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The Power of Fasting - Why Fasting Is Powerful
The Power of Fasting
Fasting: For Resurrection Power
The power of fasting is not taught or emphasized much any more. Because fasting in our day it is unpopular. And Unfortunately, many preachers have the tendency to stay away from preaching and teaching on subjects and issues that are unpopular for fear that it will drive members away from their church or make people think they are to radical. Fasting has become unpopular because people don't want to do anything that will cause them to hurt, sacrifice, or make them uncomfortable which fasting will do.
Everyone wants to know the Lord in the power of His resurrection. This represents walking in the miracles, signs, and wonders of the power and authority of God.
However, very few of us want to walk in the fellowship of His sufferings. Among many things, the fellowship of His suffering represents some of the painful and uncomfortable things we must do if we want to walk in the power of His resurrection.
Jesus for example had to go through sufferings in order to obtain the prize. In order for a soldier to obtain victory, he must suffer the hardships of war, and last time i heard, i heard that we were soldiers in the army of the Lord. So if we want to achieve victory in our Christian walk, we too must learn the suffering of fasting.
Many people are satisfied with the fact that Jesus died for their sins and that they are going to go to heaven. They seem not to care that they are living defeated lives. They have in essence accepted defeat here on earth and look forward to their ultimate rest in heaven. However that's not the kind of life that God desires for us. (John 10:10)
Jesus did not come to sacrifice His life and die on the cross for us to only have eternal life; He sacrificed His life and died on the cross so that we may also be able to live a victorious life here on earth.
Although fasting may not be relative for those who are satisfied with living a defeated life, fasting is a necessity for those who want to live the victorious life in Christ.
Not If, But When Ye Fast
Fasting should be a part of every born again believers life. It may not be required every day, such as in the case of prayer, but fasting still nonetheless should be a part of your life. In a passage of scripture in Matthew when Jesus had been talking about prayer. The scripture says, "When you pray...." The question about prayer should not be "if" we pray, but rather, "when" we pray. Jesus taught that prayer is essential to our spiritual survival. Likewise, in the second passage, Jesus starts off the same way with fasting by saying, "when ye fast...." Jesus was making the same point with fasting as He was making with prayer. Again it's not a question of "if" we fast, but "when" we fast.
I have heard many people tell me that fasting is not essential. They tell me that fasting is only for church leaders. The devil is liar! Satan will attack your life no matter who you are. So regardless of whether you are a bishop, pastor, minister, or simply a lay member, you need to fast.
Saying that fasting is not essential or necessary for our spiritual lives is like saying that proper eating, dieting, exercises, and rest is not necessary for the physical body. Although you can live a life without proper eating, dieting, exercises, and rest, this kind of lifestyle will leave you prone to stress, sickness, disease, an unhealthy body and may even shorten your life. So yes, you can live your life without having any caution in these things, but you will have a poorer standard of life.
In the same manner you don't have to really fast but living your life without fasting can hinder your spiritual life and results in your being susceptible to the control and domination of satan rather than by the Holy Spirit.
Now i know some of you are saying it's hard to fast. Why is it so hard? To understand why it's so hard to fast, you must first understand that we are made up of spirit, soul, and body. The spirit part of you is eager to pray, fast, seek the face of God, and anything else that will draw you closer to God and give you victory in your life. However your flesh gets absolutely nothing out of spiritual things, and therefore does not want to fast. (Matthew 26:41)
If you are born again, your spirit has been awakened from death and has come alive to Christ. It is therefore willing to do whatever pleases God or draws you closer to Him. However, your flesh is weak and is vulnerable to the temptations and seductions of satan.Your flesh is what satan uses to gain control of your soul.
The soul is like a child. Unless a child is both taught and disciplined, it will be hard to get that child to do things they do not like to do. One must constantly train and discipline a child. Likewise in the spirit realm, one must constantly train and discipline your soul if you expect to win the fight against sin, unrighteousness, and carnality.
The Older Shall Serve The Younger
Fasting is a war of the soul. Your spirit is supposed to have dominance over your soul and flesh. In the passage of scripture in Genesis 25:21-23 you will see an example of what I'm talking about.
Genesis 25:21-23, "And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and said, If it be so, why am i thus? And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in the womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
In this passage, Rebecca (Isaac's wife) was pregnant with twins. She had an extremely difficult time carrying the twins and sought the face of the Lord as to why she was having such a difficult time. The Lord revealed to her that her twins represented two nations of people that would struggle against each other. The Lord also revealed to her that one nation would be stronger than the other nation and that the elder would serve the younger.
She eventually gave birth to two sons. The name of her first son was Esau, and the name of her second son was Jacob. Esau represents the flesh, and Jacob represents the spirit. In Romans 9:13, God said, "....Jacob have i loved, but Esau have i hated." God was not talking about hating Esau and loving Jacob more as a person, He was talking about what they represented. Esau represents the person who is dominated, controlled and led by the lust and desires of their flesh, while Jacob represents a person who is dominated, controlled and led by the Spirit Of God. In essence, God was saying that He loves those that walk after the spirit, and He hates the sinful nature of those who walk after the lust and desires of their flesh.
Our flesh should be submitted and subjected to the control and directives of your spirit. As a born again Christian, we have two birth dates. You have the day you were born physically, and you also have the day that you were born spiritually. Our natural, physical man is much older than our spiritual man. So what God is saying is that our older man-the natural, physical man, should be subjected to the control and dominance of the younger, our spirit-man.
Unfortunately, many Christians are controlled by Esau (their carnal mind, flesh, and inert desires) rather than by Jacob (The Holy Spirit within them). Instead of Jacob being in control, Esau is in control. Instead of the older (the flesh) serving (being subjected to) the younger (the spirit), the younger is dominated and subjected to the control of the elder. If you are led by Esau, you will sell out and compromise with the devil.
You see, fasting helps to strengthen the spirit-man, while weakening the control, strongholds and yokes of the flesh-allowing your spirit to be in control and dominate instead. Unfortunately there are way to many born-again Christian who because of a lack of fasting and praying live defeated lives, and live in all kinds of bondage to the flesh.
If satan has told you that you cannot have victory in any area of your life, he has lied to you. He is liar and the father of lies. If you have accepted defeat in any area of your life, you have accepted his lie. But if you will begin to pray and fast you will begin to experience victory and liberty in Christ instead of defeat.
Fasting Gives You Keys To The Kingdom
Fasting gives you keys to the kingdom, and the keys to the kingdom represent the power and authority that God has given to us and made available to us. We are in a spiritual warfare. When a person becomes born again, God gives them weapons by which to fight, but it is up to us to utilize our weapons.
Matthew 16:19 "And i will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt lose on earth shall be loosed in heaven"
Notice in the above passage, the word "keys" is plural-meaning that there is more than one key that we can use in binding and loosening the devil. Some people say that they have been praying for a particular thing, and it seems that their prayers are not answered.This use to happen a lot to me, until i learned that you have to use all that God has gave you! So "how many keys have you tried?" This could be the reason why your prayers haven't been answered.
For example, there are different weapons a soldier can use to destroy his enemy on the physical battlefield, there are also different weapons (keys) we can use to destroy our enemy-the devil. You have the key of prayer, reading and studying the Word, confession of the Word, worship and praise, and the awesome key of fasting.
You see God has given us the "keys" to bind, loose, and destroy the works of Satan in your life and in the lives of others. So if the key of prayer is not working for you, don't give up; use the key of fasting and prayer and unlock the door to your deliverance.
Fasting and Prayer
In the book of Matthew, chapter 6, beginning at verse 6, Jesus begins a teaching on prayer. Many think He ends teaching with verse 13. However, He actually ends His teaching on prayer with verse 18 talking about fasting.
Fasting is a key part of prayer because together, fasting and prayer gives you the power you need to overcome the enemy, as well as his attempts to deceive, hinder, bind, or destroy you.
You can have prayer without fasting, but you cannot have fasting without prayer. There is nowhere in the Bible where you can find someone obtaining victory from fasting without combining it with prayer. When you fast and do not pray, you are only dieting. Although there are some health benefits to fasting alone, without prayer, it has no spiritual benefit.
When You Pray
When we pray, God does not sit in heaven playing games with us waiting to see how hard or long we will pray, but when we pray according to the Word of God, He dispatches His angels with the answers to our prayers. Matthew 7:7-11
So if this is true, then what happens to our prayers when we pray? To understand you must take a look at Daniel 10:12. The passage clearly describes what happens to our prayers that have (seemingly) gone unanswered. Daniel had been praying and fasting for 21 days; finally on the 21st day the angel arrived with Daniel's deliverance and answer to his prayers. The angel informed Daniel that God had heard him and released the answer to his prayer the first time he prayed. Likewise, you must understand that when you pray according to the Word of God, the Lord also releases the answer to your prayers the very first day you pray. The thing that holds up or hinders our prayers is the same thing that hindered Daniel's prayer.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" Ephesians 6:12
This passage above shows us the different levels of principalities and demonic powers we fight against. When you pray, God releases the answers to your prayers. Once they are released, they must get through several levels of spiritual demonic resistance before they arrive to us.
Depending on satan's strategy and attack against your life, your prayers are sometimes met with serious resistance by demonic principalities and powers in high places. Daniel angel was hindered by principalities that was assigned over that nation. *NOTE* There are demonic spirits assigned to every person, home, church, city, state, nation, and continent.
The higher the level, the stronger the demonic opposition. Daniel's prayer was hindered by one of the highest demonic oppositions.
What was it that caused Daniel's angel to finally break through with the answer to his prayers? It was the fact that Daniel's angel received help from a hierarchy warrior angel. You see, you have some angels that are messengers and some that are warriors. Example, Gabriel is a messenger angel. Whenever you find Gabriel in the Bible, he is always delivering a message. Michael is a warrior angel. Whenever you find Michael, he is always warring.
When you pray and confess the Word of God, God releases the answers to your prayers to the messenger angels. If it seems that your prayers have not been answered, the problem is not that God has not sent the answer, the problem is that your prayers have been held up by demonic resistance. In this case, you need more than the key of prayer; you need the key of fasting and prayer.
I think we can safely assume that Daniel prayed before he began fasting and praying. We are to do the same thing. We pray and stand on God's Word; but when there is resistance, we initiate a fast along with our prayers.
When you pray, God not only sends out the messenger angels with the answer to your prayers, He also assigns the warrior angels to stand ready in case the messenger angels come up against strong resistance. Daniel's initial prayer released the messenger angels, but when he began prayer and fasting, it released the warrior angels to also stand ready.
it's the same with us. When you fast along with your prayer, God assigns warrior angels that are able to (with your continued fasting and prayer) break through even the toughest lines of demonic hindrances and resistance, and bring your deliverance and answers to your prayers.
The Different Types Of Fast
Most people hear the word "fasting" and their minds automatically think about starving themselves on a long, hard fast of 14 days or so without any water or food. However there are different types of fast, because God has designed fasting so that anyone can do it.
The first fast i want to talk about is the absolute fast. The absolute fast should not last longer than 3 days because this person goes without food or water for this time frame. The body can go a number of days without food, BUT it cannot go long without water. As with any fast you need to make sure you are healthy enough to do it and especially for this type of fast. I would also like to say that this type of fast should never go beyond 3 daysand you should have a clear OK from the Lord!!!
The second type of fast that i would like to talk about is what i call the normal fast and it is the most common type of fast. During this fast you do not eat foods of any kind, but you are allowed to drink water. This fast is good for many because it allows you to go beyond three days because water can sustain your body longer. With this fast you still need to have a clear directive from the Lord and to make sure that your body is in good health.
The juice and liquid fast, in this fast you do not eat any foods, but you are allowed to not only drink water, but also juices and other forms of liquid nutrients such as Ensure or blended fruits and vegetables. This is recommended fast for people who would like to fast for longer than three days also and it is very effective since your stomach it is not working to digest any solid food. It is recommended because you can drink juices and other liquid nutrients that will help to keep your body healthy. I suggest that if you are going to try a fast like this that you look into what is called the Master Cleanse Diet! This program works miracles for your body and plus helps you get rid and remove all that unhealthy and harmful bacteria from your body! This type type of fast is for people who work on jobs that require strenuous work, or work outdoors in the eat. You see your body is made up of 80% liquid. The juice and liquid fast allows you to go longer periods of time fasting and still be able to work while you fast. With this type of fast you stay away from sodas and coffee, and instead stick to water, juices like what is mention in the Master Cleanse Diet, and blended vegetables.
The partial fast is a fast where you allowed to not only drink water and juices but also eat certain kinds of food. The purpose of this fast is to allow you to eat foods that will strengthen your body, without giving in to your flesh and just eating everything because you are on a partial fast. this fast allows you to still work on the most stressful jobs, or in heat climate jobs and still perform for a number of days.
The material fast is the last type of fast that i am going to mention and it is different from all the other types of fasts that i have talked about because during this fast you do not fast from liquids or food, but from spiritual distractions that may hinder your walk or that may just be taking to much of your time away from the Lord and other things. Remember the purpose of fasting is to strengthen your spirit man and make your flesh submit to your spirit man. I would like to add that the material fast doesn't have to be TV; it can also be anything that becomes a compulsion or something that consumes your time, but to be effective it has to be something that is a real struggle for you to do without.
Well that's it for now, i hope that you have received something of worth from my hub on fasting. I will continue to make some more hubs on this subject soon.