Our Fasting Experience

Updated: Mar 27, 2019




Ps Nicolas Sofyan initiate fasting for EM Hills and below he explains why he does this this year 😊


WHY IS FASTING IMPORTANT?

Christian fasting is a believer’s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes. Other types of fasting—despite the benefits they may produce for the mind and body—could not be classified as Christian fasting, and fasting by a non-Christian obtains no eternal value.

Jesus fasted and He said:

Matthew 6:16 “And now about fasting. When you fast, declining your food for a spiritual purpose, don’t do it publicly, as the hypocrites do, who try to look wan and disheveled so people will feel sorry for them. Truly, that is the only reward they will ever get.”


Christians in the book of Acts fasted (see 9:9; 13:2; 14:23), we may conclude that Jesus still expects His followers to fast today.


For believers in Christ, fasting must be rooted in a relationship with Christ and practiced with the desire to become more like Christ. Believers should fast according to biblical teaching and with purposes that are God-centred.



SHOULD WE EXPECT ANYTHING WHEN WE FAST?

It is important that the congregation not only do the fast but they do it with purpose. Scripture sets forth many purposes for fasting, for example:

1. To Strengthen Prayer

2. To Seek God’s Guidance

3. To Seek Deliverance or Protection

4. To Express Repentance and the Return to God

5. To Humble Oneself Before God

6. To Overcome Temptation and Dedicate Yourself to God

7. To Express Love and Worship to God



HOW CAN WE FAST?

Although there are many methods of fasting, after 9 years our congregation has been doing fasting, I expect them to be able to choose which type is suitable for their lifestyle as long as they understand the purpose of fasting.

In the past, some people choose to only eat lunch and fast the rest.

One person I know eats only one meal early in the morning around 4am.

Most of the congregation opens their fast around 4pm to 9pm. They are free to drink water all day.


As they have been doing this for long enough, I don’t expect them to do fasting out of duty (under religious spirit) with emphasize on rules, but more spiritual purposes that are achieved through their fasting: Is fasting bringing me closer to God? Does it make me pray more? Am I becoming a more self-controlled person? Do I understand more of God’s heart?, etc.


Below is the testimonies of our friends from Hills in regard to their fasting month 😊


Kiki Anggoro

Fasting makes me able to be more able to control myself and better understand what God wants. I have been fasting for the past 6 years. What’s really hard about fasting is that I have to constantly challenge myself to be able to stop drinking coffee during fasting. And this is not easy because my body is used to caffeine intake. This is the hardest part for me. This year I actually prayed to be able to hear to God more and God is good, he answered one of my prayer during this fasting period, I am more sensitive in hearing God's voice.



Chen Lay

1. How is your overall experience?

By fasting I learned to get closer to God and learn to master myself from the desires of the flesh.


2. Is this your first time doing it? (Or how many years have you participated in fasting?) I have participated for seven years.


3. What 's the major challenges you experience?

When we cook food in a situation and are hungry but cannot enjoy it at that moment but must wait until the time.


4. Does God speak to you more clearly during fasting?

Yes.


Jessica Lie

1. How is your overall experience?

My overall fasting was great, I always like doing the beginning of year fasting together with the church because I know I have people doing it alongside with me.


2. Is this your first time doing it? (Or how many years have you participated in fasting?)

I’m honestly not sure how many years I’ve participated in the fasting - probably since when I was around my teen years, so 5+ years I think?


3. What are the major challenges you experience?

I think the major challenge I experienced was to actually be consciously aware of the reason why I was fasting. Monday - Friday while at work, time really can fly by in a day. It could be so easy for me to go through a day and forget to pray or forget to seek God’s presence throughout my day. But I didn’t want to do that because I may as well have just been doing any regular diet. So I think my biggest challenge was not letting the ‘busy-ness’ of my days distract me from seeking God more, which was my purpose in fasting.


4. Does God speak to you more clearly during fasting?

Yes. I think when we become very intentional in seeking God, and also persistent in waiting on His voice, He honours that and will speak to us if we listen. Even in the little things throughout my day, I find that if I am in constant communion and conversation with God I will sense Him prompting me in what I say and do. And with that I sort of strive for it to be not something just confined to fasting. I try to see fasting as a sort of catalyst where the habits I form in seeking God flow out into my everyday life, and not only when I’m fasting.


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