Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fasting - Escort into His arms

The concept of fasting was foreign in my traditional Methodist/Baptist upbringing, but after only 1 day I saw results!  I had read about fasting and prayer in the Bible, but never actually partnered the idea with reality (this was before I had received the baptism of the wonderful Holy Spirit).  My wife, 2 year old son, and myself were all living at my parents house at the time.  The move from our apartment to my parents was instigated by my wife undergoing several hospitalizations and it had put a large dent in our finances.  My prayer life had recently come alive with passion as I was zealously praying to the Lord in the morning to deliver us from certain circumstances (specifically, we needed a place to live permanently).  For several days I felt the urge to fast, without explanation.  After considering the possibility that the "urge" could be the Lord, I took a day off from eating.  Within a month of that single one-day fast, my wife and I received a check for $14,000! 

So, why fast?  Because God will give you $14,000! But seriously, God responds to a heart that is willing to lay down the desires of the flesh to seek Him.  Some of the Biblical purposes of fasts are:
  • Mourning
  • To inquire of the Lord
  • Repentence
  • Deliverance
  • Power
  • Humility
If you need set free of an oppression, a response from God, or more of the power of God in your life... fasting should be partnered with your prayers.  Fasting is never done outside of prayer but coupled with it.  While many pastors are afraid to suggest fasting from food, there really is no other Biblical example of fasting.  Fasting from television and video games are certainly worthwhile pursuits, but if you expect to raise the dead after spending a week away from Call of Duty you may be disappointed.

In his book titled, The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting, Mahesh Chavda reminds the reader that,
Jesus didn't say, "If you should someday decide to try to fast, although I know it's almost impossible for you..." in Matthew 6:16-17.  No, He said, "When you fast..." He didn't give us the option not to fast.
Fasting is intended to be a part of your everyday Christian life!  Christ expects it of us.  We need to fast to continually die to the flesh and sustain a life of victory.  I've actually found that it's quite a joy to fast (once you get past the first couple days), because God's voice is so much clearer.  As the junk seems to filter out of my system, my ears open more... His presence is more tangible... it's almost as though my spirit becomes softened to respond to Holy Spirit and it's wonderful! So if you haven't experienced the joys of prayer and fasting, I encourage you to try it out.  Please share you testimonies and encounters you've had while fasting as comments as well.

Lord I pray for impartation for every reader that looks upon these words.  I ask that you would grant them the grace to fast as long as You have called them to Lord.  Grant them a willingness to respond to Your voice, which is calling Your people to the position of humility through prayer and fasting in Jesus mighty name.

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