Archive for the ‘Fasting’ Category

October 5th, 2015

Sacred Assembly

“Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.” Nehemiah 9:1-3 (ESV)

The walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt and the people of Israel had gathered for a sacred assembly. Ezra read the Book of the Law in the hearing of the people. In brokenness and humility, the people of Israel assembled with fasting and consecrated themselves before the Lord. They chose to separate themselves from all foreigners and stood to confess their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. In this sacred assembly, they experienced the reading of the law, confession, and worship.

What does your worship look like in private? How do you commune with God personally and privately? Spend a few moments assessing your private worship. Do you spend time feeding on God’s Word? Do you spend unhurried time alone with God in prayer and contemplation?

Now think about your public worship. When you gather with other believers to worship God, what does your worship experience entail? Are you conscious of your own sin and cognizant of the holiness of God? Is there a spirit of brokenness and humility as you worship God?

Ask God to take your private and public worship to a new level of intimacy. Invite the Lord to take you on a journey in worship that enables you to encounter Him in all of His fullness and holiness.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 5th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, Nehemiah, Worship.
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September 30th, 2015

Embracing the Absolute Fast

“Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, ‘Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.’” Esther 4:15-16 (ESV)

Esther sensed the heaviness of the reality of her circumstances and was willing to invite her people to fast for her. She committed to a three day absolute fast along with them in preparation for standing before the king. Esther was willing to put her life at risk by standing before the king. Her boldness was fueled by the abiding connection she had with God through the spiritual discipline of fasting.

There are times when God will lead you into an absolute fast. This type of fast is characterized by abstaining from food and drink for a set amount of time. You have to be very careful with this kind of fast and make certain that God has called you to it. Going any extended length of time without water can be detrimental to your health. Be certain that God has called you into this type fast.

Fasting and prayer go together. You can pray and not fast, but you cannot fast without praying if it is to be a biblical fast. God calls you to a fast so that you can passionately pursue Him and place your dependency upon Him.

Do you need to hear from God concerning a situation you are facing? Are you in need of God’s wisdom and guidance? God may call you to an absolute fast to remove your dependency upon other things and to enable you to focus your attention on His provision.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Esther, Fasting, Obedience.
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October 16th, 2014

Daniel and the Partial Fast

“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.” Daniel 10:2-3 (ESV)

The most common fast among believers is the partial fast. You choose to eliminate certain foods from your diet for a specific time in order to draw near to God. You can choose to give up all types of meat and only eat vegetables for a season. When you participate in a partial fast, you continue to drink fluids and you may also choose to eat certain foods.

A partial fast could include suspending the consumption of coffee for a specified period of time. It could be a choice to abstain from desserts and other sweets for a season in order to seek God.

Daniel chose to go on a partial fast for twenty-one days. God honored his commitment and gave Daniel a special revelation. Daniel was known for drawing near to God and seeking God’s agenda. The Lord honored Daniel’s obedience and devotion.

You may want to consider embracing a partial fast where you eat the evening meal and then drink only water and juice until the following evening meal twenty-four hours later. You can spend breakfast and lunch praying and reading the Bible. Instead of feasting on food during those two meals, you can maximize that time by feasting on God’s Word.

As you fast, consider journaling your journey with God. Write down or type what God shows you during the fast. Be sensitive to God’s activity and take note of what you are sensing from God. He may give you a specific verse from the Bible to meditate on. God may identify a relationship in your life that needs attention.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Fasting, Prayer.
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October 15th, 2014

Esther and the Absolute Fast

“Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.’” Esther 4:15-16 (ESV)

There are times when God will lead you into an absolute fast. This type of fast is characterized by abstaining from food and drink for a set amount of time. You have to be very careful with this kind of fast and make certain that God has called you to it. Going any extended length of time without water can be detrimental to your health. Be certain that God has called you into this type fast.

Esther sensed the heaviness of the reality of her circumstances and was willing to invite her people to fast for her. She committed to a three day absolute fast along with them in preparation for standing before the king. Esther was willing to put her life at risk by standing before the king. Her boldness was fueled by the abiding connection she had with God through the spiritual discipline of fasting.

Fasting and prayer go together. You can pray and not fast, but you cannot fast without praying if it is to be a biblical fast. God calls you to a fast so that you can passionately pursue Him and place your dependency upon Him.

Do you need to hear from God concerning a situation you are facing? Are you in need of God’s wisdom and guidance? God may call you to an absolute fast to remove your dependency upon other things and to enable you to focus your attention on His provision.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Esther, Fasting, Prayer.
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October 14th, 2014

Jesus and Fasting

“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2 (ESV)

God has blessed us with an appetite for food. Food fuels our body so that we cannot only survive, but thrive in this life God has for us. We crave food because our bodies need the nutrients food provides. We hunger for food and thirst for water. Our appetite drives us to eat and drink.

Jesus had an appetite for food. He ate and drank to provide His body with the nutrients necessary to sustain life. Yet, Jesus was led by the Spirit to go on a forty day fast in the wilderness. During this time, Jesus did not eat anything. This type of fasting is considered the normal type of fasting in the Bible. Fasting for forty days is not normal, but abstaining from food for a season is normal for the follower of Jesus Christ.

Have you ever gone on a fast? What was your experience like? What was the purpose behind the fast? God will call you to a fast so that you can draw near to Him. You choose to fore go your desire for food in order to spend that time concentrating on praying, reading the Bible, and consecrating your life before the Lord. Instead of hungering for food, you re-direct your appetite to feasting on God. As you fast, you deliberately pursue God’s presence and yield to His prompting.

If you sense God calling you to a normal fast, be sure to drink lots of water and consider a consistent intake of pure juices. Abstaining from food will challenge your self-control and test your faith. Rely on God’s strength to enable you to fast and to seek His face.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, Jesus, Prayer.
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October 13th, 2014

Fasting God’s Way

“‘But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.’” Matthew 6:17-18 (ESV)

Giving and praying are commanded in God’s Word. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to fast in preparation for the Day of Atonement. Nowhere else in the Bible is fasting commanded. Jesus completed His atoning work on the cross to provide the removal of our sin and the restoration of our relationship with God. Fasting is voluntary.

Jesus made it clear that fasting should be a normal spiritual discipline in the life of a believer. Just as giving and praying flow out of our love relationship with Christ, so fasting is to be a normal practice in the life of every child of God. We are not to fast in order to be praised by others, but rather to concentrate on our relationship with the Lord.

The hypocrites in Jesus’ day would fast to be seen of men. They fed their approval addiction by fasting publicly on Monday and Thursdays when the market was overflowing with the masses. They received their reward, namely, the praise of men, but bypassed the reward of God. They got what they were looking for!

There is no need to put your spiritual discipline of fasting on display for others to see. John Piper has identified that there is a difference between fasting to be seen and being seen fasting. Fasting is to be done in secret to allow you to pursue God and to deepen your love relationship with Him. God will reward what is done in secret.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, Prayer, Spiritual Disciplines.
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December 13th, 2013

Partial Fast

“At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” Daniel 10:2-3 (NIV)

The most common fast among believers is the partial fast. You choose to eliminate certain foods from your diet for a specific time in order to draw near to God. You can choose to give up all types of meat and only eat vegetables for a season. When you participate in a partial fast, you continue to drink fluids and you may also choose to eat certain foods.

A partial fast could include suspending the consumption of coffee for a specified period of time. It could be a choice to abstain from desserts and other sweets for a season in order to seek God.

Daniel chose to go on a partial fast for twenty-one days. God honored his commitment and gave Daniel a special revelation. Daniel was known for drawing near to God and seeking God’s agenda. The Lord honored Daniel’s obedience and devotion.

You may want to consider embracing a partial fast where you eat the evening meal and then drink only water and juice until the following evening meal twenty-four hours later. You can spend breakfast and lunch praying and reading the Bible. Instead of feasting on food during those two meals, you can maximize that time by feasting on God’s Word.

As you fast, consider journaling your journey with God. Write down or type what God shows you during the fast. Be sensitive to God’s activity and take note of what you are sensing from God. He may give you a specific verse from the Bible to meditate on. God may identify a relationship in your life that needs attention.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, December 13th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Daniel, Fasting, Spiritual Disciplines.
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December 12th, 2013

Absolute Fast

“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’” Esther 4:15-16 (NIV)

There are times when God will lead you into an absolute fast. This type of fast is characterized by abstaining from food and drink for a set amount of time. You have to be very careful with this kind of fast and make certain that God has called you to it. Going any extended length of time without water can be detrimental to your health. Be certain that God has called you into this type fast.

Esther sensed the heaviness of the reality of her circumstances and was willing to invite her people to fast for her. She committed to a three day absolute fast along with them in preparation for standing before the king. Esther was willing to put her life at risk by standing before the king. Her boldness was fueled by the abiding connection she had with God through the spiritual discipline of fasting.

Whenever you are facing a major decision or going through a season of uncertainty, consider inviting a few godly people to fast for you and to seek God on your behalf. Fasting and prayer go together. You can pray and not fast, but you cannot fast without praying if it is to be a biblical fast. God calls you to a fast so that you can passionately pursue Him and place your dependency upon Him.

Do you need to hear from God concerning a situation you are facing? Are you in need of God’s wisdom and guidance? God may call you to an absolute fast to remove your dependency upon other things and to enable you to focus your attention on His provision.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, December 12th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, God's Will, Spiritual Disciplines.
Interact No Comments
December 11th, 2013

Normal Fast

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2 (NIV)

God has blessed us with an appetite for food. Food fuels our body so that we cannot only survive, but thrive in this life God has for us. We crave food because our bodies need the nutrients food provides. We hunger for food and thirst for water. Our appetite drives us to eat and drink.

Jesus had an appetite for food. He ate and drank to provide His body with the nutrients necessary to sustain life. Yet, Jesus was led by the Spirit to go on a forty day fast in the wilderness. During this time, Jesus did not eat anything. This type of fasting is considered the normal type of fasting in the Bible. Fasting for forty days is not normal, but abstaining from food for a season is normal for the follower of Jesus Christ.

Have you ever gone on a fast? What was your experience like? What was the purpose behind the fast? God will call you to a fast so that you can draw near to Him. You choose to forego your desire for food in order to spend that time concentrating on praying, reading the Bible, and consecrating your life before the Lord. Instead of hungering for food, you re-direct your appetite to feasting on God. As you fast, you deliberately pursue God’s presence and yield to His prompting.

If you sense God calling you to a normal fast, be sure to drink lots of water and consider a consistent intake of pure juices. Abstaining from food will challenge your self-control and test your faith. Rely on God’s strength to enable you to fast and to seek His face.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, God's Way, Spiritual Disciplines.
Interact No Comments
December 10th, 2013

Fasting God’s Way

“‘But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so 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.’” Matthew 6:17-18 (NIV)

Giving and praying are commanded in God’s Word. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to fast in preparation for the Day of Atonement. Nowhere else in the Bible is fasting commanded. Jesus completed His atoning work on the cross to provide the removal of our sin and the restoration of our relationship with God. Fasting is voluntary.

Jesus made it clear that fasting should be a normal spiritual discipline in the life of a believer. Just as giving and praying flow out of our love relationship with Christ, so fasting is to be a normal practice in the life of every child of God. We are not to fast in order to be praised by others, but rather to concentrate on our relationship with the Lord.

The hypocrites in Jesus’ day would fast to be seen of men. They fed their approval addiction by fasting publicly on Monday and Thursdays when the market was overflowing with the masses. They received their reward, namely, the praise of men, but bypassed the reward of God. They got what they were looking for!

There is no need to put your spiritual discipline of fasting on display for others to see. John Piper has identified that there is a difference between fasting to be seen and being seen fasting. Fasting is to be done in secret to allow you to pursue God and to deepen your love relationship with Him. When you fast, it is proper to let your family members know so they will understand your reason behind not participating with them during mealtime. Also, they can pray for you specifically during your fast. God will reward what is done in secret.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Fasting, God's Way, Spiritual Disciplines.
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