I’ve decided to re-post the next two messages from last year because of their importance in living a Spirit filled life. After my forty-day fast last year, I continued offering the first fruits of each month with a complete 24 hour fast. The growth and supernatural power I experienced where amazing! Healings, demon evictions, supernatural forgiveness and peace during trials, healed relationships . . . . It truly was a Spirit filled year.
I couldn’t wait to begin this year’s first fruits fast, and my husband and our church are joining me, too. This year, I’m doing a complete fast for three days and complete my 21 days with the Daniel fast. I can’t wait to see God move. I encourage you to join me and many other Christians in offering our first fruits to the Lord. If you do, be prepared to watch God work!
There was a time when I thought fasting was optional in a Christian’s life. That it was only for those “on a mission” or called to a certain purpose. The Lord has since taught me that in fact, if you are a child of God you are on a mission. There are no bench warmers in God’s army.
Before Jesus began His ministry, He went into the wilderness to fast and seek God for forty days. No food for forty days. Forty is the number of divine order (10) applied to earthly things (4). It is the number of probation—i.e. the flood, the Israelites wandering in the wilderness . . . .
By denying His own flesh and resisting Satan for forty days, Jesus literally broke Satan’s hold on Him.
As Jentezen Franklin shares in his book, Fasting, There’s a reason Satan is called Beelzebub, which means Lord of the Flies. In order to eliminate a fly infestation, pesticides must be applied for forty consecutive days. Any less is ineffective. Any more would harm the crop.
As His crucifixion neared, Jesus told His disciples in John 14:30,
“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.”
Satan no longer had power over Jesus because Jesus had resisted him for forty days and nights.
It was during a forty-day fast that Moses was given the Ten Commandments. When you hunger more for God than for food, God does amazing things in and through you.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us,
“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
It is no coincidence that Jesus gives three directives in Matthew 6: Give, Pray, and Fast. Notice He didn’t say “If” but “When you give…When you pray…When you fast.”
Jesus practiced all three of these disciplines as an example of what it takes to overcome the evil of the world and walk as one with the Father, unleashing the power of the Holy Spirit.
Fasting is not dieting, and your goal should not be to fit into your skinny jeans, but to enter into a deeper relationship with your creator. One of my favorite verses while fasting is Jeremiah 33:3:
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
I, for one, want to know great and mighty things. I also want power over the enemy, and healing and deliverance for myself and loved ones. Prayer and fasting open the door to all these things.
Attitude is everything. Come before God in all humility, contrite and repentant. Denying one of your basic needs has a way of cutting through your perceptions of who you are and who God is. You become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit as you depend on Him to feed you.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” Psalm 51:17.
Allow Him to reveal areas in your life you need to repent of and let go of. As you do, you’ll be allowing Him more room to move.
And don’t forget Jesus words in Matthew 6:16-18:
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
On December 1, I began a forty-day fast. Within the first four days, I saw a woman who had been running from the Lord for over twenty years come to Christ, a man who’d been out of work and had a week of unemployment left, get a great job, and a woman who asked me to lay hands on her for a painful skin condition, healed. Antibiotics were not helping, and she feared her skin cancer had returned.
I’m just past the halfway point in my fast, and God continues to move miraculously.
If you are no longer satisfied with the status quo, if you or a loved one are in bondage to an addiction, illness, anger, unforgiveness, or anything else, if you want to hear from God, to know what He wants you to do, I encourage you to offer a sacrifice of fasting. When you do, take time to pray diligently, praising Him, laying your needs before Him, asking for His will in your life.
He will answer, and you will be amazed.
You do not have to fast for forty days to get results. Nor do you have to give up all food. There are several types of fasts talked about in the Word, and several different lengths of fasts. I will talk more about these in my next post.
Be thinking about starting the New Year with a fast, offering the first fruits of the year to God. Especially be praying for revival. This nation and the world need God now more than ever.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
If you choose to join me and many other Christians in seeking God’s favor for 2012, please share how God is answering, that He might receive the glory.
Read more about types and durations of fasts in my article, Effective Fasting Part II
God’s grace and peace be yours,
Recommended Reading: Fasting, by Jentezen Franklin