Jesus Did It!
THE AWESOME BENEFITS OF FASTING (Part 4 of 4)
By: Norm Rasmussen
When many Christians hear the word “Fasting” … it sends shivers and quivers through their brain. It does the same in demons. Demons know what one dedicated Christian who determines to start incorporating fasting with prayer has the ability through God to stop the rain … and to bring the rain. Demons know that as God wills, one believer in Jesus Christ incorporating fasting with prayer can call fire down out of heaven to destroy evil here on earth.
With power such as that … demons also realize that if a Christians can work in cooperation with God to do things like that … would God miraculously send money from "heaven" (from unexpected places in other words) instead of manna … should difficult economic times come where we are located?
Well … with God, all things are possible, to those who can believe. (See: Mark 9:23). Let us never underestimate what God may do when a Christian believer has his or her back seemingly against a wall of opposition. God knows how to execute miracles, when He’s moved to do so.
Many Christians are familiar with this Bible passage from 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV):
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
I’ve highlighted the word “humbled” in this passage of scripture, because I think it is very easy to focus on the word “prayer” in this passage, and the possible benefits that follow once we pray and seek God's face (instead of His hand).
Humbling ourselves follows a line of progression in our relationship with God:
1): Our decision to allow Jesus Christ to be Savior and Lord of our life.
2): Our decision to purpose to walk diligently in obedience to God daily in accordance to New Testament scripture is then supposed to follow.
3): Our decision to seek God in how He wants to use us to help expand the Kingdom of God here on this planet should be incorporated with step two sooner than later.
4): Our decision to be made fully available to God on a daily basis in how He may want to use us to hinder evil around this planet through our prayer and trust in Him.
5): Our decision to walk in the highest dimension of faith possible in God on a daily basis so we have confidence in our prayers once we pray them.
It is this fifth category; the last line of progression, that makes demons extremely agitated. A person who frequently engages in unselfish prayer on behalf of God’s purposes is very threatening to demons and Satan. A person who is willing to include occasional fasting with prayer on behalf of God’s purposes is EXTREMELY threatening.
What is so “powerful” about fasting, many are curious to know. Why does “starving ourselves” (actually limiting our intake of food for a season) move God to do things we may never see Him do otherwise? Fasting is a MIGHTY demonstration of humility on our part, plain and simple.
I humbled myself with fasting - Psalm 35:13
I don’t feel to do a lengthily teaching here on pride and humility. Any Christian will do well to do an exhaustive study on their own on these two topics. The Bible is full of words from God about the painful things that can happen to people who give place to pride, and the blessings God grants (promises) to those who purpose to strive for greater acts (dimensions) of humility.
The Old Testament provides enough scripture for us to gleam from that when evil was about to attain a major victory against the Jewish people, God would have a call to pray AND fast. Maybe not always fast, but many times … YES … include fasting with the prayer. On some occasions, the evil was so threatening that the people were told to not only not eat, but neither drink! (See: Esther 4:15-17). Though it never was to last longer than three days without taking in some liquids … do you think God could call YOU to give up not only food, but liquids as well for three days if the situation was warranted?
God gave people 100 years to hear what Noah knew, that a very major rainstorm was coming. God has been speaking to the Body of Christ for many years now about end-time issues. Do any of us know exactly how many years ago He started officially doing that? I certainly don't know.
Dear reader … we’re moving into end-times faster than what some may care to give much thought to. Praise God if we get ruptured out of here and leave this evil world behind before things become "more challenging." Praise God if He holds off evil yet for many, many years, wherever we live. But … what if He doesn’t? What if things are about to accelerate at a speed that tries to send shear panic through many of God’s people? What if our economy (where it is we are living) should essentially come to a grinding halt, and we haven’t got a logical clue in how we are going to meet financial obligations or even put much food on the table? Must believers all go find a bridge to live under and start living out of garbage cans like the homeless people have been doing?
Well, one does what they have to do to survive, I fully realize. HOWEVER … here is what I know about God. He CAN, if He chooses, provide for His people in ways we may not believe He would do. If God can supernaturally rein down food from the sky to feed the Jews during their trek through the wilderness, surely He can do the same for Christians right now. It’s just a matter of God being willing to do so. If Jesus was motivated to feed the masses with a few fish and a couple of loaves of bread, He certainly can do the same today.
What would motivate God to be willing to do so, for each of us? For some of us?
I believe the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate a message to Christians RIGHT NOW to dig in with Him and work through whatever the barriers that exist so they can build a confidence foundation in God to fast along with their praying as the Holy Spirit leads them to do so.
Prayer is a weapon and fasting incorporated with prayer has awesome potential in God that we must never lose sight of.
Let us carefully mediate on these words God has recorded for us in Deuteronomy 8:2-3;5:
“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”
“So you should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.”
Fasting in a wise means of humbling ourselves so God will not have to do all of it for us.
What’s our ultimate reward in all this? Deuteronomy 8:16 states it clearly: Too do you good in the end –
Here is an awesome video that dovetails with this writing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GS2pfhfeVc&feature=related
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To go back and read Part 1 on this series on fasting, you can click here: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/a-e/AwesomeBenefitsOfFastingPart1.htmA Special Message: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm
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