turmoil, and it makes organs that up till then had been quiet
and healthy drift sluggishly on the surface…So physicians tell us that want is
the mother of health.
– Chrysostom AD 400
The smoking fumes, as it were, of rich and plentiful food, ascending, cut off
like a thick cloud the illuminations of the Holy Spirit which are infused in the
– Basil the great
Every one must study his own nature. Some of you can sustain life with less
food than others can, and therefore I desire that he who needs more nourishment
shall not be obliged to equal others, but that every one shall give his body
what it needs for being an efficient servant of the soul. For as we are obliged
to be on our guard against superfluous food which injures body and soul alike,
thus we must be on the watch against immoderate fasting, and this the more,
because the Lord wants conversion and not victims.
– Francis of Assisi
Fasting is not an end in itself; it is a means by which we can worship the
Lord and submit ourselves in humility to Him. We don’t make God love us any more
than He already does if we fast, or if we fast longer. Fasting invites God into
the problem. Then in the strength of God, victory is possible.
– Elmer L.Towns
Fasting is important, more important perhaps, than many of us have
supposed,… when exercised with a pure heart and a right motive, fasting may
provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed; a window
opening up new horizons in the unseen world; a spiritual weapon of God’s
provision, mighty, to the pulling down of strongholds.
– Arthur Wallis
In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in
fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike,
which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really
a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work
is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures
we are – dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt
to lean upon.
– James Hudson Taylor
Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is
seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we
are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the
kingdom of God.
– Andrew Murray
Do you have a hunger for God? If we don’t feel strong desires for the
manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and
are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world.
Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. If we
are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even
increase, our soul’s appetite for God. Between the dangers of self-denial and
self-indulgence is the path of pleasant pain called fasting.
– John Piper
Raise the Risk:
- Predetermine a day to fast this week.
- Give the food that you would have eaten away to a homeless person or someone in need.
- Print off this post and refer to these quotes for encouragement.
- Read the Bible references on fasting and let the Holy Spirit speak to you.