26 Jul 7-26-14 “GODCAST Part 6: Hearing God’s Voice Through Fasting” – Pastor Shane Idleman
COMPLETE SERMON NOTES
Godcast – Part 6 The Hidden Treasure of Fasting
Intro: Ending the Series on Hearing God’s Voice
– We can live in deception – “hearing but not doing”
– Sins ultimate goal is to destroy our testimony and our lives by following the wrong voice.
James 1:14-15, Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
How do we abort the conception of sin? You starve the fuel source.
HEARING IS ALL ABOUT POSITIONING THE HEART:
Worship – opens the heart; The Word – directs us; Godly Counsel – confirms and encourages; Prayer – leads and sustains; Submission – keeps us humble & teachable …
BUT Fasting improves all these areas – it’s the HIDDEN TREASURE.
Finding something of great value. But it’s not hidden from our site, its hidden because we choose to not find it.
~WE CANNOT TALK ABOUT HEARING FROM GOD WITHOUT
TESTIMONY: I experienced by far the best day of being connected to God while fasting last Sunday. Previously, I would fast for only part of the day, or if it was for the whole day, I would still use caffeine and so on. But this day was different: I still did chores, but I stayed focused and meditated on God’s Word. My prayers were ongoing throughout the day. I felt led by the Lord to make a difficult phone call in order to take the first step to start the healing process of mending a broken relationship….Another thing that God did for me that day was I learned how to become a better spiritual leader.
Fasting is difficult and grueling for the mind and body. However, both were refreshed, cleansed and invigorated afterwards, and still are 5 days later. I had a lot of energy the next day and I could think clearly. Yesterday I did the same type of fast. During the last eight days I have experienced an incredible amount of healing taking place in my marriage. In retrospect, I did not even realize how broken my marriage had been. I have never felt so close to God and been so in tune to His will for me in my life. THE HIDDEN TREASURE OF FASTING
Why is it so important? Jesus said “when you pray, give, and fast.”
Fasting repositions the heart and STARVES the flesh – – Appetites are decreased.
We Can See Better Spiritually Speaking…AND We Can Hear Better
IT FILLS US WITH THE LIFE SOURCE OF WATER and THE POWER OF REST.
Consider how much addiction controls us:
In the morning – coffee, sugar, soft drinks
We drive a certain way to pick up our addiction, we go to certain places, we schedule things around our addiction. No one says, “Hey, you’re addicted to apples – its causing you to lose control of your life.”
We put the addiction first and make choices around it – WE HAVE TO HAVE IT!
Sin never stands still . . . addiction never stands still – fasting starves it
As the flesh submits, you become more in tune with the things of God
A stagnate spiritual life turns into flowing waters.
The mind becomes un-cluttered and focused.
The things of God, rather than the things of the world, begin to dominate our thought life.
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 WAS CALLED – PETER RECEIVED CONFIRMATION – CORNELIUS WAS SAVED
Ezra 8:23 – “So we fasted & ask God & He answered our prayer.”
I’m going to go without so I can draw closer to You.
We do this for physical things
What to expect: Expect a fight!
1. Fasting is natural but so are cravings
2. BUT if you truly can’t fast
[excuses often prevent us from experiencing the fullness of God]
3. Motivation turns to discouragement and visa versa
4. Prepare for it: wean off, schedule it, etc.
5. Take it to God and set a time frame and keep it [be realistic]
Physical Benefits: I live out my spiritual life in my physical body
Many diseases feed on sugar and junk food – we all “get cancer”, but the immune system recognizes the invaders and removes them – PacMan.
Fasting gives us a desire for God-given food: “ellagic acid” from berries, for example, eradicates DISEASED cells.
FLIP-SIDE: PowerPoint slide
Removes toxins: Rests Digestive System
Clarity: Mental benefits
Helps to Overcome Addictions
Promotes Weight Loss