Fasting is giving up something difficult, usually food if you are able. This can come in many forms, but whatever method of self denial you choose, this is a practice that leads us to depending on God as our ultimate source of life. Saying yes to Jesus means saying no to other things.

Self denial is telling yourself no so your spirit can grow.

One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast  like we do and the Pharisees do?”Jesus 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." – Matthew 9:14-15 NLT
| From the heart of our house – links to the sermon series on this practice |
Self Denial – Sermon by Pastor Todd Pope
| Guide for Bridge Group or Individual Practice |
Things to consider: 
-How often is often enough that I am developing a rhythm and habit of self-denial? 
-How often is too often that I will not sustain this practice for the rest of this year or for the rest of my life? 
Options fast on a routine basis: 
-A single meal, weekly. 
-A whole day, weekly or monthly. 
-Fast all food from sunrise to sunset. 
-Television, one day a week. 
-Social media, one day a week.

It is very helpful to practice self-denial with others. So whether it’s in your Bridge Group or with another friend from church, agree on a day of the week or month that you and others will practice self-denial together.
Put your “self-denial day” on whatever calendar you use. What gets scheduled gets done!

Choose 2-3 things to focus on in prayer during the times you are fasting.
Examples could be your spouse, kids, co-workers, a personal area in need of breakthrough, etc. 
Ask the Lord what He wants to do with your self-denial. Pray for eyes to see what needs to grow. What we starve dies and what we feed thrives!

What have your experiences with self denial and fasting been? It could be you or someone you know, but how have you seen the power of self-denial?

What benefits do you observe of fasting? 

What are ways that you can stay consistent with self-denial? 

What would you say are the wrong ways to fast? What are good ways to set yourself up for failure?