Sent: Monday, April 24, 2006 11:19 AM
Hi Pastor Vitale,
I am writing to you to ask a question on fasting. I have heard several of your tapes on fasting, that it is more than just fasting from food but spiritual fasting. My sister-in-law has condemned me for the fact that I do not fast. I never have and when I tried to, because of my diabetes I get sick or the sugar goes out of whack and it seems to do more harm than good. The last email where she had mentioned it and condemned me, she just stated it's in the bible and there is "no excuses" meaning I hide behind the diabetes and that is my excuse not to do the Lord’s will. Is it the wrong thinking? Is it the Lord's will for us to do things to make us sick??
I have been looking on the website for info on fasting, she has been laying heavy on me in the spirit about it. Is there any Bible software for the computer that I can type "fasting" and it will give me the places in the Bible on it??
Pastor Vitale's response (written by Margaret M-L):
Dear Kerry, you would find useful information on fasting (over 30 LEM transcripts say something on fasting) using the search engine on the LEM website. However, if you want references from the Bible, you could use a Strong's concordance to locate the scriptures. In addition, I shall attempt to give you my understanding of the topic in a nutshell.
Fasting, as other issues in the bible such as communion, can of course be understood/interpreted on different levels, depending on where the individual is. The most basic understanding of fasting is the literal abstinence from food, drink or pleasure such as sexual activity etc for a period of time to give yourself over to prayer. Most of the church probably understand and practice it this way, and no doubt reap benefits from it.
However, for those who are moving on into a deeper walk with God, this usually translates to 'living a fasted life' whereby it is no longer a question of abstinence for a period of time but a continuous denial of 'excesses' or 'pleasures' of life in order to concentrate on the things of God.
The ultimate fasting of course would be abstinence from one's carnal mind, whilst living through the mind of Christ.
Whatever one does and however one observes fasting, the most important thing is to be open to what God is saying to the individual at any given point in time, as everybody's walk is different, bearing in mind that to whom much is given, much is expected.
Fasting should not just be a 'religious work'.
Also, no man should condemn you for whatever you do based on your personal conviction. Once you have your conviction from God, you do not need to convince them of your ways, neither do you need their approval of your ways.
Medically, it is not advisable for a diabetic to fast from food, it can prove to be dangerous. I believe the Lord expects us to be sensible and use wisdom in all things. We definitely cannot hold him responsible if we go into a hypoglyceamic coma because we are fasting.
I hope I have helped you somewhat.
Sincerely in Christ,
Sheila R. Vitale, Pastor
Living Epistles Ministries