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The Fast-Track To Spiritual Formation . Avenue Vineyard November 1, 2009. Consumerism. “Consume” + “rism” “Consume” from the Latin “consumere” “con” - meaning “altogether”, “in total” “sumere” - meaning “take-up”, “use”. Consume. Related words in a Thesaurus expend, deplete,

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the fast track to spiritual formation

The Fast-Track To Spiritual Formation

Avenue Vineyard

November 1, 2009

consumerism
Consumerism
  • “Consume” + “rism”
  • “Consume” from the Latin “consumere”
    • “con” - meaning “altogether”, “in total”
    • “sumere” - meaning “take-up”, “use”
consume
Consume
  • Related words in a Thesaurus
    • expend,
    • deplete,
    • exhaust,
    • waste,
    • squander,
    • drain.
slide4
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out.

Romans 12:2, The Message

slide5
…those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Romans 5:17

what is fasting
What Is Fasting?

Throughout the Bible, fasting is the intentional, voluntary abstaining from food for a specific period of time for spiritual purposes.

three types of fasts
Three Types of Fasts
  • Normal– abstaining from all food, solid or liquid, but not from water.
  • Partial– restricting the diet, but not totally abstaining from food.
  • Absolute– abstaining from food and water.
richard foster celebration of discipline
Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline

We must not be led to believe that the Disciplines (including fasting) are only for spiritual giants and hence beyond our reach, or only for contemplatives who devote all their time to prayer and meditation. Far from it. God intends the Disciplines of the spiritual life to be for ordinary human beings:

richard foster celebration of discipline cont d
Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline cont’d

people who have jobs, who care for children, who wash dishes and mow lawns. In fact, the Disciplines are best exercised in the midst of our relationships with our husband or wife, our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors.

matthew 6 16 18
Matthew 6:16-18

16”And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.

matthew 6 16 18 cont d
Matthew 6:16-18 cont’d

17But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

matthew 9 15
Matthew 9:15

15Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

purposes benefits of fasting
Purposes/Benefits of Fasting

1. An intentional way to turn our focus to God.

matthew 4 4
Matthew 4:4

“People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

purposes benefits of fasting15
Purposes/Benefits of Fasting
  • An intentional way to turn our focus to God.
  • Reveals the things/attitudes that control us.
purposes benefits of fasting16
Purposes/Benefits of Fasting
  • An intentional way to turn our focus to God.
  • Reveals the things/attitudes that control us.
  • Can bring breakthrough/deliverance and discernment.
breakthrough deliverance
Breakthrough / Deliverance
  • Old Testament story of Queen Esther and threat of national genocide
  • King of England calling for national day of prayer and fasting in 1756.
john wesley s journal entry feb 6th 1756
John Wesley’s Journal Entry Feb. 6th, 1756

“The fast day was a glorious day, such as London has scarce seen since the Reformation. Every church in the city was more than full, and a solemn seriousness sat on every face. Surely God heareth prayer and there will yet be a lengthening of our tranquility.”

john wesley s journal later note
John Wesley’s Journal (later note)

“humility was turned into national rejoicing for the threatened invasion by the French was averted.”

purposes benefits of fasting20
Purposes/Benefits of Fasting
  • An intentional way to turn our focus to God.
  • Reveals the things/attitudes that control us.
  • Can bring breakthrough/deliverance and/or discernment.
  • Health Benefits
purposes benefits of fasting21
Purposes/Benefits of Fasting
  • An intentional way to turn our focus to God.
  • Reveals the things/attitudes that control us.
  • Can bring breakthrough/deliverance and/or discernment.
  • Health Benefits
  • Can help teach self-control
slide22
“Refrain from gluttony and thou shalt the more easily restrain all the inclinations of the flesh.”

Thomas à Kempis

The Imitation of Christ

slide23
“Fasting teaches…self control and therefore teaches moderation and restraint with regard to all our fundamental drives”

Dallas Willard

The Spirit of the Disciplines

resources to learn more
Resources to Learn More
  • Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline
  • Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines
  • Elmer L. Towns, Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough
communion reflection
Communion Reflection

“I do not live by bread (insert your consumption issue?) alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”