Facilitating Your Spiritual Break Out - Part 5 Fasting
January 9, 2004 ē By Ed Wrather01.09.04
Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, IN FASTINGS often, in cold and nakedness-- besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. - 2 Corinthians 11:25-28.
We were introduced and immersed into the possibilities of the power of fasting at the 1996 Southern Baptist National Convention at New Orleans. Ronnie Floyd pastor of the First Baptist Church (Since renamed: Cross Church) of Springdale, Arkansas spoke and shared of his experiences with fasting. He says that fasting is the gateway to supernatural power, and I believe he is right. Dr. Floyd also spoke of how thousands in his church were fasting and praying for him as he spoke. After one message just before lunch, the Holy Spirit came upon us all in a powerful way. I experienced a peace that I had not experienced since the day I was saved.
At the time, we were facing a difficult decision believing that God wanted us to leave a church after having been there only for a year. We believe God led us to the convention and it is the only one we had attended to that point in our ministry. We came home with a conviction that we needed to fast and pray until God moved in our lives, and made it clear what we were to do. We began fasting on Monday, and on the following Sunday afternoon a pastor search committee called us. It was a church that I had not considered, but we knew that it came from the hand of God.
After arriving at the new place of service, circumstances were still difficult. This was to have been a bi-vocational place of service, and as I faced a particularly important interview, I again fasted and prayed for a week. As I was walking and praying early one morning, the streetlights blinked on and off just as I was pleading with God to give me this vocational job. It was not a coincidence, a freak of nature, or an accident it was the hand of God, and I knew that He had heard my prayer. I was disappointed after I failed to receive the job I so very much wanted, but knew that if it had been Godís will then I would have had the job. Knowing my circumstance in this situation was Godís will, kept me going through even more difficult times. Looking back now, I can see that it would have been a mistake for me to have taken the job I pleaded with God about.
Fasting is not spoken of often in the Bible, but it appears to have been a discipline that was taken for granted that people would know to participate in it. The apostle Paul speaks of his fastings. In Mark 9:29 Jesus, in reference to why his disciples could not cast out a demon, says that it could only be cast out through fasting and prayer. In the Old Testament, we have references to many of the great servants of God fasting. Ezra fasted, Esther fasted, Nehemiah fasted, Daniel fasted, David fasted, and the indication is that all the people fasted at set times and during troubling circumstances.
Fasting is not something that is easy for me to do, and I have rarely engaged in this spiritual discipline. I know that I have missed many blessings as a result. However, if I had my spiritual journey to do over I would most definitely fast more and it would save me from many of the mistakes I have made. I would define fasting as not eating physical food during the daytime (Dr. Floyd has a blender and uses it extensively during his fasts.). The fast is made even more effective by the complete abstention from food day and night during the fasting period. Some are unable to fast from food because of medical conditions or medications and if you are not sure please consult your medical professional. If you are unable to fast from food, you can fast other things such as television viewing.
If you want to break out spiritually then fasting should be in your repertoire. Fasting is indeed the gateway to supernatural power, guidance, wisdom and every spiritual blessing. Try it! (And while you are fasting, pray for me, please!)