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Can Christians Fast From Things Other Than Food?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2023 6:36 pm

Can Christians Fast From Things Other Than Food?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 21, 2023 6:36 pm

Episode 1168 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. As a pastor, have you ever changed your mind on a belief you’ve held?

2. What did Jesus mean when he said that his followers must “eat of his flesh”?

3. When Christians fast, do they have to fast from food or can they fast from other things?

4. How can I keep my faith strong when God doesn’t answer my prayers?

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Can Christians fast from things other than food? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and of course you can always email us your question at Bill, I want to open up the broadcast today by reading a very sweet letter that we received from Cheryl in New York, and she writes, Dear friends at CORE Christianity, God bless you and thank you for the wonderful ministry you provide. I listen every day. Pastor Adriel and Bill are such a great team. Thank you very much, Cheryl. And she says, I always pray along with you for the listeners. It is a privilege to support this Christ-centered ministry. What a blessing it is to have listeners like you, Cheryl. I just wanted to say, you know, reading that and thinking about how often, I mean, every single day it seems that we have an opportunity to pray for one of the callers.

And oftentimes, I mean, just, you know, from where I'm sitting, I mean, there are many challenges that so many of you face, and we need to call upon the name of the Lord, clinging to him. And so it's a privilege to get to pray for you, but also what a wonderful thing, Bill, that our listeners are able to pray for each other. And so who knows how many people are praying, you know, as people are listening to the broadcasts, and we have an opportunity to lift them up before the Lord. I just think it's such a wonderful thing that we get to do, and I'm so thankful that when we pray, Cheryl is praying with us. Cheryl, thanks so much for that beautiful letter. And you know, really, I would encourage every one of our listeners, when we have someone on the air who is struggling in some area of their life, whether it's a personal situation or assurance of salvation, whatever it might be, and Adriel prays for them, pray along with him.

Pray for that person that God will meet their needs, meet them where they're at. That would just mean so much to us here at Core Christianity, so please do that. Well, let's go to the phones. We have Sherry on the line from Hartley, Iowa. Sherry, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, my question is, as a pastor, have you ever changed your beliefs about any subjects or doctrines or anything?

Hey, Sherry, thanks for that question. You know, I actually, when I got ordained almost 10 years ago now, so I've been serving in pastoral ministry for almost a decade, and back when I got ordained, one of the vows that I took was that if my views ever did change significantly, that I would make that known. And so I would say, you know, while I think I've continued to grow and hopefully mature in my Christian faith and in my understanding of God's word, serving as a pastor for the last 10 years, there haven't been any significant theological shifts. Now, I will say, you know, I became a Christian when I was a teenager, started walking with the Lord, and from that point to when I was ordained as a pastor, there were a lot of changes that happened. And so, you know, my views on things like the extent of God's sovereignty changed, my views on things like spiritual gifts over time. You know, I think I used to just sort of imagine that when it came to spiritual gifts, you know, especially those miraculous gifts, that we were supposed to be experiencing that kind of on a daily basis as Christians. But over time, I think more and more realizing that ordinarily in our lives as believers, God works through his word, through prayer, through the community of faith, growing in the local church. So I think over time, my views on spiritual gifts changed, my views on the importance of the church in the life of the believer changed. And that's something that we often talk about on the broadcast. And so that's something that developed. But yeah, so there have been significant shifts, you know, since I've become a Christian.

But as a minister of the gospel, there haven't been any really big ones, at least not yet. And if I do have any, I have to make that known to the people that I serve alongside of. And I think that's actually just a really important point of information. You think about, you know, serving in a church and congregations that, you know, you have a pastor, you want to know what your pastor believes, how your pastor understands scripture and certain important theological issues. I think that that's important. And so being able to take vows like that and say, here's what we believe in, here's what we're going to uphold in terms of a system of doctrine is very, very important. Sherry, thank you for giving us a call and God bless. You know, one of the things you mentioned there was how your beliefs about the purpose and the mission of the church have changed since you became a Christian.

And that's one of the things you talk about frequently on this program. And unfortunately, I think in this country right now, we have a lot of push for this individualistic Christianity. It's me and Jesus against the world. And that's not what the New Testament teaches, is it?

No. In fact, I was just thinking about this yesterday. Peter in 1 Peter 2 talks about how we are being built up into a holy house to be a holy priesthood before the Lord. You know, we oftentimes will talk about the priesthood of all believers. And I think some people take that to argue for that individualistic sort of interpretation of the Christian faith and of the Christian walk, that it really is primarily about me and Jesus, you know, and all I really need is my Bible and that's it.

But no, we are built into the temple of God as believers, as a community of faith. And each of us plays a very important role in the local church with the various gifts that God has given to us, described in places like 1 Corinthians chapter 12. But the emphasis of scripture is on the fact that we need each other as the body of Christ to grow in our faith, to be discipled under the ministry of the word.

And so that's one of the reasons why I do talk about it so much. It's not just because I'm a pastor and I have to say these things. It's because I've seen in my own life how important these things are for my own growth and grace and sanctification. And so yeah, I just know that it's a huge blessing and it's what God calls us to.

So well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. Maybe there's a passage of scripture that's always kind of stumped you and you'd like some clarification on it. Or maybe there's something going on in your life that's a real challenge right now.

Maybe you've even run up against some kind of persecution on the job or at school. Hey, we'd love to talk to you. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. We'll be taking calls for the next 15 minutes or so. So now's the time to call. Let's go to Otis calling in from Missouri. Otis, what's your question for Adriel?

Yes, I was came in on the tail end of a show about maybe three weeks ago, maybe a month ago, maybe. And you were breaking down what Jesus says in chapter 6 after he says, I am the bread of life and he who comes to me will never go hungry. He believes me thirsty, but later on he says, something with respect, you must eat my whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eaten my life and I will raise him at the last thing. I know that was a hard saying for some of the Jews and they departed no longer followed him. Can you explain that again? I really like the way you broke that down and I like to share it with others when that comes up.

Okay. Yeah, so John chapter 6, really an amazing passage of scripture. Jesus had just fed a great multitude. Then sort of right there in the middle of chapter 6, you have Jesus walking on the water and afterwards crowds gather to him because they want more bread.

They're hungry. They want to see another miracle from Jesus and Jesus disappoints them. He doesn't do another miracle at least like he had done earlier where he fed the five thousand the crowd follows him and he begins talking about the fact that he is the bread of life. In other words, don't just follow me for the things I do for you for the physical gifts that I can give to you. Jesus says follow me because I am what you need more than anything else. I am the nourishment of your soul the bread of life and he begins to talk about you know that situation in the old testament where God fed the children of Israel with manna in the wilderness and Jesus said to the crowds verse 35 of John 6, I am the bread of life whoever comes to me shall not hunger whoever believes in me shall never thirst but I said to you that you have seen me and yet you do not believe and so there's this tension here this this crowd is there he's trying to tell them I am the bread of life but but they weren't believing and as a result many left and it was a hard saying that's what we get towards the end of the chapter in the verse that you bring up in verse 54. Jesus said whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day now feeding on the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ is parallel to believing in him just earlier in verse 47 he says truly truly I say to you whoever believes has eternal life I am the bread of life how do we partake of the body and blood of Jesus Christ as believers today it's only by faith that is how we receive the true food and true drink of his body and blood and I think ultimately we receive that in the sacrament the ordinance of holy communion that Jesus instituted in the gospels while he was in the upper room when he took bread and said this is my body given for you and he took the wine and he said this cup is the new covenant in my blood shed for the forgiveness of sins this is this is a sacrament a sign and seal of God's love his goodness his grace for us and through these signs by faith we lay hold of the reality Jesus himself we have Paul said in first Corinthians chapter 10 a communion a special communion by the power of the holy spirit with the body and blood of Jesus at the Lord's table and so the emphasis in John 6 is on faith faith in Jesus Christ to receive him as the bread of life for the nourishment of our souls and and let me just say to to those of you to those of you who are listening what a gift what a gift that God gives to us he sent his son into the world for our redemption for our salvation and Jesus so gives himself to us that he says here take eat my body drink my blood receive by faith my life into yourself so that you might have spiritual life as well true spirituality isn't something that we produce from within ourselves it's not something you can conjure up on your own we only have life insofar as we are united to Jesus Christ by faith and I think all of that is is there in that text of John chapter 6 God bless you brother and thank you for calling in with that question great explanation thanks for that Adriel this is core Christianity with pastor Adriel Sanchez you know our mission here at the core is to answer the tough questions about the bible and the Christian life and that really can't be done without your support yes brothers and sisters we are so grateful to be able to serve you in this broadcast answering your questions about the faith every single day and if you've been blessed by the work that we're doing I'm asking that you would consider coming alongside of us and making a one-time donation your support helps us to continue to produce this broadcast and to share the truth of God's word the the reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ with people all around the world so we ask that you'd partner with us to that end and you can do that by going over to core forward slash give again it's your generous support that keeps us going we don't receive money from a church or denomination or a radio station and you can give a gift today by heading over to core forward slash give to learn more again that's core forward slash give that would be a huge blessing to us or you can call us anytime at eight three three the core again that number is eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three well we do receive voicemails here at the core and here's one that came in earlier this week from one of our listeners named Jean my question is about fasting is it possible to pass things other than food I take medication and I can't miss the medications could you just speak to that thank you sister thank you for that call and I love your desire to pursue the Lord to seek the Lord and and thinking about you know what Jesus said regarding fasting in places like the sermon on the mount when you fast you know don't fast like the hypocrites disfiguring their faces but when you fast you know wash your face anoint your head with oil and fast before your father in other words it's not something that we blow the trumpet and tell everyone around us hey look what I'm doing I'm so holy I'm so pious no it's an opportunity for us at times when when we feel led when we feel led to set aside things like food in scripture it is it is food primarily to set that aside and to focus on prayer you know throughout the history of the church you know there have been seasons where some Christian traditions have said well we should fast during this time and some traditions you know have the practice of observing a fast during lent the season leading up to Easter for example that's not something that's prescribed in scripture but certainly fasting is a part of Christian piety that is talked about in in the bible throughout the scriptures and so it's appropriate at times you know if there's something difficult going on a church is going through a hard season maybe the elders of that church will call for a fast and invite people to prayer maybe you individually there's something in your own life and you really want to focus on praying to the Lord calling out upon the name of the Lord for help that would be an appropriate time to fast and your question is well can I fast something other than food in scripture as I said typically what we're looking at is people setting aside food and drink fasting there the example of Daniel for example early in the book of Daniel our own Lord Jesus fasting during his time in in the wilderness as well the disciples of our Lord fasting after his departure and so that that typically involved food oftentimes today you'll hear people saying things like well I'm fasting from television or I'm fasting from social media I'm trying to set those things aside to really focus on the Lord well in the days of the bible you know they didn't have twitter and facebook and instagram and television so they didn't fast from those things and sometimes I wonder if okay you know we're just sort of making up our our own fast but here's what I'll say I think if you wanted to set aside something and maybe that maybe for you that is maybe maybe you spend quite a bit of time watching television every day and you say you know what Lord that's something that I go to to just sort of relax and hang out and what I want to do is I just want to devote that time to praying to coming before you and calling upon your name reading scripture I think that that's good and pleasing to the Lord I don't think God would say oh you well you know you're just out of luck because you have to take these but you can't really you can't really fast no I would say prayerfully consider Lord I want to just focus in my life and devote myself to a season of prayer I will say I will say this you know speaking of other things maybe one example that people could go to is Paul in first Corinthians first Corinthians chapter seven talks about abstaining from marital intimacy for the purpose of praying praying as a couple there's an example of something that's that's not food per se obviously but it's being set aside for the purpose of prayer so maybe we do have some examples in scripture one other thing that I'll do is I just wanted to read what we read in Isaiah chapter 58 about fasting because I think this is a helpful passage even as we're thinking about this verse one says cry aloud do not hold back lift up your voice like a trumpet declare to my people their transgression to the house of Jacob their sins yet they seek me daily and delight to know my ways as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the judgment of their God they ask of me righteous judgments they delight to draw near to God why have we fasted and you do not see it they say why have we humbled ourselves and you take no knowledge of it behold in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure and oppress all your workers behold you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high is such the fast that I choose a day for a person to humble himself is it to bow down his head like a reed and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him will you call this fast and a day acceptable to the Lord is not this the fast that I choose to loose the bonds of wickedness to undo the straps of the yoke to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke is it not to share your bread with the hungry and to bring the homeless poor into your house when you see the naked to cover him and not to hide yourself from your own flesh then shall your light break forth like the dawn and your healing shall spring up speedily your righteousness shall go before you the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard in other words when we fast let's not be hypocritical about it he's just putting on this pious show looking gloomy as Jesus said the religious leaders did he says no it's a time to set aside our sins to repent and to fix our eyes upon the Lord and to call upon his name and may the Lord be with you sister as you seek his face and I know that as you do he's blessed and he's honored by your devotion and by your prayers to him God bless that is such a great Old Testament passage Adriel and of course it really speaks to how God is a God of justice as well and and he demands justice when there is oppression and you can't just say well you know I'm going to look the other way and have my fast and do my religious duties here you need to understand that he wants us to you know be be just individuals and and you know fight for justice yeah absolutely Bill and what I what I'll say there is it just just also highlights how God is not looking for just external shows of piety if I look at me I'm fasting but there in that Isaiah text it's God is saying yeah but you're neglecting the needy all around you you actually you know you're going through these these religious motions but when it comes to the love of your neighbor you know the most important aspect of the law you're neglecting your neighbor and they're needy and hungry and and so there there's there's a real rebuke for the church there for us to really consider these things very well said this is core Christianity with pastor Adriel Sanchez by the way we're going to be recording a second episode of the core today after our live program ends here in just a few minutes so if you weren't able to get in we'll be taking your calls and your questions for the next 35 minutes or so here's the phone number it's 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 let's go to Amy calling in from Iowa Amy what's your question for Adriel hi I've been struggling with something we've been praying for for over a year and it was looking good and now it looks like everything is going backwards and we're just really struggling with our faith I mean I don't blame God I'm just got a lot of fear well Amy I want to join you in prayer and I want to invite our listeners right now to pray for you of course I don't I don't know what what the specifics are but but God knows our Lord knows and so brothers and sisters let's join together in praying for our sister right now father we come before you and we lift Amy up to you and her prayers and her petitions up to you and we ask Lord for your mercy to be poured out upon her Lord we don't always understand why you answer our prayers in certain ways but I I pray that you would give our sister a sense of your hand at work in her life and her family's life in this situation a sense of your love a sense of your presence and we do pray Lord for just your mercy and your grace to be poured out upon our sister oh Lord we call upon you be with her in this moment give her clarity and peace in Jesus name amen Amy I don't know if if you want to I mean I'm not knowing any of the specifics and I don't want to put you on the spot if you if you want to share more if there's a specific question related to maybe the providence of God in those difficult times or or praying according to the will of God otherwise we'll continue to pray but I do want to just I'll give you another opportunity to speak so that if I can speak to the situation further I might okay it's in regards to a custody of my grandson and we're just worried about his life I'm just so scared about his future and what that looks like we just love him so much and we just want the best for him we just want the best for him okay well may may the Lord be with you in this situation and the the one thing I will say to you is just know we don't know you don't know how God might work even even though it seems rightly you said it doesn't seem like things are going the way that we had hoped you don't know how the Lord might work in this situation and so continuing to trust in him even if it even if it turns out not to go the way that you had hoped knowing that the Lord loves you and that the Lord loves your grandson as well and that God is able to be with and protect our children and our grandchildren even when we're not in control you think of Moses for example and how the Lord watched over him even in Pharaoh's household and so the Lord be with you Amy and with your grandchild as well and we will continue to keep your family in prayer thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer visit us at core and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's 833 the core when you contact us please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-21 20:49:50 / 2023-02-21 20:59:21 / 10

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