“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.” Matthew 6:17-18 NIV
Dear Heavenly Father –Again we plead for you to open our eyes to see, open our ears to hear and open our understanding. Continue to lead us through your transforming and healing powers. – Amen
Apparently God isn’t done with me on this subject. So, let us keep studying. I recently purchased a book on this topic as well as on “Covenant” so hopefully when they arrive I can stop exploring these subjects on here – we shall see what God has in store.
In my small church group that I was part of, a lady in the group said that God had been convicting her to kneel when she prays. (Thinking back on yesterday’s study on humility and how fasting is a show of humility, so is kneeling.) I listened to her thoughts and others comments on the topic of kneeling to pray.
I have discussed my praying practices before on here and you can be in any position you wish to pray – unless God says otherwise. God told her at specific times of prayer, she should be kneeling. She did not (and I do not) want anyone thinking you can only pray while kneeling – the Bible does say pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and we cannot spend all day on our knees.
At some point in the discussion I shared how God was encouraging me to fast. I had practiced it in my youth and after returning to the Lord, I never picked it back up. They gave me their advice and encouragement.
As we saw yesterday in the verse above – Jesus said ‘when you fast’. Fasting was a regular practice in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament – and quite frankly it should be a regular and normal practice in our walks with the Lord.
I was reading about King David’s life at the time and I noticed if anything went sideways, he declared a fast. Usually, he and his household did not eat anything until sun down. I remember reading it as a young adult and thinking it sounded like a tyrannical leader throwing a temper tantrum. I thought He was childishly refusing to eat because he didn’t get his way and tyrannically he made his entire household (and sometimes the whole city) abstain from food with him. And this is the man that God said was after his own heart?! He called for many fasts and he himself also fasted by himself. He even wrote in Psalms about fasting. One particular verse stand out:
“My knees give way from fasting; my body is thin and gaunt.” Psalm 109:24 NIV
Obviously, David was not a tyrannical leader throwing a temper tantrum. Obviously he fasted and prayed a lot. So what was going on – He understood the power of God and how God’s ways aren’t our ways. He knew that humbling himself in front of God lead to spiritual success. He also understood the strength of a group fasting in prayerful agreement.
I have a few health issues that I manage with eating right and I was reluctant to start fasting. A good starter fast – fast solid foods and have a protein shake or a meal replacement shake at meal time. Most taste so bad, you’d might prefer to just have water. But God understand taking steps towards applying a principle. I began my fasting practices slowly. It was important to begin them. The benefits outweigh the risks – and since it is a command by God, won’t he protect you? In my personal experience – I had every excuse in the book not to start fasting. And the day I first tried I gave in and ate and fell victim to self-condemnation.
How could this happen to me. I am SO headstrong – and although I am giving over my will to God’s will and fighting off my stubborn qualities, they are still there. Therefore I should have been able to fix my mind and succeed. But the battle was too great.
God reminded me of a verse. You see I felt called to fast because this scripture kept coming into my mind – and there I was distraught at my failure and this verse comes back to mind:
“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:21 KJV
“OK God – I have to do this. Obviously I cannot without your help. Help me Lord.” I prayed. Ya see fasting is part of fighting the spiritual battle and the enemy will do anything to stop you from fasting and praying. Especially the enemy who only comes out by prayer and fasting! So many blessing come from fasting and prayer (the ones in yesterday’s post and power over evil in today’s post).
Then I heard a sermon on self-imposed curses – ya know the words said in anger or frustration or other reasons, which you don’t literally mean, but the enemy takes that opportunity to bind you to them. Things like: I’m a failure – I am a mess – I am so dumb – or even I have no self-control.
Let’s talk about that last one. I remember when I said it. I was feeling guilty about overindulging on a sweet treat. Ya know it was a few years back and I do not even remember what it was. But I was eating too much and setting myself up for being called a pig or being criticized. As soon as I said ‘ha ha, I just have no self-control’ my guilt left me and I thought I was so clever, I then said it quite a few more times in various situations to relieve myself of guilt.
I have returned to the Lord and my biggest struggle???? Self-control. Not just with food. I cursed myself. Self-control is a fruit of the spirit – I robbed myself of this fruit. I became overindulgent in many areas of my life.
It’s true that along with my Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD, I am also diagnosed with impulse control disorder. According to that – I struggle with self control on impulse. God made me unique and these labels shall never define me – but I a determined to be remembered first as a child of God. I have a high IQ and live an independent life. So – I can easily justify a self imposed curse like being unable to control myself. But a curse is demonic – and I am a child of a Holy God who will not share the temple of ME with any demonic influence.
I have since commanded my deliverance and freedom according to the authority and principles of the Bible. And fasted with prayer while doing it. I will admit it was not an instant freedom feeling and not a change supernaturally placed on me. I still have to work at it. Especially in the areas where I had developed habits of overindulging (I am looking at you ice cream!).
Daniel fasted for 21 days while a spiritual battle raged and prevented the answer to his prayer:
“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:” Daniel 9:3 KJV
And since we already know fasting helps win the spiritual battle – can you imagine, if he did not fast?? How long would it have taken to get the answer to his prayers?
And in the book of Acts Cornelius prayed and fasted and the end result?
“And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,” Acts 10:30 KJV
It resulted in a life changing encounter with a man in bright clothing. Like we read yesterday – fasting, prayer and drawing close to God results in God’s presence. Do you want a life changing encounter with God?
“And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:29 KJV
Prayer with fasting bring you closer to God – and all sorts of added blessings. If we are in a relationship with Christ, why not deny yourself and draw closer to Him – enjoy all the blessings of a full walk with God.
If you don’t already, and today you would like to, have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ Love one another
~ Watch and Pray ~
Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!