Living a Life of PRAISE



FASTING

While they were worshipping the Lord and FASTING, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had FASTED and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
Acts 13:2,3

How and why has “fasting” become such a radical thing to do? We spend a lot of time talking about the disciplines of a quiet time, small group, and community but what about fasting? Months ago I got tired of waiting for someone to teach me about this subject so I dove into the Word to find out for myself. I was shocked and in awe and even felt ignorant for how serious this act truly is. To say, “I’m going without food, which is a necessity, in order to draw closer to my God” may seem crazy to some but if you’ve done it then you know there is nothing like it.

I love this scripture above because for one the first church was the most incredible thing ever (just my opinion) but for two it is obvious these were men of God, not just men who knew God, but men who longed for more of Him-big difference. I can know God because its what I was taught and believe but do I stand up for Him? Do I live every moment for Him? Will I sacrifice and surrender all, at the sake of being mocked, to follow Him? Do my insides want whats best for me or for My God? That’s a test of where our hearts really is. I don’t want to be known as a “good Christian”. What does that even mean? I want to be known and remembered as someone that was passionately pursuing God at all times and in all situations not because it was right but because it was what my soul longed to do.

Fasting is a wonderful tool in making decisions and reconnecting with God if the heart is pure. Its easy to have the motive of losing weight or for acknowledgement so others will think more highly of you. That type of fasting produces no fruit. This is my favorite passage on fasting:

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen;
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed FREE
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
Isaiah 58:6-9


Now that makes me want to stand up on my couch and shout from the rooftops “Halleluiah!” We have a God that makes a way for us to position ourselves in a way to see breakthroughs! We don’t have to be stuck and bound up and irritated. There is another way and you can begin to get there through fasting. With a pure heart comes a cleansing that is only possible as you rid yourself of the junk in order to be filled with the Spirit. It makes you more aware of sin in your life or even the temptation of it. You become sensitive to things that maybe once didn’t use to bother you. That’s a good thing! It strengthens faith as you press into God by praying for others, reading scripture out loud and clinging to it, getting down on your knees or better yet face, and focusing in on what really matters. There is urgency in the very core of our soul when we fast and pray. You can often feel the direct line to God. It’s pure and with it comes the faith and release of what is being asked for.

I was at Sams Club this morning and as I was about to check out I realized I had my old Sams card instead of my new one. I told the lady behind me to go ahead because I must have left my other card at home. She said, “Honey, see if they’ll still take it.” Oh-I thought to myself-I didn’t even think of that. I was already planning on putting everything back. Sure enough she took the card and the lady behind me said, “Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. The worse she could say was no.” How true! Life is too short to get worked up about things that will not matter in eternity. And if we’re fasting and praying and asking God for something and He says no, it’s not the end of the world. If He made us and knows the plan for our life then He knows better then we do what we need.

In Psalm 35:13,14 David says, “I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning…”. This situation is a real life situation and one I’ve been in many many times (minus the sackcloths). When our prayers are not answered it seems like God doesn’t care or even worse He hasn’t heard but that’s a lie. He does hear our cries and in His infinite wisdom He will answer. We are taught to wait patiently and quietly for His return. We can get irritated and tune Him out or we can continue to walk by faith trusting in His character that is good and loving and faithful ALWAYS.

Prayer for Today:
God there are so many things in the bible we are unaware of or choose to overlook. May we do that no more. Enlighten us with Your Word that holds the key to freedom in every area of our life. Expose the dark and hidden places that are in desperate need of not just changing but DELIVERING! I can testify to your power that has unleashed freedom and victory in my life through fasting and I praise You for that. If we are to fast, make it known so we don’t miss an opportunity to grow and forever be changed. May it lead to more breakthroughs in our lives as well as others and may it bring us to an intimate secret place (Matt. 6:6, 18) with you. Break chains and heal lives through the power of the Holy Spirit! God You reign!

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Comments

  1. * Harriet says:

    Only someone PURSUING God full-on can embrace the practice of “fasting” like this! It truly is the private discipline that can, AND WILL, bring public reward!
    Woo-Hoo!
    Shoulder to Shoulder!
    Love, Harriet

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 8 months ago


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