Thursday, 2 August 2018

Let's Talk About Fasting By Apostle Pride Sibiya

1. Defining Fasting: Fasting is a physical-spiritual exercise that many people are engaged in whether consciously or unconsciously. Different religions, except Zoroastrianism (which prohibits fasting), embrace fasting as a spiritual exercise that helps them grow spiritually.

On the whole, the mere fact that the first meal of the day is called breakfast is indicative of the fact that we all fast. “Breakfast” is a compound of two words, “break” and “fast” denoting the meal which works to break the fast we would have engaged in through the night, usually.

While all do fast, by the mere fact that we, usually, do not eat during our sleep, some go to the extent of setting aside some time, consciously and through their own volition to forego certain pleasantries in the name of fasting in order to grow spiritually.
Fasting By Apostle Pride Sibiya
According to the Oxford South African School Dictionary, to fast is, to go without or with less food for a certain time. This is usually for religious purposes though fasting is not only limited to spiritual reasons. One can fast before an operation or a scan for example, under purely medical reasons. 

However, in this article focus will be on fasting for religious reasons.

2. Connotations of Fasting: Fasting in essence is appealing to the spirit realm, showing seriousness in what you want addresses in the spirit. It is taking an extra mile, saying that, prayer alone is not enough but may need an accompanying act of penitence to appease God to move on a person’s behalf: “And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, why could not we cast him out? And he said unto them, this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:28-29). 

This being the case, fasting must never be misconstrued as a way of forcing God to do what He is against His divine nature and attributes, rather as a way for forcing ourselves to fall into God’s divine will and plan for our lives. Fasting is not arm-twisting God, it is arm-twisting our will!

3. Origins of Christian Fasting:
Christian fasting, which was exemplified by non-other than the founder of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ, has its roots in the Judaic religion. Jesus Christ was born a Jew, into Judaism, which has always valued fasting from time immemorial. 
Fasting By Apostle Pride Sibiya
At the beginning of his ministry Jesus fasted for 40 days in absolute isolation in the wilderness ( Matthew 4:1-11). Obviously, other religions which date before Judaism also practiced and still practice fasting.

4. Types Of Fasting: There could be as many types of fasting as anyone can imagine according to the classification area of study. Here I will explore only one classification which has to do do with the food involved.

A. Absolute Fasting: This is a type of fasting where a person decides to fast by foregoing all food or drink. When Saul, later known as Paul, the apostle met Christ on the road to Damascus he was struck by light and fell blind. The Bible is clear that: “Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could not see a thing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and he did not eat or drink.” (Acts 9:8-9). That was absolute fasting.

B. Partial Fasting: This is the kind of fasting usually called Daniel’s fast. In Daniel 10:2-3, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 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.” This is a kind of fast where a person withdraws him or herself from certain foods, yet for some reasons, partakes others. Reasons may include the fact that one is pregnant, ill, on medication that would make it dangerous to abstain wholly, work that uses a lot of energy or any other reason. 
Fasting By Apostle Pride Sibiya (Submitted for Sunday Mail)
The person picks on certain foods for example abstaining from foodstuffs but taking in water or juices, or taking in foodstuffs that do not have sugar or fasting meat only. Like absolute fasting, partial can be done from morning till sunset or can be minimized or extended beyond the daytime.

By Apostle Pride Sibiya (Submitted for Sunday Mail)

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