Fasting: A crucial part of Christian living
Text: Mathew 6; Luke 5:34-35
Key Verse: Psalm 42:7 “Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” (NIV).
The practice of fasting is crucial in the life of every believer, but it has often been overlooked. Fasting means crucifying what I refer to as “King Stomach.” Once you make a decision to fast, even if it’s just for one day, God sees the desire of your heart. He will provide you with the grace to endure and see the breakthroughs you need come to pass. However, you will have to choose to dethrone that “dictator within,”called King Stomach.
In Mathew 6, Jesus provided the pattern by which every believer in Christ should live. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a believer: giving, praying and fasting. Jesus said, “When you give …” and “When you pray …” and “When you fast.”
Solomon, when writing the books of wisdom for Israel said in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” In other words, a cord, or rope, braided with three strands is not easily broken. Likewise, when giving, praying, and fasting are practised together in the life of a believer, it creates a type of threefold cord that is not easily broken.
Fasting takes care of spiritual issues that seem impossible in the eyes of men. In Mathew Chapter 17, the disciples of Jesus could not heal the lunatic son of a certain man brought to them. They inquired of Jesus, why they couldn’t heal the lunatic son. Jesus replied and said to them in Mathew 17:21, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”
Could you be missing your greatest breakthroughs (thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and hundredfold return Jesus spoke of in Mark 4:8) because you fail to fast? Look at it this way: when you pray, you can release that thirtyfold return, but when both prayer and giving are part of your life, I believe that releases the sixtyfold blessing. But when all three – giving, praying and fasting – are part of your life, that hundredfold return can be released! When you faithfully follow the three duties of a Christian, God rewards you openly.
Fasting is a normal part of Christian life. Fasting is for every believer in Christ. In Luke 5:35, Jesus said, “But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”
If Jesus could have accomplished all He came to do without fasting, why would He fast? Jesus fasted because He knew there were supernatural things that could only be released by fasting. In Mathew Chapter 4, the Bible recorded that Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.
Rewards of Fasting
In Mathew Chapter 6, the Bible recorded that giving, praying and fasting attract open rewards. When you fast in secret, God shall reward you openly. A good example of such open reward of God can be found in Daniel. While in Babylonian captivity, his fasting – even partial fasting of certain foods – brought about the open reward of God, Who blessed Daniel with wisdom beyond that of anyone else in that empire.
Later, in Chapter 10, Daniel was grieved and burdened with the revelation he had received for Israel. He ate no choice food or meat and drank no wine for three weeks. His fast broke the power of the delayer (the prince of Persia) that delayed the angel that was sent to him for 21 days with answers Daniel sought. Daniel’s fast broke the power of the delayer and released the angels of God, so that God’s purposes could be revealed and served.
Do you desire to know God’s will for your life, whom you should marry, or what you should do in a critical situation? You need to fast because it brings you to a place of being able to clearly hear God’s will.
Fasting causes God to bless your children. Fasting hastens amazing testimonies. It also brings health and healing to your body, as well as financial prosperity and God’s blessings.
Whether you desire to be closer to God or are in need of breakthroughs in your life, remember that nothing shall be impossible to you. Fasting is truly a secret source of power!
Today’s Nugget: The practice of fasting is crucial in the life of every believer.
Prayer: Lord, Give me the Grace to make fasting a normal part of my life.
Prayer line: Send text only to 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria
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