Spiritual Hindrances To Fasting
We have discussed the physical, mental and emotional reasons regarding why we have trouble fasting. Today we will talk about the spiritual reasons for problems with fasting.
What do you think are the spiritual reasons we struggle with fasting?
- Spirituality of walking in Christ is the least important thing most of the time.
- When we find ourselves in crisis, we pull him out of the box – we look at life and death.
- There’s no fear of the Lord. I’m saved, under grace, going to heaven.
- No desperation for God.
- We get our eyes off of God and onto ourselves.
- We don’t look at our self-centeredness like sin.
- Pleasing everything and everybody but God – ourselves, others.
- Our hearts are not being renewed – we are still selfish.
- This is why Christ taught more on love than anything else – we are always self-seeking
- ***We should be more first concerned with loving God (giving up our self for God’s benefit) and secondarily with loving others.*********
Phil 3: 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
1 Timothy 4
4 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Hebrews 6 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[a] and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.3 And God permitting, we will do so.
4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallen[c] away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.
9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
The bottom line is that we drift away from God, sometimes even yanked away from God, by other things that catch our fancy. We don’t make the concerted effort to stay in communication with God. It is like any other relationship – if you don’t spend the time to stay in communication, you lose intimacy, you don’t know what the other person is thinking, and how to relate to them and be in sync with them.
- Paul was always in contact with God (pray in tongues without ceasing).
- Jesus had to go to the garden to pray.
- We say I CAN do all things through Christ (we acknowledge that we CAN do it with framing), but it is still up to me to actually DO all things through Christ (take action and follow through).
- Keep asking, seeking, knocking, or we make bad decisions.
- He must increase, I must decrease. (John 3:30)
Galatians 5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
When your flesh is strong, you get spiritually weak. When you are spiritually weaker, then the flesh is going to gain control. We are being led by the flesh, but we are supposed to be led by the spirit and not the flesh.
- We don’t really believe that we will have everything that we need and that will satisfy us solely through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Christ and His Spirit are all we need. Everything else we turn to (and place our faith in) dilutes our faith in Him.
- In John 10:10, Jesus said that He came to give us more enjoyable, abundant life, but we think it is only when we get to heaven that we will have this great life. But we can have great life here, and we are cheating ourselves out of what God really wants for us. We don’t grab a hold of the full truth of kingdom purposes.
- Don’t really believe the Holy Spirit is inside of us, so we bring him with us into places and situations where He should not be.
- Need more faith to trust God more.
- Fasting is our plea to God that says, “I need more of God – I’m too much flesh”.