Purposes of Fasting
By Pastor Bill Murchison
Many years ago, when I was managing a golf club, we booked a corporate outing to be held at our club. They indicated that they would have their own beverage cart drivers. As long as they bought their beverages from the club, we did not have a problem with that. When the day of their golf outing came around, I received a call that their beverage cart drivers were not dressed modestly. I took immediate action, and made them dress appropriately. Later on, during their lunch, they had some ladies begin to perform for the golfers. Our Restaurant Manager came to my office and told me what was going on. I went next door and put a stop to their show. I was embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed that these things had happened under my management. I went on a three-day fast in repentance about what had happened. In addition to asking the Lord for forgiveness, I asked the Lord for wisdom. He led me to revise the contracts that we used for corporate outings. We put in a clause about dress code. We made it very clear in our contracts what appropriate attire was at our golf club. We did not have any further problems or incidents at our club.
We saw in Jonah 3:7-10 that the King of Nineveh called for a three-day fast to repent over their sins. We also saw in 1 Kings 21:19 that Ahab fasted in repentance after Elijah confronted him about murdering Naboth, and then stealing his vineyard. In Nehemiah 9:1-2, Nehemiah and the Jews fasted in sackcloth with dirt on them, and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. They acknowledged their arrogance, stubbornness, idolatry, disobedience, rebellion, blasphemies, and wickedness. Then, in Nehemiah 9:38-10:39, they created and signed a document stating that they would keep God’s commandments. Fasting for repentance is one of the many purposes for a fast.
Father, thank You for Your word, and for the examples that You have given to us to learn from. Father, we want to humble ourselves and repent for our sins, and for the sins of our nation. We want to commit ourselves to living uprightly. We want our lives to glorify and honor You. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.