When Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples were approached by a dad. This man’s son was being wrecked and destroyed as he threw himself on fires. The disciples had been trained but couldn’t do anything, they were hitting a wall and weren’t getting results.
Jesus teaches His disciples that certain spiritual breakthroughs can only happen through prayer and fasting.
This is something we don’t hear much about; fasting isn’t preached about all that often. However, Jesus says there are certain issues, hurts, desires, and requests that can only be overcome by prayer and fasting. Why?
In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus teaches on fasting during His Sermon on the Mount. Jesus explains that when you fast in the right way with humility, it will change you, others, and your circumstances.
Fasting is mentioned 70 times in Scripture. Moses fasted before he received the 10 commandments. Nehemiah fasted when he heard about the awful state his home country was in. The early church fasted before big decisions.
Fasting is denying yourself something physical for a spiritual purpose. In Scripture, it’s always food. You can fast other things but primarily it’s food.
Fasting is not dieting or an outward act to get God’s pleasure.
2 BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES THAT LEAD TO SPIRITUAL BREAKTHROUGH
1. I should fast when my spiritual life has become stagnant
The whole goal of fasting is to diminish ourselves, our cravings, and desires to make the Father the priority. When you fast, you’re telling your flesh no and Jesus yes.
When you fast, you’re telling your flesh it’s not king because Jesus is King.
Usually, when you’re down and discouraged what do you do? Eat. A cheeseburger and ice cream makes you feel good for a minute until it doesn’t.
Food is good and a grace from God but it often satiates us into a place of blind stupor to our real needs.
The idea is that our bodies aren’t king, Jesus is King and priority. I go to Jesus for my comfort, not food. I go to Jesus to be filled, not food.
2. I should fast when I need a spiritual breakthrough
If you have a burden or request or prodigal and you haven’t seen the Lord answer your prayers yet, it’s time to fast. Fast from a meal and get away to pray. Let the hunger gnawing at you point you to Christ. Hunger leads us to feed on the Word.
Fasting is taking your problem so seriously that you say, “Jesus, I need you to intervene in my life in a manner that I can’t do, only you can. I’m desperate for you.”
99% of your sanctification is through being in the Word, prayer, repenting, applying the gospel, and gathering with the church. But 1% of the time you need something else for a spiritual breakthrough.
Don’t fast from something, fast for something. A meal, social media, give up something for something. Are you desperate enough to fast?
Call out to God in prayer because He’s your Father and He loves you. And add fasting to it. Spend that time praying for your biggest prayer concern.
You can do a traditional fast from food. This can be a meal, a day, or a week but talk to your doctor.
You can do a partial fast from sugar, the news, TV, your phone, etc.
However you choose to remember that fasting is seeking God to do what only He can do in a manner that highlights our humility and lack of power and highlights God’s power.
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