“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?
PRAYER & FASTING
God, speaking through the prophet, Isaiah - makes clear just "what" fasting is for: 1. Loosing people, families, and even entire nations from the chains of evil and wickedness. 2. Relieving those under the oppression of the devil and the demons who serve him. 3. Setting individuals oppressed of the devil and the demons who serve him free. And, 4. Breaking Every Yoke... that simply is another way of saying: DESTROYING ALL THE WORKS OF SATAN. Let me say that last one again. Fasting is designed to destroy/smash/obliterate/crush, and take apart all,(as in every single - possible one) the strongholds of the enemy...
Now if that doesn't get you excited, hmm - than, your exciter is broken.
Let me first begin by stating up front, I'm not an expert on the subject of fasting, though I have fasted on numerous occasions, both for spiritual reasons, as well as for the health benefits that come from fasting... That being said, I do know from my personal experiences over the years when I have fasted: FASTING IS A MIGHTY WEAPON AGAINST THE POWERS OF DARKNESS. We as Christians today for the most part have not availed ourselves of this awesome and wonderful weapon against the kingdom of darkness! Fasting is hard on our flesh, it goes against the cravings and desires that our bodies constantly demand from us... hard work to be sure; ah - but, when a Christian man or woman, or boy or girl commits themselves to a fast for purely godly reasons: SOMETHING HAPPENS IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM! We begin to enter into a fellowship and communion with God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ that puts the powers of darkness on edge. REALLY.
Most of us as believers and students of the Bible, know that prayer is powerful - and, most of us have testimonies of how God has answered our prayers in wonderful and sometimes miraculous ways. Amen to that. But, how many of us know about the power of prayer and fasting as a "two pronged" weapon in God's mighty arsenal of spiritual weapons? If prayer is dynamite, and it most certainly is; than what is prayer and fasting when it is joined together? IT IS A SPIRITUAL HYDROGEN BOMB!!! When, we as Christians engage in spiritual warfare, which is ongoing 24/7, there are times when prayer(as powerful as it may be), is simply not enough to overcome the battle or demonic strongholds we are up against. That is simply a fact.
A Boy Is Healed
14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic[c] and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;[d] for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
FINAL THOUGHTS: What happens when we as Christians undertake to fast is subject to a myriad of opinions... I won't speculate on "what" happens to us when we fast, though I have my own ideas based on my own experiences with fasting. What I will say is this: FASTING IS A LETHAL WEAPON WHEN COUPLED WITH PRAYER IN DESTROYING AND TEARING DOWN THE STRONGHOLDS OF THE ENEMY! Sickness, addictions to pornography, alcohol, nicotine,heroin, and whatever else has a person in bondage will be loosed by "prayer and fasting". Sometimes, prayer alone will be enough to set someone free, or deliver a person from the depths of depression or bondage to a "stronghold" of the devil. But, there are times like the case above, where the disciples could not cast the demon out of this young boy - tormented and bound by this demon of "epilepsy".
Jesus, after rebuking His' disciples for their lack of faith - and Himself casting the demon out of the boy; proceeds to tell His' disciples that "this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." The inference here is that, some demons can be forced out of a possessed person by prayer alone, and others cannot - they will only be cast out when there is both "prayer and fasting employed". This is important for those of us who want to wage war against the devil and be successful... knowing when fasting is needed and when it isn't is not for this short email to address. My point in all of this is simply, to not fast when warring against the powers of darkness is tantamount to leaving your tanks, fighter jets, and ships of war at home; and going off to the battle with too little for what may lie ahead... God will show you when to fast, just ask Him. He will also reveal to you when and for how long to fast, again - just ask Him. He loves it when we include Him in our spiritual quests and plans... imagine that.
Personally, I've seen what fasting can do when I have engaged in casting out demons. I've also seen what it does for me when I'm going into a situation where I know that there will be spiritual opposition and demonic activity; such as when I go into a prison, or when I go to minister to the homeless or to teens incarcerated for their crimes. I've never been shown exactly how or why fasting works in our battles against evil and the powers of darkness, but this one thing I know: IT WORKS! I challenge you to seek God about fasting, and ask the Lord to show you how and when you should begin to fast? For someone long held in bondage to a "sin" they can't break free from, or perhaps for someone who is fighting a crippling disease or mental illness? God will show you when and why and how to go into a fast; and I guarantee you: the devil will try to keep you from fasting, and of that you can be certain.
SEE: Mt.6:16-18, Acts.10:30,1 CO.7:5,
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I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...