This week we learned about fasting. Abstaining from food is something we are called to do to fight our cultural pull to self-indulgence and move in the opposite spirit towards self-denial. It can also bring clarity and intimacy to our relationship with Jesus in times when we need to hear from him most.
Let's get started.
Do you fast?
• If so, when and what did you fast from?
Do you understand what fasting is for?
• If not, ask people in your DNA what they believe fasting is for.
Do you believe fasting is important to spiritual growth?
• If not, share why you feel that way.
• If so, share a story about fasting and how it has improved your relationship with Jesus.
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
1. Why was fasting not appropriate while Jesus was with them?
2. Why is fasting appropriate for us today?
3. What does fasting enable us to do in order to move closer to Jesus while being apart from him in body?
Read each quote and share with your DNA what stands out to you or convicts you the most.
“Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement or pursuit—for any season—sets the stage for God to appear." - Dan Allender
“If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great...Between the dangers of self-denial and indulgence is the path of pleasant pain called fasting." - John Piper
"If you say, "I will fast when God lays it on my heart," you never will. You are too cold and indifferent to take the yoke upon you." - D.L. Moody
Come up with a plan in your DNA to pray through fasting in your life.
1) IDENTIFY. What are some obstacles that seem to be in conflict with this practice?
2) CONFRONT. Is there a part of you that resists this practice? Or doesn't see value in it?
3) REARRANGE. What parts of your monthly or weekly routine could you dedicate to fasting?
4) RESPOND. Have your DNA keep you accountable to making space for this practice.