Week 3| Sermon Series “Kingdom Rhythms…”
Lead Pastor Todd Kaunitz
• Christianity is not a private faith, it is a corporate faith.
• Fasting is abstaining from something that we need or enjoy for the purpose of intense spiritual focus through scripture and prayer.
• Authentic fasting is pursued humbly, prayerfully, and intentionally.
Bible Text: Matt.6:16-18
For the next three weeks during our Kingdom Rhythms series, we are going to focus on the topics of Fast and Prayer. I believe that we must return to these rhythms as a church body. Yes, we need to observe them privately but also, and more importantly, corporately.
Christianity is not a private faith it is a corporate faith. We are called to live the Christian life within the context of the local church. Within that faith family, we pursue the face of God and the mission of God together.
In today’s Bible text, Jesus is going to show us the practice, the purpose, and the posture of fasting.
What is fasting? Fasting is abstaining from something that we need or enjoy for the purpose of intense spiritual focus through scripture and prayer.
- The Practice of Fasting: Jesus expects His disciples to fast | Matthew 6:16a, 17a “And when you fast…17 But when you fast… Again notice, not “if” but “when” you fast. Jesus assumes that we will be a people who fast.
- The Purpose of Fasting: Fasting aligns our heart with God’s heart as we pursue His presence and power. | The point Jesus is making is: we fast to encounter God. We don’t fast for the praise of man but for the power of God. We do not fast to impress God but to experience God. Fasting is not about the absence of food but about the presence of God!
- The Posture of Fasting: Authentic fasting is pursued humbly, prayerfully, and intentionally.
Humbly | Jesus is teaching here that fasting is not about getting people’s attention but encountering God’s presence. We need to assume a posture of humility when we fast. Smile, wash your face, comb your hair and stop announcing through your body language that you are fasting. Fasting is not a trophy cabinet to display our spirituality.
Prayerfully | Fasting and prayer go hand and hand. You can pray without fasting but you cannot truly fast without praying. This is why in this context, Jesus teaches on prayer and fasting together. Fasting is a way to intensify our spiritual focus in prayer. It is not about the absence of food but the pursuit of God.
Intentionally | Fasting can have many goals such as freedom from sin, repentance, healing or deliverance. It can be for wisdom in decisions, provision, reconciling a relationship or the salvation of a friend. It could be just to experience God more deeply. Identify your focus and then set the time aside for the fast. Determine the type of fast and the get after it!
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