The difference between what our Christianity ought to be and what it actually is in our day comes down to a lack of prayer and fasting. We plan to do something about that. See my challenge at the end of this article.
Fasting for Personal Freedom
If you are miserable, and your prayers have remained unanswered, it is because you are not sufficiently in tune with God yourself. Sometimes our impure motives block answers from coming, sometimes it is an impure theology which denies the power of God. Combining FASTING with the Word and prayer will eventually eliminate both. The problem is not God's unwillingness to give good things. Don't ever think that. (See Matthew 7:11). God is a good God, but we have become fleshly. To fast unto God means to stop eating for a few days, or many days, and intensify your prayers. Boldly speak out the promises of God during this time. Your answer will come.
Fasting to Minister like Jesus
Jesus fasted 40 days before starting to destroy the works of the devil with power, and we won't do the works he did – especially the miracles – unless we also fast with similar dedication for long fasts. John 14:12 records our Savior saying, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also." There are very few Christians who believe in Jesus enough to follow His example in fasting. But that is what it takes to consistently do the works He did. Short fasts can produce miraculous results, as they have in my life, but the results consistently fall short of the glory of God also. God is calling us to longer fasts. He is calling us to be prophetic, not pathetic. We should stop making excuses. Yes, it is a battle, it does involve moments of pain, but as one Christian said, "Pain is weakness leaving". Godly leadership is related to our willingness to bear pain, where required (and it often is).
It will no longer do for one in ten thousand Christians (if that) to be serious about undertaking long fasts for the glory of God. God is calling His people everywhere to undergo extended periods of fasting and prayer, as well as many short fasts, in preparation for a huge harvest of souls that has already begun in some places – for example – Central and Latin America. The church leaders in these nations are people of fasting and prayer, or at least they got started that way.
Fasting and Grace
God has already given us every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3), including the love of God poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5), but we don't experience much of it, we don't walk in much of it, until we learn to "cash in" God's checks through persistent fasting and prayer, with a focus on Jesus and the Word of God. Fasting, when combined with prayer and a determined focus on speaking and applying the Word of God, will root out the garbage which is clogging us up, both spiritually and physically. We see too much evidence of sin and unbelief to deny that we are need of radical cleansing.
Fasting does not earn us merit with God. The salvation and forgiveness of God is a gift (Ephesians 2:8,9) and fasting can't buy it. But fasting is a major key to actually, in reality, putting down the flesh and worthless thoughts, and humbling ourelves before God that we might receive greater grace (James 4:6). Fasting brings us into line with the will of God. Very few people on this planet experience much of the will of God for them. The will of God is expressed through the Word of God. That should not surprise us.
Fasting as a religious practice puts the practitioner in touch with the spiritual world and deepens devotion to whatever spirit one is worshiping. That is why muslims, who during Ramadan fast 30 days a year during daylight hours, are generally so deeply entrenched in their beliefs (though there is no solid basis for them). We as Christians, have often failed to deepen ourselves in consecration and faith towards God through fasting, which is why the Spirit of God often has so little effective power in and through our lives. It won't do to decry the lack of power, love or holiness in the church. God has given YOU and I the power to be a part of the solution. The ball is in our court.
Benefits of Fasting
Isaiah 58 tells us the benefits of fasting. Fasting won't benefit us much if we cling to impure motives and continue to treat people wrong. Stripping out the conditions and the negative parts which had to do with the people's failures, we can extract the following statement from Isaiah 58 concerning those who fast, so as to bring their attitudes and actions in line with God's will:
If you fast according to God's will, you will take delight in approaching God. Your voice will be heard on high. You will loose bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke. You will share (physical and spiritual) bread with the hungry, and clothe (spiritually and physically) the naked.Your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. You shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am'. Your light will dawn in the darkness, your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, satisy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail (which implies continual fulness and refreshing by the Holy Spirit); you shall restore and build up the community in righteousness. (See Isaiah 58).
Wow! What motivation God gives us! Do you believe those promises? If not, you should fast and pray to remove your unbelief! Fasting (while meditating on the Word) will kill and burn up unbelief like nothing else. Almost everybody can fast short fasts, and most of us could fast long fasts. I am of a slight build, yet God has enabled me to fast many days on several occasions. It has changed my life, and will continue to do so in the future.
Many Christians would like to have miracle working faith as long as they can still follow their own agendas, and pursue their own interests. This kind of faith, real faith, does not come by continually hearing and disobeying the Word of God. When we really "hear" with a right heart attitude, faith comes, but many times our hearts are too hardened, we only hear with our minds. Perhaps some of my readers are approaching this message with a hardened heart. Excuses arise in your mind. Excuses arise in your mind. Your heart has been hardened by either unforgiveness towards others, personal compromises or a desire for other things, especially fleshly comfort. If this is you, you are out of the will of God. Your condition is serious, though outwardly others may not see the trouble. If you want a real cure, however, fast and pray. God even favored the wicked king of Israel, Ahab, after he fasted in response to God's message of judgment. Then you will see a radical change, and you will start to take an amazing delight in God.
I'm urging my readers to fast and pray. If you decide to do that after reading this message, write me. Tell me some of the days you are fasting. My promise is to pray for you seriously and personally if you will commit yourself to fast at least 3 days in a row, I will join you in bringing your petitions before God, and praying for God to strength you. The best way is if you can post them on the forum but if you don't want others to know you could email me. God is faithful and will answer, if we persist in faith and dependence upon Himself.
I believe the Lord has called me to help enlist an army to pray and fast for major miracles and breakthroughs. We will reach the masses through the internet and by other means. But at the core of it, we know that only God can produce results, and the blood of Christ will be applied to more and more people if we can express our desire, through prayer and fasting, for the Spirit of God to work
Please give your feedback on this message and let me know your response.
Yours in Jesus Christ's Service,