THOUGHTS ON FASTING: YOU LOVE EVERYONE YOU LOOK AT

“Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him… (Mark 10:21).”

Deeper and more consistent fasting leads to a transformation of love. Perhaps this is the most forgotten benefit of fasting.

The outward man cracks like a shell. The inward man’s life oozes out. The heart softens and melts as you submit to Jesus. Intimacy with Him becomes your obsession. Beholding His magnificent beauty becomes your quest.

Fasting is hard on the flesh but removes impurities and hindrances that hide Jesus from you. It allows you to see Jesus in a magnified way and to sense His Spirit more acutely.

When you fast and pray the right way you see beyond the facade of religion and the veil of hypocrisy more distinctly. You are not easily fooled by the hype, glitter, and the showmanship of the flesh that is prevalent in ministry.

Fasting is not the cure-for-all, but it’s certainly one of the most misunderstood and neglected practices of the carnal church. And I believe that when it is done for the right reasons and with pure motives it is the master key to the impossible. At first it is hard for the novice or the fleshly ruled Christian to do, but by reason of use, practice, and experience it can be a much lighter burden when you see the fruit and results it brings.

MORE UNDERSTANDING

When you receive the revelation of how much of a hindrance your flesh is to the life of Christ within you, you will fast, especially when your spiritual hunger is sufficient. One of the great purposes of fasting is to bring forth that life and manifest Christ’s character on the earth.

When you allow His life to exceedingly grow in you through fasting, many burdens you’ve been carrying for years and decades will be removed from you. All that is not the will of the Father will begin to be stripped from your flesh and soul, and your spirit will gain the ascendancy.

The life of Christ was sown as a seed in your heart when you were born again, and the Father’s great desire is to bring forth that seed unto full harvest until you are transformed into His image. Fasting is a great purging tool to accelerate this process.

One caution: Never base your worth or value in the kingdom of God on whether you fast or not, but also understand that the perfect will of God in your life will not be accomplished without it. The Father’s love for you remains stedfast whether you choose to implement fasting into your life or not, but without it you will fall short of walking on the highest path of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus for your life (Phil. 3:14).

You see, until certain areas of your flesh are purged you cannot even begin to take up your cross and follow Jesus in order to fulfill His perfect will for your life.

Some believers understand the positional truths of the physical body being declared dead because of sin, and your spirit being made a righteous new creation because of the life of Christ within you (Rom. 8:10). But many do not understand that fasting enforces these positional truths in your life, so that you can walk above the realm of the works of man and begin to operate in the works of God.

Fasting greatly enhances the power of the Spirit in your life to manifest the perfect will of God. Your own will and aspirations begin to die when you truly fast, and His perfect will becomes your desire.

Fasting is one of the great secrets of transformation in the believer’s character. Yes, it is difficult on the flesh, but the power of the blood of Jesus has gone before you and will strengthen you in your weakness, cleanse you, purge you, and transform you. Call on His blood in times of fasting.

Consistent fasting in your life will progressively and eventually bring you into the mind of Christ as you spend time in prayer and the Word also. A new man will emerge within you and what appeared at first to be a heavy yoke will indeed be easy and light.

You will be transformed into a deeper love walk, and be led more perfectly in the way of the Lord; light will break forth on your path, and even your health shall spring forth speedily (Is. 58). That which right now seems like a heavy and grievous affliction to you will be as nothing compared to the exceedingly eternal weight of glory that fasting will work in you (2 Cor. 4:17).

January is a month of prayer and fasting for many of you. I hope these powerful truths inspire you to continue.

Abundant grace to each of you in your journey.

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MOVING INTO A HIGHER DIMENSION OF FAITH, LOVE, AND POWER

In a recent private prayer session the Spirit of God directed us to scriptures on evil spirits and prayer and fasting.

The root of man’s rebellion against God is that they cannot see for they’ve been blinded by the enemy. For example, no one in their right mind would drive a car 100 mph off a cliff to a certain destruction and death. And yet, in reality, that is what most of mankind is doing when they refuse to surrender to Christ. Prayer and fasting can break through that state of mind by dealing with the evil spirits that blind and bind such people.

One day the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out a certain devil.

Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Mt. 17:20-21).

There’s a certain kind of unbelief that only prayer and fasting can overcome.

In the midst of this great moral crisis we are experiencing in America right now, the people of God, especially ministers, must keenly discern that our battle is not with flesh and blood but demonic spirits.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10).

We must direct our passion and energy for politics and all that is happening in the political realm of our nation into prayer and fasting and loving and praying for God’s enemies. The uncompromisingly righteous can be indignant toward the hatred, evil, and division that has been unleashed in our nation without hating the actual people the enemy is using.

Jesus commanded us to pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us (Mt. 5:44). Stephen, the first Christian martyr, had the revelation that even the greatest persecutors of the Church must be prayed for. In the hour of his death he forgave Saul and the ones who stoned him (Acts 7:59-60). I’m convinced that it was this great intercessor’s heart and his prayer of forgiveness that resulted in Saul’s subsequent conversion. The greatest persecutor of the Church turned into the greatest apostle. Glory to God!

Stephen’s great love released great power. It’s the same today. The greater the true love of God is demonstrated, the greater the power will be. Prayer and intercession is one of the highest demonstrations of the love of God and a far greater source of power than all the bantering and political rhetoric that we engage in. I know I’ve been guilty of it myself.

When I speak of love I don’t mean this false concept of love as a sentiment of total acceptance, free of the ability to hate anything, which is one of the most popular rationales for which many believers are abandoning the truth and authority of the Scriptures in this hour. I am speaking of true love that lays down its life for even its accusers and enemies as Stephen did. This is where the power to convert sinners is found.

What much of the Church today has done to make up for the lack of power that results in true conversions is adopt a seeker-friendly philosophy, which is based on the sentiment of total acceptance and avoiding the stronger aspects of the gospel while emphasizing the temporal benefits of becoming a Christian as their chief selling point.

What an insult to the Father when men try to establish a work, a church, a ministry without the order, equipment, and character of heaven.

The truth is this: the seeker-friendly philosophy is a much easier route on the flesh than to enter into prayer and fasting and a love that breaks the enemy’s back.

The pattern was established long ago by Jesus and the apostles. They would not leave prayer with fasting and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4, 13:1-3). Why? Because they wanted to stay out of the natural realm and live in the Spirit. Jesus and the apostles’ purpose was to stay full of faith and power, wisdom and understanding so they could build correctly according to heaven’s order and establish the Church on a sure foundation.

After witnessing the true power and character that was attached to these early apostolic ministries the people then willingly came and joined themselves to their works and served them. We must return to the order of heaven that can only be established by true apostolic men who live in the Spirit and who see and understand this higher way. We must have ministry gifts who know how to root out and tear down the works of the flesh and plant, establish, and build up according to heaven’s wisdom and order.

An increase of power and souls is coming to those who have learned the Spirit’s ways and refuse to compromise these timeless essentials of which Jesus and the early apostles patterned.

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