Sunday, May 27, 2007



Matthew 6:16-18

There are three practices Jesus calls righteousnesses. So far He has taught on the first two-giving and praying. Now, we come to the third practice of Kingdom righteousness-fasting.

16"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

The 3rd illustration of the abuse of practicing righteous acts that were meant to be before God only, yet were being practiced in order to be noticed by others, is fasting. He is saying that "when you fast", don't mope around with a long face, looking disheveled in order to show off the fact that you are fasting before the Lord.

FASTING is not simply nor necessarily to abstain from food, but from anything that hinders your communion with God. Fasting is the ultimate in practicing the principle of private focus. It's a discipline of removing all things that take your attention away form the Lord. We tend to spend most of our time talking to God in prayer and not listening. Fasting is a great way to force your self to be quiet enough and focused enough to really listen to what the Lord wants to communicate to you at the deepest levels.


#2-REMEMBER THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE! Faithfulness means successfulness-living life long-term.

#3-RECRUIT GOD AS YOUR TEAM-MEMBER! It is said that if you want to win the high jump, you want to find one person who can jump 7 feet not 7 people who can just 1 foot. When you practice private focus, these three righteous acts (giving-praying-fasting) must be done in secret. Then God will reward you.

#4-RESERVE TIME ALONE-JUST YOU AND GOD! Take the time to focus on God and your heart before Him. Read and pray. Contemplate. Take the time for reflection and fasting. We are urged, "Be still and know that I am God."

Think of it this way: We spend so much time talking to God, busily showing up for a variety of meetings, attending as many Bible studies as humanly possible and seeking answers and wisdom from God. However, we don't wait around long enough in silence to listen to His answers and His wisdom. The practice of fasting can provide this kind of private focus with the Lord. God wants to enlighten, empower, encompass, & encounter you. He will do these things as you meet Him through fasting.

Throughout Jesus' teaching He is encouraging you and me to get our support from God and relate to Him in a quiet, personal way. You see, in most cases believers operate in such a way that they have NO INVISIBLE MEANS OF SUPPORT.

Try taking the time to fast. Start with a half day and use the time to focus totally on your relationship with Jesus. See what happens when you practice the principle of private focus.

If you want to practice the Kingdom lifestyle, then you must practice the presence of God. And when you practice the presence of God, you'll know where He is at all times. And when you know where God is, then you'll know where you stand.