2 - Fast

A Way to Draw Near to God

The last section described the necessity of prayer in the Christian walk. In this section, Steven Chin, Senior Pastor at the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church in Boston, Massachusetts, unpacks how fasting draws us closer to God.  

In the Bible, people fasted in times of sorrow, repentance, or on the brink of a major decision. Fasting still applies to us today as New Testament believers, even though it’s not commanded.  

What is fasting? How does it bring us closer to God?
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Steven said he thinks the church doesn’t focus on fasting because of the emphasis our culture places on food. Do you agree with Steven’s conclusions about why we don’t often fast today? Why or why not?
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Fasting requires us to humble ourselves before God to draw near to Him, but we can fall into disobedience when we fast. Some of the dangers of fasting include:

  • Considering fasting a spiritual secret
  • Seeing it as a command instead of a voluntary action
  • Fasting to promote ourselves
  • Treating fasting like a hunger strike to push God to action
  • Fasting out of religious obligation instead of love for God

Which of these dangers stands out to you? Why? Do you see any at work in your own life? If so, which ones?
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Have you ever fasted? If so, what did you abstain from, why did you fast, and how did fasting bring you closer to God? If not, would you consider fasting in the future? Why or why not?
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What could you fast from this week? Food? TV? Social media? When you fast, how could you avoid the pitfalls Steven described?
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You can draw near to God through fasting. If you’ve never fasted before, consider abstaining from a meal this week to pray. If you are no stranger to fasting, think about taking a fast from something other than food in the next few days.