Every year, we join with thousands of other churches across the world and begin with a 21-day fast as a church body. We invite you to join us!
We are excited about what the Lord has for Summit Church and for your life in 2018. We believe this is going to be the year of miracles. In fact, our biggest miracles are still ahead of us. Because of that, we want to encourage you to position yourself to receive all that God has for you personally and for this church corporately. We want to be ready for all God has for us.
What is Fasting?
Fast: To abstain from food, or to restrict oneself to a meager diet, either as a religious observance or as a ceremonial expression of grief; to go without food. God created the human body to eat food to keep it operating. To make sure we get enough fuel to sustain our physical bodies, God also created hunger to ensure that we eat.
So, "Why would we ever fast?" It is for a spiritual purpose - to put hearing from God above all else in your life. Fasting is not to move God to answer your prayers (that's manipulation), but, rather, it is to position you to receive what He already desires to give.
What it is Not
Fasting is not simply going without food or whatever you are fasting. That would be a diet. Nor, is fasting something for ministers only. It is a practice that should be a normal part of our Christian walk.
Matthew 6:17, "But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face." In this passage Jesus assumes three things about His followers. He says:
- When you pray...
- When you give...
- When you fast...
According to Jesus, fasting is as much a normal part of the Christian walk as praying and giving are.
Biblical Fasting is going without food or something else for a spiritual purpose. Fasting brings you into a more intimate relationship with the Lord. It is about developing a deeper hunger for the presence of God in your life. Intimacy with God is the #1 goal of any fast.
By refraining from food for a number of days, you will notice that you life will become less cluttered and you will become more sensitive to the Lord's voice. It allows you to position yourself for breakthrough to come in your life. Those who are positioned to hear the quiet, gentle voice of the Holy Spirit will know exactly what to do. Fasting filters out the competing noises so you can hear the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit.
Different Types of Fasts
Some people are not able to fast food for health reasons, but there are different kinds of fasts. You can ask the Lord to show you what He would have you fast for the 21 days. You can fast TV, sugar, soft drinks, one or two meals a day, desserts, coffee, caffeine, DVDs and movies, video games, texting, Facebook and/or smart phone usage, listen to only Christian music, Daniel Fast (only fruits, vegetables and water), or you can do a food fast and drink only water.
The key point is that you need to hear from God to see what He would have you do or if you should do anything at all. We are not going to condemn you if you don't join us. We want only those whose hearts have been stirred by the Holy Spirit to do this.
Why a Corporate Fast?
In the Bible there were instances when the leaders of God's people would be directed by the Lord to call a corporate fast for repentance and/or God's favor to be extended to His people (see 2 Chronicles 20:3-4, Esther 4:16 and Isaiah 58). There is power in numbers, and a corporate fast can be the avenue through which God's anointing and power is released in our midst.
- Whatever you eliminate from your life for a period of time, replace it with prayer and worship.
- Listen to your body. If you are getting sick, you may need to stop fasting food.
- If you fail, that is OK. Just continue where you left off.
- If you have blood sugar issues or other health problems, you should not refrain from foods unless you have your doctor's permission.
- Pregnant or nursing mothers should not refrain from food, either.
- Drink lots of water!
- Breakthrough often comes after the fast rather than during the fast.
- While you're fasting, it seems like all you think about is eating, especially during the first few days. Rely on God's strength to get you through it.
- Have a clear focus on what you are fasting about - breakthrough for the church and for your life.
- It is easier to fast with someone else as an accountability/encouragement partner.
Hal & Lisa Boehm