FASTING OVER FORKS
Pt. 1 A Hunger Strike Against Hell
The Why, When, and How of Fasting
WHY? Spiritual disciplines are like farming. We can’t make the seeds grow, but we can create an environment for growth.
Fasting is seen throughout the Bible – Matthew 6 – when you pray, give, and fast.
LUKE 5:35 [NIV], “But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.”
Ravenhill: “When there´s something in the Bible that churches don’t like, they call it `legalism.´”
The physical is affected by the spiritual – “we wrestle not.”
MOSES RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD –
KING JEHOSHAPHAT EXPERIENCED VICTORY –
ESTHER RECEIVED PROTECTION –
ELIJAH WAS RESTORED –
DANIEL EXPERIENCED THE SUPERNATURAL –
EZRA RECEIVED DIRECTION –
NEHEMIAH WAS STRENGTHENED –
JOEL OFFERED THE CURE FOR JUDGMENT –
JESUS WAS EMPOWERED –
PAUL CONFIRMED HIS CALLING –
CORNELIUS WAS SAVED –
ACTS 13:2 [NIV] While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” ACTS 14:23 [NIV] Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
The vast majority of the heroes of the faith fasted. And it’s still very common in places like China, Korea, – secluded places for prayer and fasting.
*John Wesley would not ordain a man unless he fasted twice a week – self disciplined.
THE PENDULUM SWING –
Those who see it mentioned throughout Scripture (close to 80 times), see the enormous benefit –
KEY: The closer you draw to God the more you do for God.
Fasting is a hunger strike against hell – it subdues the flesh.
“How can you pull down strongholds of Satan if you don’t even have the strength to turn off your TV?” Ravenhill
John Owen, The Works of John Owen: Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers
The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin. Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work…be killing sin or it will be killing you….Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could; every covetous desire would be oppression, every thought of unbelief would be atheism.
You are not powerless – you give power to either the flesh or the Spirit.
Neglect of this duty to mortify causes the withering of the soul.
James 4:5 says that our spirit “has envious yearnings”.
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The Spiritual is the priority but there are physical benefits.
All of our choices have consequences, but when it comes to eating, we don’t think that applies.
The Great Physician heals our bodies.
“There are multitudes of diseases which have their origin in fullness, and might have their end in fasting.” James Morrison pg. 104, God’s Chosen Fast.
Disease is often a result of neglecting the cleansing process – fasting starves the disease and cleanses the body.
Glucose is burned first – much like someone stuck in a cabin – first the normal wood is burned, then the furnishings as a last resort.
Dirty pool – dirty blood, heart works hard, toxic environment –
FASTING IS NOT STARVING – ITS NOURISHING; RIDDING OUR BODY OF THE EXCESS.
Cancer cells are cells that are not dying.
Fasting doesn’t replace a healthy lifestyle; it compliments it.
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FASTING BREAKS BONDAGE – A 2nd helping; sweets we can’t say no to; snacks between meals; our favorite addictive drinks.
You crave what you feed on.
Disclaimer – fasting doesn’t twist God’s arm; it realigns my heart.
Joel 2:12 – “Turn back to me with your whole heart, with fasting, tears, and mourning.”
Both Pride and Passion are conquered – EMPTY to be FILLED
Fasting silences the voice of the flesh –
Is there a desire to resurrect dead prayers?
Where is the faith of David? Daniel? Elijah?
Is there a stronghold that has been gripping your life? Fasting begins the process of relief –
When and How coming up…commit today and pray for direction and begin formulating a plan. I would begin by cleaning house.
CLOSING: Discernment is one of our greatest challenges: WHAT SPIRIT IS THIS?
The 17-year old Dutch girl who died on Monday during a bungee jump misheard instructions and jumped on the “no jump” instruction. One of the Spanish instructors on the bridge when the teenager plunged 40 meters to her death has told police the girl jumped before her harness was clipped on to the bungee cord.
An instructor told Spanish television channel RTVE that she had said. “No jump. No jump,” but that the girl may have misheard and thought she said “now jump.”
What voice are you listening to?