WHAT IS FASTING?
Jonah 3:3-10: Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles, Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
1. Abstinence from foods and pleasures of the flesh to focus on God in word, prayer and consecration. Feeding the spirit with not bread alone but with every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4). The motive is to accept the divine invitation to dine with our master in fellowship and intimacy.
2. A hunger for God. It is when we make God our uttermost desire and obsession.
That is why fasting MUST have prayer, reading, listening, and focusing on God’s word with it.
1. To reposition yourself- to get to that place called "there" (get there by long or mini fasts)-fasting does not move God; it moves us. It is a way to realign our hearts with Gods heart especially where we have strayed away.
2. When the bridegroom is taken- connection and intimacy; fear and no faith, worry, anxiety, loneliness, confusion. WHEN YOU NEED TO DRAW NEAR Matt 9:14-15: 14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. .
3. For humility- keep up with it. Ps 35:13: “I humbled myself with fasting and my prayer would return to my own heart.” Humility is the secret of being promoted in the Spirit. God resists the proud but gives more grace to the humble.
4. For effective spiritual warfare- this kind.
Matt 17:21: "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
Isaiah 58:6-“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
5. To kill the flesh and raise the spirit- time to regain self-control where you are going out of control with flesh taking over. This is done by drawing near to God in prayer and humility.
1 John 2:15-17: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
To de-clutter your spirit, remove junk from the trunk, hear clearly, gain clarity, and remove the noise. To spiritually detox- to purify and consecrate- set yourself apart for The Lord (when things begin to fill your life up, it is time to fast and clean up the house). It is very easy to be overtaken by lust, greed, spiritual slumber, weights and cares of the world, business of life, love of other things...
Paul kept his flesh under control by subjecting it to fasting. It is one way to crucify the flesh. Our greatest enemy is not the devil. It is our own flesh.
6. Before starting a divine assignment, a new season- Jesus, Paul and Barnabas.