I would like to know how often and for
how long we should fast per year. In Leviticus 16: 29-31 , and 23: 27-28 it says
in the seventh month on the tenth day, or the day of atonement, we should fast.
The day of atonement is Yom Kippur according to the notes in my bible. However,
in the year 2000 Yom Kippur was on Oct. 8. Is Oct. 8 the tenth day of the
seventh month according to the mosaic calendar and a day of 'required' fasting?
Also, as asked before, what other days should we fast, and if there are no
particular days, how often should we fast?
Fasting has been practiced far a long time by man with some of its history traceable to certain heathen people, as well as there being a number of references to it in the Bible. The actual Hebrew word for fasting does not occur until after the time of Moses. The passages which you cite in your question use the expressions "afflict your souls" (KJV), "humble your souls" (NASV), "deny yourselves" (NIV). However, Isaiah 58:3 and Psalm 35:13, among other passages, help us to understand this as probably a reference to fasting. So, it is obvious that fasting was something that was practiced by those under the old law. When one comes to the New Testament, again there are a number of references to fasting. Jesus fasted, Matthew 4:2. Zaccheus fasted, Luke 18:12. Cornelius fasted, Acts 10:30. There was fasting before Barnanbas and Saul were selected and sent out as missionaries from the church at Antioch, Acts 13:2. Jesus taught about fasting - Matthew 6:16-18; 9:14-15; Mark 2:19; Luke 18:12. However, it is not specifically commanded for Christians. In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus taught how to give, how to pray, and how to fast, indicating that all three were important. It should be noted, though, that both praying and giving are public acts of worship, Acts 2:42 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, while fasting is never so designated. It would therefore fall into the area of being a part of one's private spiritual life.
For how long and how often one should fast, each individual must determine that. This is similar to giving of one's means. Where the Law of Moses specified a tenth, there is no such specification given for Christians. They are to give as they have been prospered. Each individual determines what that would be. Surely a tenth would be just a beginning point. Thus with fasting, there is no specific command, but each individual Christian must determine that matter. It certainly can be a source of great spiritual blessing and strength
I need to know more about how you defeat the flesh ?What does fasting really do for you?
Your concern for defeating the flesh is one that every Christian faces. Even the apostle Paul said, "I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected." (I Corinthians 9:27) Jesus said (Mark 14:38) "Watch (be alert..my words) and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Paul gives this advice. "Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth....Put to death therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire..." (Colossians 3:2 & 5) Here are some suggestions that will help. First, of course obey the gospel and become a child of God, a Christian. See Acts 2:38. Then be careful of your environment. "Evil companionships corrupt good morals." (1 Cor.15:33)
Next build WILL POWER. This is the power to execute, to carry out our
plans. Some follow the line of least resistance.
Also RIGHT THINKING. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Prov. SEE (very important) Philippians 4:8. Jesus never said it would be easy. It is a battle. Paul said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."
(2 Tim. 4:8)
I am praying for you!
Do you believe Christians are required to fast? If so give scriptures.
Fasting is not specifically commanded in the scriptures. However, in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave instructions to the disciples on how to give, on how to pray and how to fast, as if each were of equal obligation (Matt. 6: 16-18) In view of the fact that giving and praying are items of public worship (Acts 2:42; I Cor. 16:1,2), and fasting is not, it would appear that fasting is in the area of private devotions, and is to be restricted thereto.
Note Jesus words in Matt. 6:16-18. This statement clearly shows that fasting was not to be engaged in publicly and with ostentation. It also reveals that it did have an important place in the life of a disciple, and that the Father would reward those who fasted.
The chief purpose of fasting is to strengthen us in times of trial, sorrow and adversity. This is evident from several passages such as Matt. 9:14; Mark 2:18; Luke 5:33; I Cor. 7:6; Acts 13:2; and 2 Cor. 6:5.
Properly engaged in, fasting can be a source of great spiritual blessing, a discipline of the will and an exercise producing inward strength, and power. Since neither time nor manner of observance is given for fasting, we must conclude that this is a matter to be determined in each instance, and by each person participating.