Well, there are so many things that I want God to do: I want to see certain souls saved, others sanctified, I want to see the tide turn for God in Africa, I want to see the powers of communism confounded to name just a few. God will do through fasting what otherwise He would not do! Remember that. In many of these situations, God would indeed work mightily if I would only add fasting to my prayers.
In Matthew 17, the disciples ran up against a difficult situation. They could not cure a lunatic. They were embarrassed. The father of the lunatic took his case to Jesus and the boy was cured at once. Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
There it is. Here we learn that first of all JESUS was a faster, secondly that some thing's can ONLY be accomplished with fasting, and thirdly that there is more POWER when fasting is added to prayer. The professing church of today clamors for more and more power, why does she not start fasting? What would the early church have accomplished without her regular and additional fasts? What would the Book of Acts have read like without the fastings of the early Christians?
Now let us look at some biblical examples to see what God did through fasting which he otherwise would NOT have done:
had made the golden calf, God prepared to destroy disobedient
. He told Moses "Let me alone." But Moses would not. He FASTED forty days! God hearkened; God spared all the people, turned them back into the desert and finally led the young people into the Promised Land. Moses' method to acquire from God what God would not otherwise do was FASTING.
This man of God led forty thousand men, women and children to
. The king of
loaded them down with wealth as they began their journey. What a target for the bandits and robbers in the unbroken wilderness.
was UNARMED. How could she get protection.
used the time proven method of FASTING. They made it through unarmed and unharmed. GLORY! Our churches today are armed to the teeth with programs, boards and committees, but they are continually robbed by the enemy. Why not begin a FAST?
This dear servant heard how the walls of
were broken down and it’s gates were burned with fire. He sat down. He wept, mourned, FASTED, and prayed and, of course, God heard him. The king supplied the materials. Nehemiah had fasted.
When crisis hit the Jewish people in
, a crisis that was headed for a genocide program of all Jews, Esther said, "Gather together all the Jews that are present at Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days... I also and my maidens will fast likewise." What was the result of this fast? The genocide program was called off, the wrong man, Haman, got out of the palace and the right man, Mordecai, got in. Fasting puts something into the hands of God that will give him a will to do what otherwise remains undone.
For three weeks Daniel tasted no pleasant food. During this period he gave himself to extended prayer for the future of God’s people. As a result he was visited by an angel who gave him marvelous insights into the future. 0h, dear ones, just look at the VARIETY of things acquired through fasting!
Joel 2:12 reads "Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with FASTING..." God DEMANDED fasting. At another occasion Joel reads, "Blow the trumpet in
, set apart a fast, call a solemn assembly." Notice that there are times when we must fast together.
In my opinion, the hero of the book of Jonah is the pagan king of
. He declared the greatest fast recorded in history. This fast was not only for people, but for cats and dogs, sheep and oxen, horses and goats. He was a PAGAN king! I never heard of a preacher declaring that kind of fast for his people, a fast for revival or for a city to be convicted.
ALL OUR CITIES HAVE THE SAME SENTENCE OF DAMNATION AS NINEVEH HAD YET, INSTEAD OF DECLARING FASTS, WE DECLARE FEASTS: potluck suppers, prayer breakfasts, and missions banquets.
Jesus said, "‘when the bridegroom is taken from them, then shall they fast." Who is "they"? It is God’s people. The fasters are God’s people; the feasters are Jezebel’s people, the ones who have always killed the prophets.
Jesus also said that in the last days people will be eating and drinking! What people? The world has always been eating and drinking. Jesus means the church, Jezebel’s church. The false church will be eating and drinking instead of fasting: prayer breakfasts, potluck suppers, picnics, missions banquets, and fishfries. No fasting, but feasting.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF FASTING
Study the book of Acts, consider all it’s references to fasting. The early church was NOT feasting, it was fasting and as long as she fasted she had POWER! Look at all the references Paul makes to fasting, none to feasting!
Francis of Assisi was a faster. Thousands were converted under the ministry of this barefooted, singing preacher as he traversed up and down
. The fasting of Savonarola brought a mighty awakening to
. Luther, Calvin and Knox where fasters. John Wesley followed the example of the disciples in fasting twice a week. Jonathan Edward’s fasted so frequently that he had to hold on to his pulpit on Sundays. Charles Finney often fasted three days in succession. These were men of spiritual power.
DEAR ONES, are you ready to start? But remember, fasting is useless until your life is first F U L LY consecrated to God. BEGIN THERE NOW.