In a spiritual setting the emphasis is often on the denial of the self and the carnal desires to allow us to become more sensitive to God. Food is man's greatest carnal impulse. Many believe that sex is the strongest fleshly drive, but it is not. We may think ego is the strongest of the fleshly impulses, but it is not. From the day we are born, the desire for food reigns dominant.
As newborn infants we first seek the love, comfort and warmth of our mothers, then we cry for food. The sex drive does not develop until the onset of puberty, our teenage years. Sex is the last drive to arrive and the first one to leave. The food drive is present from the beginning to the end, it never leaves, it never disappears. The latest U.S. government study shows that over 60% of all Americans are overweight.
We eat too much. Gluttony, the lack of discipline of the appetite, causes us to look old prematurely, to feel old before we get old and to suffer many different diseases.
All the major killer diseases of today, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, prematurely kill the majority of Americans and their sources are traceable to our lifestyles and diets. Science has found that it's just as important that we don't overeat, as it is that we eat properly.
Let me repeat that - studies have found that it's as important that we not eat to excess, as it is that we eat properly.
Fasting allows us to gain control of the appetite. When you can develop the discipline to fast, you automatically develop the discipline not to overeat. When you can control your strongest carnal appetite (the desire for food), you can then gain control of the other carnal appetites.
There are many different spiritual reasons why people or groups fast. Sometimes it is to show unity for a cause such as a fast against war, or injustice, or a host of other social ills. Fasting in a group allows you to achieve something that you would never achieve on your own. You can draw on the strength, the determination, the support, and the prayers of the group. Some fast at preset intervals, once per week, once per month, one month per year, etc. Some fast when the social or spiritual need arises. Some fast because the minister said so.
There are many different reasons to fast.
It is important to remember when you fast for spiritual reasons:
FASTING DOES NOT CHANGE GOD!
FASTING CHANGES YOU
Americans are sick.
Arthritis to Zits.
You name it, we’ve got it.
The church is no exception.
Ever been to a church when a well-known healer comes to visit?
Have you ever noticed how long the healing line is?