Hold fast!

OK here is the post i promised before – the one with the question. – Simple this time.

And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and FASTed on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.(I Sa 7:6)

And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and FASTed on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh. (2 Sa 12:22)

But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with FASTing; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. (Ps 35:13)

Is it such a FAST that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a FAST, and an acceptable day to the LORD? (Isa Ch 58)

 And when he had FASTed forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. ( Matt 4:2)

And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they FAST. (Matt Ch 9)

 Find more of your own examples – there are many.

My question?

When was the last time you followed Christ’s example (and those of many others) and fasted? Went without? (food mostly) for as much as 24 hours?

I confess i have not done so voluntarily out of a desire to cleanse my ‘self’ and please God and myself by walking in His ways for around three years or more now.

 I intend to rectify this oversight and love of my life over the life of Christ before Dec 25th.

Any of you have a reason to join me??

A simple yes or no will suffice and remember to do it ‘in private’ – no need to let the whole world ‘know’ about it.

I merely offer the ‘challenge’/question.

Do you ever fast? other than when going for a blood/medical ‘test’?

Would you do so voluntarily? To be more like Him??

 We need faith AND works remember. either one without the other doesn’t get us to where we say we wish to ‘go’.

I would advise you to remember to keep up your intake of the water of life during any period of fasting and not to try to do too much, too soon – we have grown weak in the last 20 centuries – 24 hours should do to begin with – you can work up (slowly!) to 40 days and nights if you feel a personal ‘need’, i guess?

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48 thoughts on “Hold fast!

  1. I also see fasting of other things in my life a necessity. My health doesn’t allow me to fast from food much. Hmmm…or is that a lack of faith? 😉 But I do have to be very careful. Although I have before several times and would again anyway I guess. Fasting for me is removing something that preoccupies me. Food doesn’t. Computer does. Music does. Although I know there is a different significance to the fasting from food. All that babbling to say, yes, I will absolutely set a day aside to fast. My intent would be to replace my thoughts with His and His word. I am always in need of more of Him…

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  2. Sure – we can fast from anything that gets in between us ( our true self/desire) and God Tam

    Some things we can even give up completely if we have sufficient ‘willpower/fatih’ (Sugar, caffeine, alcohol, violence, etc.)

    But the fast i meant specifically was the one described in the quotes – an abstinence of daily food.

    I am not denying your own or your physician’s understandings of your ability to fast this way but i would point out my own very personal experience in this regard.

    Like you i have an Auto-immune dis-ease, in my case Psoriatic Arthritis, in my near past it has cause considerable pain, mutilation of my finger tendons and inconvenience/discomfort.

    Fortunaltely it is under control now after seeing two different ‘experts’ in the field ( one a western practitioner who i may be being a tad unfair to but who most likely only damaged further my kidneys while doing virtually nothing to help the condition i went to him for help for and a second Asian doctor , proficient in western methodology who ‘correctly’ diagnosed my case and presented me with a chemical solution that works.

    Tai Chi also greatly asisted health and joint mobility and freedom of pain. I can recommend it to anyone. ( it is actually a martial art and exponents gain proficiency in weapon use should they seek such above it’s medicinal benefits.)

    But i digress again, as i so often can…

    The point?

    During my illness in the early and quite distressing period physically i suffered an unrelated bout of food-poisoning resulting in vomitting and diarrhoea which lasted for four days straight – the mere thought of food was enough to make me dry wretch! – I kept up water and fluids like cordial intake though.

    After four or five days i noticed something ‘unusual’. For the first time in about six months that i could recall…

    My fingers, toes, ankles, and other joints did not ‘ache’ anymore when i used them – i was virtually pain free!

    This continued for a number of days as i gradually resumed my ‘regular’ diet again.

    The pain and aches returned somewhat after this.

    A key point is.. i only took my arthritis ‘medication’ with food so for four days i had no drugs designed to help me cope with my illness and yet felt better than i had in months of taking the drugs!

    Fasting can have seriously beneficial effects upon our overstuffed bodies and this is now backed up by the latest scientific evidence that shows a person who ‘under-eats’ and remains in a semi-permanent state of hunger – as opposed to stuffing and sating their hunger each time it cries out for filling up a stomach with calories/protein, is statistically likely to live longer that way.

    Don’t just take my word for it – do your own research – that is what the World-Wide Web is for folks! 🙂

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  3. Isaiah 58 is one of my favorites. Yes Love I’m in! I think it would do us all good to fast and pray together for 24 hours….the same 24 hours. See what the Lord would show us…great idea!

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  4. I didn’t make it through all 90 comments on the “Message”, but I did appreciate the closing entries, especially yours. It is so easy to get caught up in words, though of course, they are valuable and necessary at times (yet still less so than we think they are I believe).

    Regarding your post here though, I do very much appreciate your emphasis on fasting that is so rarely advocated these days (along with the directives in 2 Chronicles 7:14 as well). Those simple passages like Micah 6:8 seem so direct that we’d rather just ignore them (maybe by saying that was the “OLD” testament?)than do them.

    As to fasting though, for me, it comes to the forefront more during times of long delayed answers to persistent prayer. Two passages come to my mind related to that:Daniel 10 & Matt. 17:21
    In both, the desperate concern is for the well-being of others rather than for a personal need. I think, in context, both involved matters of intense spiritual warfare, and Jesus’ comment in Matthew indicates that without fasting, deliverance might never come. (Some translations omit vs 21 for some reason–probably a controversial text?? uh oh–here we go again?? =). But then it wouldn’t at all surprise me for our enemy to call that practice(fasting & prayer) into question if it works against him so effectively!

    I have fasted (usually just from dinner to dinner) for longer periods over the past couple of years than I ever had even thought to before. I can’t say I’ve seen any ‘great victory’ regarding the concern that prompted the fasts, but I do know I receive more peace in the ‘midst of it’, and my faith is strengthened to believe that my actions may be enabling spiritual victories I cannot see and may never be aware of until heaven.

    So, yes, I’ll pledge to join you also for the times I’m able to keep it confidential. Like Jesus emphasized by His example you noted in Mt. 4 (one of His major spiritual battles) the victory can only gained in combination with prayer and the Word as well.

    Thanks for getting my focus back to the warfare when I’d rather just withdraw to the hospital for rest and recovery from previous ‘battle fatigue’.
    D-

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  5. Laz – is always good to hear your words it seems 🙂

    “… what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)

    love it!

    Dan 10 and Matt 17:21 – powerful examples of my inntent – thank you again Laz.

    We might not all be up to fasting three weeks on a first attempt but a little now and then could only do us all some good – if the right motivation is behind the desire that is 🙂
    if i was in any way responsible for getting your focus back laz i consider that to have been a major victory for me too nice to know or feel like i have ‘uses’ beyond merely my own understandings sometimes – i will try not to let it go to my head 😉

    I truly did not intend to seek pledges but merely to say that i thought some ‘Christians’ don’t always do as he did – even in the simple stuff.

    Raising people from the dead – that is something to aspire to – one day 🙂 Providing we have done all necessary ‘gound work first – of course 🙂

    How would we ‘set a date’ and still keep it ‘in private’? any clues folks?

    Emails perhaps? we don’t need to keep it private from our brothers and sisters if we wish to all pray together and for a common good… do we??

    If we want to ‘synchronise’ i would like to complete mine before the start of the 14th Dec -just to let you co-ordinate better.

    A full day (the 24 hour kind) is preferable for me but am open to suggestion and free will. 🙂

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  6. Love, I agree with the absence of certain foods can bring much relief. I went on the lupus diet a couple years ago. All i could eat were paper towels and one sprig of parsley 😉 That’s what everything tasted like at least. After 3 weeks i felt so much better. I am still pretty careful of how I eat. Many foods are known to cause inflammation so that was the point of the diet. Very enlightening!

    Sure, we can email a date.

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  7. OK, three others than myself are willing so i shall email a date chosen ‘at random’ and if we want to we can ‘partake’ or take part – or not as the Spirit moves us.

    No obligation to fast upon this day but lets Hope that favourable things occur through a common act of sacrifice and prayer in His Name.

    This was not what i foresaw as the end outcome of my post but things seldom go the way i saw them as leading anyway and this is not always a bad thing i find 🙂

    I shall include a link to this post for those who get an email who may not have read it yet or get what the date means. I am not trying to boost my blogstats by so doing – just for clarity 🙂

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  8. I am in Love. I would be happy to join together, especially in this season. Seem pretty appropriate to be purposeful in stripping everything away to just focus on Jesus.

    I’ve got an idea of when i would do it, but if you have any suggestions or would like us to focus on a specific time, let me know.

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  9. Cute C – real cute and i STILL love the Chef Bear 🙂

    In Worship? you DID get my email didn’t you – sent about 20 hours or so ago? – I sent Tam a copy too in case yours is missing and if Tam has not got it please let me know and i’ll send from an alternative emailing address.

    Email is titled “Hold Fast”

    Big C – you should have received an ‘invite’ as above too!

    I sent lots!

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  10. Funny!!!! Of course I am in love…and she’s hot too 🙂

    I did get your email Love. I just read through it though and I see the date there. I am happy to participate as you have laid out.

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  11. Cool – no obligations on anyone! i just think if it was good enough for Him i should see what hapens when i try it is all – all are free to do as their Will guides them best.

    Truth be told i have tried it before a number of times, but not as a ‘regular’ thing. I am pleased a few find the idea not without merit.

    Still no comment from a certain someone though – don’t say i got something right for a change???

    Nahh! – that would be asking TOO much, i bet. 😉

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  12. Like i said – NO obligation to only fast upon the one date. I am quite happy just to not be rebuked for some perceived slight against the Lord, yet again, as seems to have been all i received at times – from man mostly – not from God personally it should be noted.

    As long as your needs are arranged in accord with His Will, and not more from your own personal need, then i have no hesitation in wishing you success in your endeavours to do as He asks of you J.

    I am not judging you in any way here on this point – i make clear to all.

    I was just asking those who follow Him if they saw any need to do as He did, and espoused to others do likewise, regarding symbolically voluntarily abstaining from some earthly ‘need’ from time to time – others convinced me a nice idea would be to do it with others with a common goal was all – i prefer it be done in private but am happy to have a group fast now and then if all are agreeable.

    Hope that clears THAT up?? 🙂

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  13. I am unconcerned about whether or not you are judging me, and I’m glad that you are happy, although expressing it in the midst of a whine is strange.

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  14. O-KAYYY! so as to be as true to the ‘original’ as i know how, and to do justice to all invitee’s – regardless of geographic location and time zone – I commenced ‘operations’ at sundown yesterday (8:00pm Tuesday local (Perth WDST) and intend to resume eating Thursday breakky time, which should mean i am sharing 24 hours with everyone regardless of time differences.

    Prayer focus for me will be on moving closer to Him and away from purely selfish thought/habit/nature.

    Let the humbling commence! 🙂

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  15. Yes, we are fallible Love. ALL of us are. None of us are immune to trippin over our own ego’s. And we all have those too. God is bigger than that tho. And He is also a God of order. He is not out of control. Today during my fast He really impressed that on me. And if we are called to be “like” Him – then we are expected to be orderly and in control. Agreed? Even if we perceive an injustice. Control. Grace. Mercy. Respect. Yield to others. These things He laid on my heart heavily today…and I just felt like I needed to share it here…

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  16. Agree completely – easy to agree to; less easy to adopt personally -but worthy of making the effort and asking for His aid.

    The two Chapters Paul – a human – wrote to the Corintihians in 1 Cor 4 and 1 Cor 12 make for VERY interesting reading – whichever version of the Bible you use for references. Your quotes were relevant but so are all the other verses in those two Chaps. Thank you for alerting me to them. They are of considerable aid to my ’cause’ and help justify a lot of my understandings and Faith.

    Thank you for helping to strengthen me in Him, Tam 🙂

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  17. Lets be careful to not just look for our own justification in His word and miss out on the instruction…which is far more important.

    He has instructed me several times today in His word. He has also brought me much comfort.

    The Lord disciplines those He loves. It is uncomfortable but we must be willing to receive it. I have received much from him today and I pray that you and anyone else reading this has a willing heart to really hear Him even if it’s not what we were hoping He’s say…

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  18. Discipline from Him i appreciate and endeavour to correct when i am at fault as He shows me.

    Someone thinking they know me better than i do myself by way of a blog and an email chat is NOT what i consider Him trying to show me a fault.

    Pride and arrogance is NOT about Him it is about ‘us’ (our ego) only. I DO understand that – like i said living it every single second 24/7 is not as easy as one likes it to be.

    I think we are at one here Tam – you and I – being at One with ALL is going to take effort from more than just me i hope you realise?

    It starts with me (Him) but it needs all to agree to the ‘ground rules’.

    Honesty, accuracy and integrity are three of them in my view.

    Respect for the beief and Faith held by another an essential requirement. Someone who shows me none is inclined to get some of the same back from my own still-not-yet-destroyed ego.

    That is just ‘life’.

    My mind and heart remain Open to Him – even when he appears through ‘us’.

    The fast was an opportunity to keep them open – even if i may have failed for a small period of time during it.

    I remain open to ALL who speak truly of and from God.

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  19. “Someone thinking they know me better than i do myself by way of a blog and an email chat is NOT what i consider Him trying to show me a fault.”

    I wasn’t suggesting that. I was simply cautioning us not to look to the Word for our own justification. We need to be willing to let God correct us through His Word as well.

    I know for myself, I have been approached by people with things that, from my perspective at the time, had been very offensive and wrong. In fact, both Brent and I have. Our responsibility to that is to take it to the Lord, lay it before Him and ask Him to reveal to us from it what He wants us to see. AND be open to that. Each time we have done that – he has indeed brought something to light. So we walk away stronger and wiser and humbler.

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  20. “Someone thinking they know me better than i do myself by way of a blog and an email chat is NOT what i consider Him trying to show me a fault.”

    Why?

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  21. I’ve prayed before writing this so I really hope my heart is heard here and not mistaken. I think it is really healthier to blog our true feelings on our blogs. The Lord tells us to reason together, and these behind the scenes emails don’t allow us to do that. It feels more like picking off, than the ability to reason together. Besides, if there is a difference between the way we are here, and the way we are in an email, is that true honesty?

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  22. I think GG is spot on, here. We should try to be honest as possible. But…on these threads we suffer from the same things the afflict us in e-mails. This medium is fraught with the dangers of misinterpretation and I think this leads to more hurt feelings, trampled egos and wasted thinking than anything else. And we can’t take it back – it’s up there in black and white (or blue). So I think that sometimes a private aside might be called for if it can help clear the air.

    Honesty is the best policy. Being brutally honest? Not all the time.

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  23. I agree C, completely if the side has the intention of clearing the air…if that is the intention, and the conversation should be kept to you and that person…not speaking of other people…to me that is bloggy backbiting and I can’t go there anymore…

    InWorship said this on another thread…but it is what got me to thinking…

    “I am not saying there has not been harshness both ways, but there comes a point where people are just out to get someone, and it seems like you are out to get him. Am I wrong in thinking this? Cause when someone does this, I stop hearing what they are saying and only see what they are doing.”

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  24. I personally would simply like to see adults act like civil adults. Here, there, everywhere. not pin-pointing anyone…honestly! But dang, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ – what are we doing. The world hates us enough. The world beats on us enough. The world picks us apart enough. Why are we not lifting each other up? Why are we shooting the wounded? Why can’t we say in a loving and respectful way, “no, I disagree with you on that point”?…and why can’t receive such comments with humility and a willingness to learn? I understand we each have our convictions…but with all due respect to another. I understand that there are times when we might get backed up against the wall…and OUCH! But get a spine, stand up straight and deal with it. I’m speaking to no one in particular here, I’m just ranting! Rant, rant, rant!

    There comes a point when we must graduate from Jr. high and start acting like big people. Not to mention a little like Christ too.

    I say this all with love…

    I respect you all a great deal!

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  25. “Actually Tam, I thought that was what we were doing….”

    Yes, we are…I’m speaking to those who aren’t or seem unable or unwilling to. I said it was just a rant…respectfully.

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  26. LOL….I can’t help but think, we’ve been doing this for a couple days….amongst the brethren…I felt a gust of wind today when I went outside, I imagined the Lord, leaning over, chin in hand letting out a huge “What the heck are you guys doing” sigh….Love you!

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  27. Apologies to all – telephone/internet connection problems at home plus i have overseas visitor – time is a problem – will answer once phone line fixed – after monday sometime.
    Darla – yes i did ‘miss you’ on the hold fast email ( i assume you meant the one concerning J and me ‘arguing’?? i sent you the fasting one to jcbourne or whatever your email is on your comments listings?? you should have received that from me on the 10th or so?? Tam or GG can fill you in but it was really only relating to the four of us directly – i did not want to spread it further than it need to – Hope you can forgive me 😉

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  28. I am not upset..it went in my spam..I found it..so I was a few days behind you all, but I think God has not time problems and just filled me in where I belonged…very good though.
    Hope your phone line is open soon..missing some ramblings from you. 🙂

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  29. Ramblings????:shock:

    What about my rants and flares?? 😉

    I know – you don’t miss those huh?

    Still very busy with Guest and pre-christmas and all but was able to read my blog today – no disagreement here – i said what i needed to say to whome needed to hear it – no more no less.

    An Apology or two may be in order (J and myself only – don’t anyone else go getting their knickers in a twist huh? 🙂 )

    My Phone/internet connection? Does anyone else out there think telephone companies are in league with Lucifer????

    Or is it just me??

    Hope to have something nicer to say and spare time to say it before the Big Birthday 🙂

    Love you Guys – yes, even the boofhead 😉

    be good everyone…

    and share the Love 🙂

    P.S Darla? my houseguest has brought uropean winter weather with him – a week of cloudy rain and low maximums – in the 20’s.

    Christmas day is predicted to be 36! (98!!) though

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  30. I will trade my 20F for your 20C, how about it??

    If I don’t hear from you again before Christmas..Have a very Merry Christmas! thinking of you, walk close to the Lord, HE knows all, and nothing shocks HIM. Love ya Love

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  31. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! sorry for needing to yell…but you live so far away, just wanted to make sure you heard me! love ya love! hope we all see a post from you soon 🙂

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