Key Scripture:

Matthew 6:1-18

God is asking you to do a spiritual house cleaning, a purging of soul, if you will.  The most effective method as noted in Scripture is found in Matthew 6:1-18.  God gives three essential disciplines for the believer, the last being fasting.  The Scripture states, “When you give, when you pray, AND when you fast.”  There is evidence to suggest that fasting was part of the believer’s everyday experience in the early church.  Sadly, this spiritual discipline is almost completely gone in today’s Modern Church, but God gives tangible rewards to those who seek Him in this manner as found in Matthew:

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others 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 6:16-18

Private Disciplines result in Public Rewards

Consider the benefits of fasting at the start of this year:

  1. You will find Him in the secret place.
  2. Answers await you in the secret place.
  3. You’ll feel His presence in the secret place.
  4. Worry is released in the secret place.
  5. Your soul surrenders in the secret place.
  6. You’ll see new dreams in the secret place.
  7. Rubbish is removed in the secret place.

Connection Questions:

  1. What are your reasons for fasting?
  2. Why is Private Discipline so hard to execute?
  3. Why do you think the modern church has gotten away from fasting?
  4. What “rubbish” do you need to remove from your temple?

Conclusion:

The danger for the Christian is becoming carnal.  We live in a dirty world and its getting into our “temples.”  God is asking you to take the trash out as Hezekiah did!  When you become a carnal Christian that neglects the Word of God and treats God’s house as though it’s some plaything then something is wrong. You’ve accumulated so much of the world that your heart is no longer receptive and sensitive to the Holy Spirit. And when you fast, He takes the trash out and His presence comes back.  This year, at the start, seek His presence through fasting.  Miracles are waiting as you do!