Pastor’s Blog Wk 1.21.19: When You Fast
The average human body cannot survive past 40 days without food, 3 days without water and 3 minutes without oxygen. These are essential material agents needed for the sustainability of the human body. In much of the same way that our body needs nourishment, so does our spirit. We are not simply a bag of flesh walking about, we are also a spirit that possesses a soul.
In fact, you don’t have a spirit, you are a spirit. That spirit (Ruach) that hovered over the waters in Genesis, also breathed the breath of life into Adam, animating the first human being and has since been the source by which our body is able to cling to life. A wick of a candle can only be ignited by fire to burn. In the very beginning, God was that source of life that ignited the light of men. We read in John 1:3-4, “Through Him all things were made, and without Him, nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men”.
So what is the source of our spiritual food? In a nutshell, we are His progeny and we can only thrive and survive in him, remembering that we are spirit beings first. We feed our spirit by feeding off His Holy Spirit. Two of the greatest ways to feed our spirit is by fasting and praying. Fasting and praying is not a suggestion in scripture, it’s a commandment. We are not asked to fast and pray, we are told to. The Bible never said, “if you fast or if you pray”, it says, “when you fast and when you pray.”
So critical are these two methods of spiritual food that even Jesus Christ himself was led on a 40 day fast by the Holy spirit immediately following His baptism by John the Baptist, as recorded in Matthew chapter 3 and 4. Before He performed the first recorded miracle, before He faced off with the Devil, before He climbed on that cross, He fasted. We too must fast and pray. Understanding our need to nourish our spirit will determine our victory or our defeat in this walk of faith.
There are many examples in the Bible of this necessity to feed on Jesus Christ, the word. Remember how Jesus defied Satan when He was tempted to turn the stones into bread, appealing to the carnal necessity of food? Jesus makes the distinction between the need of food of the flesh and the food of the Spirit when He said, “It is written,‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
In another example, Jesus said in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
Jesus said again in John 6:48 & 51,“I am the bread of life, I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” Our dependency on God and His word is fundamentally supreme in our search for being perfected in His image and fasting pulls the layers back to give us a better look behind the veil.
So what happens when I fast? Simply put, “you have more power!” Even faith can only take you so far when battling in the spirit realm. When the disciples could not cast a demon out of a boy in Matthew 17, Jesus rebuked the disciples and said to them, ”Oh faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you…” The disciples later asked him in verse 19-21, “…Why could we not cast it out? So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. (Note here) However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Notice Jesus doesn’t minimize the power of faith, but He does add a fine detail at the end of this passage when He said, “However.” That is, even with faith that can move a mountain, there are certain spirits that can only be subdued by the authority and power of an individual devoted to the discipline of fasting and prayer. Fasting releases atomic authority in the spirit realm, empowers and emboldens the individual and gives God the access he needs to an earthen vessel, by which He can use to execute His will on the earth. When we deny our flesh, our spiritual cravings are awakened.
THE BENEFIT(S) OF FASTING:
Fasting trains your flesh to be subservient to the Spirit and not the other way around. It kindles the heart to greater intimacy. I have fasted many times and I assure you, it fine tunes your ability to see, taste and feel things beyond the 5 human senses. Any search done on the greatest revivals in history, you will quickly discover a common thread in all of them, fasting and praying. No revival worth mentioning ever came about without it. It is the oxygen that fuels the fire of God in the hearts of revived men.
Here is an interesting note about the power of fasting. The Bible only records 3 people that did a 40 day fast… Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. Watch this, when Jesus took his disciples Peter, James, and John to the mountain where He was transfigured, who was present with Jesus as He was transfigured under the power and Glory of the Father? It was Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, the only three people recorded in the Bible that fasted 40 days. (Matthew 17:1-3) Interesting isn’t it?
HOW DO I FAST:
So, how do I fast? Well, fasting is not a diet, although there are tremendous health benefits. Motive matters! If you fast without any devotion to prayer, I wouldn’t even begin. For one, you will probably have an extremely difficult time since you will be doing it on the will and power of your flesh (which by the way, you are trying to kill), instead of the leading and dependency of the Holy spirit. When you fast, you must also continue to pray, as they work in tandem according to scripture. You should be praying already but if you’re not, start. (Read Isaiah 58)
The Bible specifies two main types of fasts: Full Fast and The Daniel fast.
1) Full Fast – drink only of water or liquids (no solids, you select the # of days)
2) Daniel 10 Fast – Eat no meat, no sweets and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables. (check the internet for how to sources)
(However, there are many other types of ways you can fast. Below are some examples)
3) Partial Fast – A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.
4) Intermittent Fast – Is a fast where you select a block of time where you will not eat solid food during the day. For example; fasting from 6am to 6pm, or eating only within a 3-hour window per day.
5) Sex Fasting – Huh? Yeah, the most unpopular type that should only be done in conjunction with food fasting and prayer. Note: The spouse must be in agreement as we are warned in the Bible of the consequences of such a fast without mutual consent. 1 Corinthians 7:5, Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
6) Corporate Fast – Where more than one individual is fasting.
1 Samuel 7:5-6, Ezra 8:21-23, Nehemiah 9:1-3, Joel 2:15-16, Jonah 3:5-10, Acts 27:33-37
7) Other Types of Fast – can include fasting entertainment or content that is non-spiritual in nature. Example: Fasting TV, video games, social media and etc…
Remember that fasting is an attitude of a heart fully set on seeking God and His will. He promises to honor you in your search. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”. Jeremiah 29:13 We don’t survive to eat, we eat to survive and survive we must. May God richly bless you on your fast.
- Date - January 23, 2019
- Author - Candace Read