Why We Fast

Dr. Carl Lundquist, former president of Bethel College, found a certain habit very helpful. "Instead of taking an hour for lunch," he said, "I use the time to go to a prayer room, usually the Flame Room in nearby Bethel Theological Seminary. There I spend my lunch break in fellowship with God and in prayer. And I have learned a very personal dimension to what Jesus declared, "'I have had meat to eat ye know not of.'"

Jesus implied we would fast to enjoy His presence when He said that His disciples did not need to fast when He was with them. "But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast" (Mark 2:20).

Christ made fasting a time for celebration and communion.  Mark Nysewander in The Fasting Key states, "The newest and greatest purpose for fasting in the kingdom of God is for communion with your absent bridegroom, the exalted Christ."

Jesus used the term "bridegroom" again when he referred to His return at the end of the church age in Matthew 25. Until then, we fast whatever keeps us from His presence. In the last few days you've emailed the kinds of fasts Jesus has given some of you for this 40-day corporate fast. Besides meals, you've mentioned an hour of sleep, caffeine, Facebook, TV. Our fasting says to our absent Bridegroom, "I am turning away from whatever You ask, to say, 'This much, O God, I want you.'"

Tricia thought she knew the type of fasting she would do but Sunday morning as she was worshiping with praise music, she felt a nudge from the Lord. He seemed to be saying, "One more thing, Tricia. The next 40 days give up that whipped cream on top of your coffee. Let me be the whipped cream that tops the start of your day!" She said that those who know her well, know that coffee with whipped cream is an every morning regimen. She added, "I am loving the fact that for the next 40 days, the Lord has told me he will be the topping that starts my day! I am, of course, doing other fasting too!"

Thank You, Jesus, You know exactly what to ask of us to help us enjoy You more.

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy" (1 Peter 1:8).