Power In Fasting
Excerpt from Power In Fasting:
What is Fasting?
Fasting is the voluntary and deliberate abstinence from food and drink in order that we might deny the body in the affliction of the soul, which leads to sacrificial atonement to God. Fasting is more than merely missing a meal or altering your eating habits. Indeed, it is much more than that. Fasting conditions the individual to be in an atmosphere of expectation through faith. As the Bible states, “without faith” it is impossible to please God. Fasting helps us in coming more and more into the reality of God and His rewards, as He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. In addition, prayer is a vital part of the act of fasting. For without the association of prayer, our fasting is reduced to nothing more than a missed meal. When we pray that we come closer and closer into the presence of the Lord. It is through denying the flesh in fasting, combined with prayer that we are often times able to hear God with greater clarity. Exodus 34:28 says, “And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments” This lets us know that sometimes when we are expectant of a message, or vision, from the Lord, we must seek Him in the atmosphere of prayer and fasting.
Matthew 4:1-11 tells us about Jesus experiences when he was “led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” After Jesus spent forty days and forty nights fasting, the Bible then tells us that afterward, he was hungry. God uses our times of fasting to place us in a state of spiritual hunger, for it is only when we are hungry that we are truly able to receive the much needed nourishment that only God can provide. The Spirit of God called Jesus to the wilderness “to be tempted of the devil”, but God did not allow that to happen until after Jesus completed his fast. God uses our spiritual hunger to impart in us that which we will need to defeat the enemy. This is what happened to Jesus in the wilderness. The “tempter” erroneously assumed that after fasting for forty days, Jesus would be in a state of physical and mental weakness. However, it was through the act of fasting that Jesus gained the strength He needed to withstand the power of the evil one. We must use this example of Jesus in order to be able to withstand in the evil day.
As we gain more and more into the realities of just who God is, we find ourselves able to trust Him the more. This is due to the fact that He has always delivered on all of His promises. As this trust relationship builds and we become more and more closely connected to “the vine”, we begin to realize that we can have a living relationship with God, one built out of His love for us.
Now that we know that he loves us, and always has loved us, we are enabled to release our faith in trust to Him. And, as we are connected to the “True Vine” and the vine is in us and we in it, and as we strive diligently to keep His Word, we learn that we can seek of His riches in Heaven. That is when we realize that His promises are true.
So why fast? Fasting puts you into a oneness with God. It enables you to understand just how to abide in Him and how to let His Words abide in you. Then you know that you can petition Him for things in His will and it shall be yours.
Satan would have us to shun fasting because he knows that it is one of the greatest weapons against him. It breaks the yoke of bondage he has placed on the believer. He has caused many to compromise by infiltrating the minds of those in authority to think that fasting is a thing of the past, for he knows that Jesus gave us the secret means of breaking his yoke-hold on us — through prayer and fasting. For Jesus says in Matthew 17:21 that “these kind come but by prayer and fasting.” It is in this passage of Scripture that Jesus lets us know that we have the authority over Satan and his hold.
It is much easier to eat and satisfy the natural urges of the body than it is to deny the body the nutrients it longs for on a daily basis, especially when we mix this denial of the body with prayer. Therein lies the secret to gaining the strength necessary to command Satan to come into subjection of the godly authority which we now possess.
Without a doubt, every spirit filled, godly person possesses the power to demonstrate authority over Satan as they fast and pray regularly. For it is through this fasting and praying that they are enabled to gain the strength and power to command Satan.
There is a constant battle going on within each of us, between our spirit and our flesh. The aim of which is to determine the winner of the war between the part of us which is the spirit-man and the part of us which is earthly. The spirit-mans desire is to fast, pray and to please God, but the man who is earthly has but one desire in mind and that is to satisfy the urges of the physical body. The spirit-mans desire is to walk with the Lord in sincerity and truth, but the earthly man has a desire only to be self-sufficient.
It is no wonder that Paul said in Romans 7:24-25, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
The earthly man knows within his intellect and the study of the Bible the things he must do, but there is always a part of him who wants to constantly rationalize every phase of his life. He even knows how to steal the thoughts of the spirit, even while the thoughts are actively being dealt with. That is why sometimes we lose our “train of thought,” especially when we are processing truths that help to edify the saints.
The ultimate goal of prayer and fasting is the atonement of the soul, such that the individual should gain a more perfect walk of Salvation with the Lord. In order to do so, we must first recognize our own need to have a closer walk with the Lord. Without first recognizing our need to have a closer walk with the Lord, we may never have the necessary drive to keep on pressing on.
It is our ultimate goal to reach for perfection and unity of godly love with our fellow saints. It is our job to recognize the call and election of the Lord. We need to know how the entire scenario is played out as we repent and gain faith that we are called, elected, converted, regenerated, sanctified and justified in fulfilling our salvation walk with the Lord.
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