Summary: A message on fasting. The problem with fasting, the purpose of fasting, the pitfalls of fasting, the promises to fasters.

Buffet (Buffay) or Buffet?

PPT 1 Pic of a buffet (buffay)

PPT 2 Pic of a boxer buffeting another boxers body

What are you doing with your body? Are you buffaying it or buffeting it?

PPT 3 Text

1Co 9:27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. (NASB)

1Co 9:27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (NIV)

The Greek word translated disqualified is adokimos and it means reprobate, he could not have used a stronger term to describe the results of failure to rule over his flesh/fleshly desires. (See Romans 1:28; 1 Cor 9:27; 2 Cor 13:5-7; 2 Tim 3:8; Titus 1:16; Heb 6;8) It comes from the idea of coins

For example: Ro 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (adokimos) mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Therefore when we read Paul saying that failure to keep his body in line could cause him to be disqualified, he is talking about the most serious of consequences.

So this morning I want to talk about buffeting your body, and we are going to talk about fasting. Which is just one of the ways we can buffet our bodies. When I get done you are going to be excited and motivated to go on a fast, can you believe that! (Ha ha) I know that as soon as I mentioned I am going to talk about fasting there is part of you that responded and said, "I don't want to hear this." But, by the time I get done with this message you are going to be excited about the spiritual discipline of fasting.

The English dictionary defines buffet two different ways, and it is very interesting how in our language these two radically different definitions of a word that is spelled the same can symbolize our relationship to our physical bodies.

PPT 4 Buffet defined

The first definition for buffet (meal) is a meal at which guests help themselves from a number of dishes and often eat standing up. Usually when we think of Buffet we think of a large amount of wonderful dishes loaded with food. Some of you probably already started salivating in a Pavlovian response to the word.

The second definition for buffet (beat into subjection) is to strike against or push repeatedly; to struggle with blows of hand or fist.

I would say that invariably we are applying one of those two responses, with varying shades, to our physical being. Either we are pleasing it, or denying it, or somewhere in between, but we are always doing one or the other to our flesh, pleasing it or denying it. This morning we are going to talk about denying it. Paul was an apostle and yet, he himself said that if he didn't keep his body under control he could be adokimos, a castaway, reprobate, disqualified. Strong words.

Paul was speaking about physical desires is the most panoramic of ways. In other words he was talking about every physical desire the body could have, rest, food, sex, are just three examples. In many ways these desires are natural and were given by God. But they can be used to make our lives turn hellishly downward if we are not careful and keep these desires in their God ordained boundaries.

For example, we shouldn't seek ease in a time of war, or sleep when called to prayer. That is fighting with the bodies desires to rest.

We should only express our sexual needs within biblical guidelines. That is fighting the bodies desires for sexual gratification.

We need to understand gluttony is a sin. That is fighting the bodies desire to over indulge in the pleasure of eating.

Look at this passage in Proverbs that shows the consequence of failure in some of these areas:

PPT 5 text

Pr 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags.

Today I am only going to talk about the discipline of fasting, because the same discipline that helps someone to control their eating can be applied to every physical desire the body has. I am going to break it down into several areas:

PPT 6 main points of message

1. The Problem with Fasting

2. The Purpose of Fasting

3. The Pitfalls/Dangers of Fasting

4. The Promises to Faster

1. The Problem with fasting is your body.

You were born an addict to food. For many of us eating is a very emotional and troublesome subject.

Some people eat as means of dealing with anxiety, depression, boredom, etc.

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