Have you ever been in a situation that just won’t change?
Life happens. Situations come and go. Things get challenging. Some things don’t ever seem to change. In life we all will have struggles but what if something is happening that you just can’t seem to change or control? What do you do when you don’t know what to do. It seems like you’ve tried everything and your faith is being tested. Ever been there?
I have… I’m there right now! Last week, I got to a place in my life where there were a few things I continued to notice that were bothering me spiritually. I couldn’t place my finger on it but I really felt like God was leading me to fast. Not a complete fast either (being void of food and water). Also not a water fast only (being void of food), but I felt He was leading me to do a Daniel fast for 21 days from Aug 1st – Aug 21st. This fast will be void of entertainment, social media scrolling, meats and sweets, obviously no alcohol, no sodas… basically water, fruits, veggies, nuts, protein shakes… that’s it. For me, this is what I need to do. For some of you it may be more or less but regardless of what you fast, what’s more important is why you are fasting. Fasting must forever center on God. It must be God-initiated and God-ordained. When we fast this way… power is produced!
This passage is so rich with insight! Check it out!
“And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said,“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “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. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”” Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV
Within this passage we see a pretty well-known scripture… if you have faith as a mustard seed you can move mountains! Powerful right!?
Yes of course it’s powerful…. but right after that… however.
Jesus says, “However,”. Jesus is telling us that there is another secret to having spiritual authority and power in the earth. Prayer and fasting. I’m not sure how it happens but when I fast, God gets bigger. It’s like John the Baptist said about his cousin and Savior Jesus… I must decrease so that He may increase (John 3:30). When we fast, we strip away everything that seems to sustain us. The food, the habits, the entertainment, the information feed, the thing that brings you temporary comfort… whatever it is, that thing has to go for a season. All the things we fast aren’t inherently evil but when we take a break from them and fix our focus back on Jesus, we then come to the glowing realization that He is our sustainer and He is our comfort. Fasting reminds us that we are sustained “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Here’s the thing… it isn’t just fasting that produces power, it’s prayer! Some folks get so focused on fasting part they forget what they are supposed to be doing while NOT eating…. that’s pray! Your prayers are unhindered!
We can get amazingly different results in life if we start doing different and better things. Listen, fasting isn’t easy or glamorous. It’s not really even for anybody else to know about. It’s between you and the Lord. The only reason I’m even writing this to encourage you to do something different. I’m on my first day and my flesh is going crazy. I tend to get irritated or emotional because obviously I’m hungry but I also think it’s a purification and cleanse of all things that would bring temporary comfort or enjoyment. When you fast… the spiritual gets raw and real pretty quick! All of this is necessary though. It gets us to a place of ultimate humility and dependence on God… and really… that’s all that matters.
I encourage you to buy “The Celebration of Discipline” by Richard J. Foster written back in 1978. What a great book on each of the spiritual disciplines. The section on fasting is so rich with revelation. Of course, Jentzen Franklin has some great resources on fasting as well. My prayer is over the next 21 days… that God will show Himself to you in a new and fresh way and I also pray that you experience personal breakthrough at every level!