Fasting is hard on the flesh. This is the number one reason Christians don’t do it. Something happens to you when you take away food. Your body and emotions are immediately buffeted and shut down. One of the great benefits of fasting is that there is a purging from things that bind and hinder your spiritual life.
The body has been declared dead because of sin (Rom. 8:10), but fasting is a tool that executes that position of death by the Spirit (Rom. 8:13).
The devil has a way of tracking you and using man’s flaws and weaknesses to trip them up. Men have fallen short of fulfilling God’s plan and purpose, and some have even died prematurely because the enemy found something in them that eventually took them out and cut their lives short.
There are, what men of old termed, darling lusts; whether it be an uncontrollable appetite for food, a bondage to pornography, greed and a love for money, power, and fame – or something more subtle like unbelief that limits our effectiveness for God and results in a lack of power. Impatience, unforgiveness and bitterness, being easily offended, habits of the flesh that keep us out of the Spirit, and other such strongholds can limit a man from growing and going further in God. Fasting is a mystery that deals with such things.
You see, the devil tracks people all their lives and is familiar with their vulnerabilities and wounds, entry and access points, that he badgers them with over and over again.
“For the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in me” (John 14:30). Satan had no access points into Jesus’ life. He learned obedience through the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8). He sympathizes with our weaknesses because He, too was tempted in all points as we are, and yet without sin (Heb. 4:15).
One of the great benefits of fasting is that you come out of hiding from your own flesh (Is. 58:7), and you allow God to access your weaknesses and flaws and purge you from them.
When I was first saved I fasted one or two days per week simply out of a desire for more of God in my life, but then I got away from the consistency of it in later years until a few years ago when the Lord began to steer me back to it. He said that the fullness of His calling would not come forth in my life without it. That got my attention. Like so many Christians and ministers, I dragged my feet on it, was slow to do it, and eventually came to a place of unwillingness to do it. In addition to the aforementioned insight and warning from the Lord, He also gave us this counsel on fasting just this past week.
The Lord stirred our remembrance to times past and victories that were obtained. And we began to realize that they were all manifested in times of prayer and fasting. It was during those times when the greatest power and change was released personally and ministerially. It makes you wonder why we don’t do it more. Even fasting a meal or two a week would help some people. The Spirit of the Lord called fasting His principle of power and highlighted Acts 13:1-12 and Mt. 17:20-21 as a mystery that only those who’ve walked in it understand.
This is the way of setting heaven’s order in your life and ministry. Yes, heaven’s order! That’s why Paul could go and pronounce judgment on a sorcerer who was hindering the gospel (Acts 13:10-12). He had come under heaven’s order for his life and ministry and was empowered and sent by the Holy Ghost after a time of prayer and fasting. And because he was under the influence of heaven’s order, the effectual working of God’s power was being manifested through him.
This is God’s way and this is His plan. Let us walk in it.
Stay tuned for more…