THE BIBLICAL FALL FEASTS PART 12
YOM KIPPUR – A DAY OF FASTING
Today’s daylight hours are the eighth day of “The Days of Awe” (Returning, Repentance, Admitting). At sundown today, we enter into the highest holy day in Judaism. It is the “Day of Atonement,” also known as Yom Kippur. It is the holiest sabbath of the year. The focus is on a person’s relationship to God and how God judges that relationship.
It is a “day of affliction” as they lay aside every earthly concern. It is a day of absolute fasting; neither food nor drink is consumed. Anyone who does not fast on this day is to be put out from the Jewish congregation.
Fasting is a form of purification of both body and soul. It allows one to draw closer in relationship to God. It helps also to purge impurities from the body. Jews have many “fasts,” but this is the only one mandated by Scripture.
As Christians, we may choose to fast or not to fast. God puts no such requirement on us; it is optional. However, Jesus indicated its’ importance to His disciples. The most religious Jews, Jesus’ critics, fasted often. When they asked Jesus (Matthew 9:14-15) why His disciples did not fast as they did, Jesus told them that as long as He was with them there was no need for them to fast. This was because the power of ministry rested upon Him (the “bridegroom”). Once He was no longer on earth with them, it is then that they would need to fast. Why is that? Fasting can help us to “tune in” to His power in order to do the “greater works” on earth of which Jesus spoke (John 14:12). My personal experience with fasting did indeed bring a quantum leap into the miraculous realm of healings, signs, and wonders.
You can (1) choose to fast, or (2) Holy Spirit can “tell” you to fast. If Holy Spirit leads you to fast, you had best do it; that is obedience, and He alone might know the reason for the need (or He may reveal the reason). However, without any specific leading of the Spirit, it would be entirely up to you whether or not to choose a fast. There is no need to feel guilty for not doing it. It is not required of us.
This day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is a natural good day of choice if you wish to fast. Another great time is when you start off a new year, a “fast” rather than “New Year’s Resolutions” that few people ever keep.
Life is a journey. It should always be a journey to be in and stay in the center of God’s perfect will. It is a daily pursuit. Fasting occasionally can be beneficial in that pursuit.
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