May 26, 2006
One of God's WMD
What if I told you there was a powerful prayer weapon, available to us, that can aid us in drawing near to God, and bringing us into His presence. A weapon we have at our disposal, that expediates revelation, direction and answers to prayer; a weapon powerful enough to break strongholds, to set the captives free, and to bring restoration; A powerful weapon that does real damage to the enemy's camp; that can cause us to gain favor, can bring health to our bodies, that empowers our prayers , that helps to wash away pride and selfish ambition, that exposes our weaknesses so that God can deal with them and makes us more sensitive to the Spirit and voice of God. This is a weapon that clears the channel of ‘self’ and lets the anointing flow... Would you want such a weapon? What sincere, God-chasing saint wouldn’t!? This is a weapon clearly laid out in scripture. Jesus assumed we would use this weapon. There were certain obstacles and demonic strongholds that Jesus said, would not be removed, without this weapon. He used it. His disciples used it. Don’t you want to use it also? What is it? Let’s first see what God’s word has to say.
Mark 9:17-29 says,” A man in the crowd said (to Jesus), ‘Teacher, I brought You my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, BUT THEY COULD NOT. ‘O unbelieving generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.’…when Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. ‘You deaf and mute spirit; he said, ‘I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit, shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out….After Jesus had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ Jesus replied, ‘This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.’”
-David said in Psalm 35:13, “Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and HUMBLED myself with fasting….”
-Isaiah said in Is. 58:6, “Is not this the kind of fasting I (the Lord) 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 I will answer; you will cry for help and he will say Here am I.”
-Daniel said in Dan. 9:3,20:10:2 “So I turned to the Lord my God and pleaded with Him in prayer and in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes…While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God - Gabriel…came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me, ‘Daniel I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed….At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food, no meat or wine touched my lips and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over….I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen...…A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, ‘Daniel, you who are highly esteemed….Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard and I have come in response to them. But the prince of Persia resisted me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me , because I was detained there … Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future…”
-Esther 4:16 says (Esther said) ‘Go gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish. On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand..”
-Joel 2:12 says “Even now’, declares the Lord, ‘Return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. “
-Jonah 3 says, “Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh…He proclaimed: ‘Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned. The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth…When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction He had threatened.”
-Luke2:36 says, “There was also a prophetess Anna…she was very old;...and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them (Mary, Joseph and Jesus), she gave thanks to God and spoke about the Child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
-JESUS said in Matt 6:16, “WHEN YOU FAST (not IF you fast), do not look somber as the hypocrites do…But WHEN YOU FAST, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who see what is done in secret, will reward you.”
-Matt 9:14 says “Then John’s disciples came and asked Him, ‘How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast? Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the Bridegroom mourn while He is with them? The time will come when the Bridegroom will be taken from them, THEN THEY WILL FAST.”
Not scriptures you’re likely to see framed or on anyone’s refrigerator!
Yet Mahesh Chavda says in his book, The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting, "There is no substitute for prayer and fasting if we really want to bring the victory of Christ into the lives of our families, our churches, and our nation! (Matt. 17:21) says "...This kind (bondage, obstruction, etc.) does not go out except by prayer or fasting." It is likely that at some point in your life and ministry you have been stopped cold or greatly hindered by obstructions. ..I've learned through practical application and experience that (fasting) is like throwing a nuclear weapon into your spiritual arsenal. Imagine that you've been using hand grenades of prayer to move a massive mountain of unbelief, hindrances, or demonic obstructions in your life and ministry. When you combine your prayers with fasting, you suddenly drop a hydrogen bomb on the mountain that is blocking your call and divine assignment. I'm not talking about it making a slight difference. Fasting boosts the intensity and effectiveness of your prayer at least tenfold, and often a hundredfold!...It is a crucial end-time tool for proclaiming the gospel to the nations with signs and wonders confirming the Word we preach."
Fasting is not only abstaining from food, and it’s not only for long periods of time. Daniel fasted with eating just vegetables and water. Some fasted one day, some three days, some 21 days, some 40 days, some (like Anna) fasted continually (whatever on earth that means!) Yet the Lord answered. There have been times the Lord moved on people to fast from TV, from computer (ouch!) from certain foods that are a real temptation. If we ask God, He will be happy to direct us.
So are you still interested in this amazing weapon?! Did I lose you, when you discovered what it was? Fasting is probably not the most popular subject. But it IS a Biblical subject. Dying to our flesh and our fleshly desires is never fun. Yes fasting makes us hungry, but are we more hungry for Jesus? Are we willing to set aside a time to forgo the temporary pleasures of the flesh to enjoy the more eternal pleasures of the presence of God? No wonder the enemy has feared this weapon and has sought to cause it to be ignored, maligned and dismissed. Fasting isn’t just for wild-eyed fanatics. It’s for all believers. Jesus did it. He assumed we’d do it. He taught us how to do it (and how not to do it)! There are numerous accounts of fasting in the Bible and how when His people, humbled themselves, fasted and prayed- Things happened! I want things to happen in my life, in my family, in my church, in my city, state and nation. Don’t you? More than anything, I believe humbling ourselves through fasting MOVES US towards God. We open ourselves up to Him. Fasting says, 'Less of me and more of Him', and it opens us up to new perspectives, new anionting. We move out of the way, so that God can move in and do what He's been longing to do! What would happen if God’s people, came together in humility and in unity and fasted in one accord for revival. BOOM! So how about it? Still interested in some WMD’s for your spiritual arsenal to use against the enemy? I personally can use all the help I can get!
God bless you all. KHJ