21 Days of Fasting – Fasting 101

The start of a new year brings the ideas of hope for a brighter future. It also is tradition to make resolutions of changes we want to see take place. Sadly, most of us will have the same things on our list this year that we have had for the last several years. There is no easy answer as to why this is. We know things in our lives need to change and we desire to see that change happen but very few of us actually achieve the desired change. It’s as if we are bound to repeat the same mistakes year after year. Do you know what that is called? Bondage. Biblically, another word for bondage is slavery. 
The Bible says, in John 8:31-36, that anyone who sins is a slave to sin but knowing/applying truth will set us free. In fact, Jesus goes on to say, “if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.” This means that Jesus came, died and rose again so that you and I could life a life of incredible freedom. He says in this scripture that one of the major keys to experience freedom is to be a disciple which He defined as those who “hold to my teachings.” Therefore, one of the first diagnostics we need to do on ourselves is to discover which of the three biblical persons we are.
1. UNSPIRITUAL PERSON. (1 Corinthians 2:14) “The person without the Spirit” (literally, a spiritless body or a body driven by the soul) “does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” The idea is a person whose spirit is dormant. When you and I sinned for the first time, our spirit went dormant. That’s why Jesus taught the concept of being “born again.” Salvation is where Christ comes and our spirit is restored resulting in us being reborn – from a person controlled by our soul to a person led the spirit.  So if we never experience this rebirthing or restoring of the spirit of God within us, we live an unspiritual life with little regard for the things of God.
2. SPIRITUAL PERSON. (1 Corinthians 2:15) “The person with the Spirit (our spirit brought to life by His Spirit/Salvation) makes judgements about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgements, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” This scripture describes those who have received the Spirit of Christ or the Spirit of God which restores our spirit and results from being born again or saved. Spiritual people receive the things of the Spirit which Jesus said would result indeed in freedom.
3. WORDLY (carnal) PERSON. (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly-mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed you are still not ready. You are still worldly...” This scripture describes Carnal Christians who have believed on Christ (Brothers and sister) but they have not learned to live by the Spirit. Instead, they live by their soul (mind/will/emotion/senses) and have, like the unspiritual person, paid little attention to the things of the Spirit so their spirit is still “young.” Perhaps this one best describes you – as it does me in areas of my life as well.
A worldly person desires to make changes in their lives with little success because they are trying to tame their soul which has master over them. Paul described this reality when he said, “that which I don’t want to do I do. What I want to do, I do not do.” (Romans 7:15).  This scripture describes the bondage of what living by our soul leads to. Paul follows it with an amazing statement in Romans 8:12 where he declares, “Therefore brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.” In other words, you don’t have to live 2017 like you did in 2016. You can be free. How? Through fasting and prayer.
I will share a few thoughts on fasting and prayer in a future post but for now, please decide which of the three biblical persons are you? If you fall into the worldly person, fasting and prayer is where you starve your soul and being to feed your spirit. Every year at Fellowship, we take time to fast and pray. We desire to get our flesh under control while desire to become closer to God and His spirit. The goal is to be person 2. Only you can make the decision to go after God but the promise is that “if you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him.”