But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. — Philippians 3:7-11 (ESV)

What Christian Fasting Isn’t

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ — Luke 18:11-12 (ESV)

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. — Matthew 25:1-7 (ESV)

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” — Revelation 19:6-9 (ESV)

Fasting is not boasting

Fasting is not mourning

What Christian Fasting Is

Fasting is a longing for what we were made for

Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. — Luke 12:35-37 (ESV)

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. — Hebrews 9:27-28 (ESV)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. — Titus 2:11-14 (ESV)

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. — 2 Timothy 4:8 (ESV)

In other words, in this age there is an ache inside every Christian that Jesus is not here as fully and intimately and as powerfully and as gloriously as we want him to be. We hunger for so much more. That’s why we fast. — John Piper

Fasting if we conceive of it truly, must not….be confined to the question of food and drink; fasting should really be made to include abstinence from anything that is legitimate in and of itself for the sake of some special spiritual purpose. There are many bodily functions which are right and normal and perfectly legitimate, but which for special peculiar reasons in certain circumstances should be controlled. That is fasting. — Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones

Fasting is not a no to the goodness of food or the generosity of God in providing it. Rather, it is a way of saying, from time to time, that having more of the Giver surpasses having the gift.

Which means that bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for his goodness, and by being forfeited out of a hunger for God himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food – the Bread of Life. And when we fast we, “I love the Reality above the emblem.” In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ. Both send the heart – grateful and yearning – to the Giver. Each has its appointed place, and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our willpower. — John Piper

If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. God did not create you for this. There IS an appetite for God. And it can be awakened. — John Piper

One might think that those who feast most often on communion with God are least hungry. They turn often from the innocent pleasures of the world to linger more directly in the presence of God through the revelation of His Word. And there they eat the Bread of Heaven and drink the Living Water by meditation and faith. But, paradoxically, it is not so that they are the least hungry saints. The opposite is the case. The strongest most mature Christians I have ever met are the hungriest for God. It might not seem that those who eat most would be least hungry. But that’s not the way it works with an inexhaustible fountain, in infinite feast, and a glorious Lord. — John Piper

Christian fasting is an expression of dissatisfied contentment in the all-sufficiency of Christ. — John Piper

The gospel leaves no room for self-pity; the future promised is too generous for that. Even Jesus is looking forward to this banquet. The night he instituted his supper, he said, I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Fathers kingdom (Matthew 26:29) That is when he will lift the gloom that now hangs over all human experience, he will swallow up death forever, he will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and we will be so glad finally to be saved by him (Isaiah 25:7-9) Isaiah. — Ray Ortlund

Chris Daukas

Chris grew up in a moral home, but didn’t find the grace of Christ until he was a sophomore in college. He began to devour the Word and was soon helping to lead bible studies, outreaches, and worship at church. He married his beautiful wife, Tara, in the summer of 2002.

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