Sunday, 6 November 2016

Fasting In The New Covenant



"But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do." (1Cor 8:8).

About refusal to eat food, the truth is that it doesn't matter whether you refuse to eat or not. You may call it fasting but that is for the Old Covenant. In the New Covenant Christ is our fasting. I know I have just step on something that is sacred to most Christian but the truth need to be told. The Bible made it clear that eating or refusal to eat does not bring you closer to God. What brings you close to God is Christ. The reason why this must be address is that many Christians would go on a food fast while consuming the junk in the world and yet they wonder why the fast is not working.
Fasting in the New Covenant is not about denial to eat but denial to do everything that the carnal man needs. It is refusing to feed the carnal man. Fasting in the New Covenant is utterly spiritual and has nothing to do with natural food or natural hunger.

Fasting in the New Covenant is starving the carnal man making him weak so that Christ would be strong through you. If only we understand this and practice the New Covenant kind of fasting we would have very strong Christians doing exploit for the Lord. As a Christian you cannot live with the mentality that all you have to do is periodically abstain from food while you go ahead and feed on whatever poison the world has to offer. No wonder we have so much weak Christians - Christians that don't know how to starve the carnal man but are expect in going hungry.

"One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do?” Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved." (Matt 9:14-17).

Jesus' disciples were not fasting and Jesus approved of it. And when he was confronted about it he reminded them about the Jewish tradition and gave them a parable. In the Jewish tradition the guest of a wedding do not fast but there comes a time when the groom would leave the bride for up to a year and the wedding guest would fast for the groom to come back and consummate the marriage ceremony. Jesus went further to give a parable about mixing the old and the new. How does that relate with the demand for his disciples to fast just as other Jews have been fasting? It's simple, the disciples of Jesus are not Jews but Christians. The Jews and their religion of Judaism are for the people of the Old Covenant while the followers of Jesus and the religion of Christianity are for the people of the New Covenant.

Jesus was saying you can't impose an Old Covenant practice on the people of the New Covenant. You can't patch an Old Covenant practice with the New Covenant. The practices of the Old Covenant should remain in the Old Covenant while the New Covenant involve a New kind of practice (yes a new kind of fasting). Jesus said all these while referring to fasting. He was trying to say Christians - the New Covenant people - should not get involve with the Old Covenant kind of fasting which involves the temporal abstinence of natural food. But in the New Covenant there is a new kind of fasting and it is utterly spiritual as it has nothing to do with natural food. But we have failed our Lord, for we have patched old cloth with new cloth and put new wine into old wineskins. This is a disaster and this is why we as the New Covenant people have fallen short of the glory that the Lord has for us.

In the New Covenant, fasting is not something you go in and out, it is not something you do for a period of time. Fasting is a person, it is Christ. And as long as you are in Christ you are fasting. Fasting is our lifestyle, we live a life of fasting as we continue to starve the flesh while exploring the riches of Christ. It is not about natural hunger but spiritual hunger. If the natural fasting of physical food is powerful just imagine how much power reside in the spiritual fasting. I have tasted of it power, just a little sip of it and I know it's greater than anything we've ever know. In just a short period it would catapult you to a spiritual height you never thought you would ever attain in your life time. May our eyes be open to this truth.

Extracted from the book, The New Covenant
This post belongs to a series, here is the full series:
Christ Is Fasting
Fasting In The New Covenant
The Frustration
A Hunger For Starvation

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