“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,
Joshua 6:9 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets.
Joshua 6:20 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
The picture above is amazing! It shows the walls of Jericho falling down. Do you notice who is featured prominently in the picture: THE MUSICIANS. Anointed music - holy vibrations going through the air and wrecking havoc on the kingdom of darkness! You have to love it.
Today, modern day Christians have more music than you can shake a stick at... we have every possible genre of Christian music to pick from, rock, pop,country,folk, rap, and everything in between... and of course we have praise and worship in every form as well. Nothing wrong with that, right? Nope. But here's the rub. We as the Body of Christ have forgotten just how powerful a weapon Christian music is when it is anointed by God, and dedicated to Him and Him alone!
Today, we use music to "fire the congregation up", to "create a good atmosphere" for the preacher to follow... and again, nothing wrong with that right? No, but perhaps we fail to appreciate what is going on in the invisible world around us, in the spiritual realm that we cannot see with our naked eyes. To cut to the chase: Anointed music, that is dedicated to God, that is offered up to Him in Praise and Worship, and with pure motives and from a pure heart - HAS THE POWER TO LITERALLY DESTROY THE PRESENCE OF EVIL - TO SHATTER THE DARKNESS - AND DRIVE BACK THE DEMONS OF HELL!!!
It was not just for show that God had the priests blowing the trumpets as they marched around the walls of Jericho, neither was it to rev up the army; as you know the army really ended up having to do very little. What was really going on was not seen with human eyes, or discerned with carnal observation. As the trumpets played on and on, the devil and the demons of darkness got it, and they knew that something bad was about to happen to them.
ANOINTED MUSIC DESTROYS THE DARKNESS
1 Samuel 16:22-23
22 Then Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him. (emphasis mine)
The above image shows King Saul vexed by an evil spirit, and David before he became King - playing the harp and the music coming forth driving the demonic spirit away... Now, think about how just the sound of David playing his' harp caused such a holy terror to the demon that was harassing and tormenting King Saul! Anointed music is a weapon, a most lethal and deadly weapon when played to God with a pure heart and pure hands. Today, that spiritual truth is still the same: ANOINTED MUSIC DESTROYS EVIL, AND SHATTERS THE DARKNESS!!!
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
FINAL THOUGHTS: One of my favorite passages in the bible, is found in the New Testament, where Jesus and the disciples had just eaten the bread and drank the wine of the New Covenant that Jesus was establishing for all of us. We find a most beautiful thing, Jesus and the disciples began to sing - they began to sing a hymn. Mark 14:26 26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
O what a lovely sound that must have been, to hear the Lord of music, the One who created sound, melody, rhythm, music itself - singing a simple song, a hymn. Wouldn't you have loved to hear our Lord's voice? To hear Him singing with these eleven men who He had poured Himself into... One thing is certain, God the Father was listening. Almighty God was receiving this song as it rose up to the heavens, the last song that Jesus would sing as the servant who was on His way to the cross.
We can only speculate what hymn they sang together on that day before the music would stop; at least for a few hours - but we know the devil heard it. I believe the demons of hell sensed the same thing that the people and army of Jericho felt when Joshua and the priests and musicians marched around the walls of Jericho: THEY WERE TERRIFIED! How fitting that our Lord would sing a song just before His final battle with evil... never underestimate the power of an anointed song, of anointed music. Just remember when you go to God's House next Sunday: THE DEVIL HATES IT WHEN WE PRAISE AND WORSHIP GOD. IT DRIVES HIM CRAZY!!!!!!!!!
Blessings to all/Michael/fool4CHRIST
TO ALL WHO LOVE JESUS,
2 Corinthians 10:4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
GOD'S HEAVENLY MESSENGERS ARE ALL AROUND US
Everyday, twenty four hours - around the clock there is a war going on all around us: demons of destruction on hellish assignments to steal, kill, and destroy. The good news is that there are more angels that are doing God's bidding than there are taking orders from Lucifer... The truth is for Christians, not only are we blessed with heavenly guardians sent by God to assist us in our battles with darkness; but we have been given every possible weapon needed to defeat and wreck havoc on the devil and those minions who serve him here in the earth.
Heb. 1:13-14 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said,“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation
Think of it, you and I are not in this battle alone. We have countless angels all around us ministering to us when we are sleeping and most certainly when we are awake! That should give you great consolation... We will never know until we reach the other side of this curtain we call life; just how many times our lives were kept from certain death or mishap - all because one of God's holy angels was there to intervene on our behalf... I'll leave that for now, but always know God has sent His' holy spirit to lead and guide us; which many Christians know - but, in addition He has sent us legions of heavenly angels to watch over His' children. When you think of weapons of spiritual warfare - do not discount the army of angels who are all around us protecting us, and warring against demons on our behalf...
In 2 Kings, chapter six, we find the prophet Elijah surrounded by the army of the Syrian King, and the servant of Elijah was terrified at the sight of this great army looking for the prophet Elijah. Elijah knew something the servant didn't. Elijah could see things that the servant couldn't.
2 KINGS 6:15 - 17
15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
WE ARE NOT ALONE...
FINAL THOUGHTS: Make no mistake, you and I are enveloped by a vast heavenly host that is constantly engaged in spiritual warfare and combat. This is going on in the highest places of human activity and endeavor here in the earth. In the halls of our government, in our colleges and schools of higher learning, in the workplace, in our homes, and even in the streets that we drive up and down in every day! God help us to have spiritual eyes to the see beyond what are physical senses tell us. We have many spiritual weapons that God has given us to war against the powers and rulers of darkness: The Word of God, the Cross, The Blood of Jesus, The Name of Jesus, the Gifts of the Spirit, our personal testimonies, Prayer and Fasting, and The Holy Spirit Himself living and dwelling within us!!! The demons should be quaking and trembling every time they see you or me coming their way... (you think they do?)
The point of this little message is simply this: WE DON'T FIGHT THIS BATTLE ALONE. God knows we need a "heavenly assist" in this war; and that is why He has given us angelic escorts to help us in this battle we fight everyday. Just realize, though you may not be able to see what's going on around you; we have angels here, now, right where you and I are at this very moment - who are here to protect us, and watch over us.
TO ALL WHO LOVE JESUS,
2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,...
A "Powerless Church"
Today, we are living in perilous times - as if you didn't already know that, right? Truth is, many Christians today may be aware of the the sea of iniquity and perversion that surrounds them, yes - the question is: WHAT ARE WE DOING TO STOP IT? What are we as members of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ doing to oppose the evil we see all around us?
For many Christians, that is a job they leave to their pastors, or to the missionaries in a faraway country, or to a few individuals in their church who do "evangelism". Casting out demons, seeing people healed of all manner of disease and infirmities through prayer in the name of Jesus is sadly today- a rare experience or occurrence in the modern church. Sadly, even having people set free from their sins by hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them has become an oddity in many churches today. Truly, we have replaced the weapons of spiritual warfare with carnal devices patterned after the world's system of success.
Having a beautiful building, with all the embellishments and adornments that accompany a religious facade, has replaced in many denominations today - the inward power of God's holy presence. The word of God(if it is still preached), is often twisted out of context, or reinterpreted to fit the wayward doctrines that have crept into the church since the days of Christ and the apostles... Europe, once the bastion and center of Christianity has now less than 3% of it's populace actually identifying themselves as practicing Christians. This abandonment, did not happen in one night - it slowly evolved over centuries of apostasy and departure from the early teachings of the scriptures and doctrines handed down at the beginning... Paul warned his' apprentice Timothy that this was coming, see: 2 Tim.3:1-5. 3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves,... 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
ARMED & DANGEROUS
Demons trembled when Jesus walked the earth. The devil was on edge when Paul or Peter, or any of the early apostles or followers of Jesus made their way through a town. Why? They knew they knew the power they possessed! The early church, the first century Christians were "armed and dangerous" - and the kingdom of darkness shrieked in horror whenever a spirit filled believer set out on his' or her' daily walk that day. Wow! I wonder what the powers of darkness think when we as modern day believers roll out of bed to face the day? You think they shake and cower in fear at the thought of you or I coming out to meet them in combat? Probably not by what we see all around us. In reality, many Christians today are afraid of their own shadow, let alone the thought of facing a real honest to goodness- DEMON FROM HELL. That is for many, the way it truly is.
The human eye cannot see the weapons of our warfare, nor can the human ear discern their sound; but make no mistake our heavenly Father has not left us defenseless, neither has He left us to fend for ourselves with our hands our with bullets or man made weapons of our imagination - not hardly. God has given us every spiritual weapon we need to destroy, and dismantle the strongholds and devices of Satan without even lifting one finger... Hmm, unless we count lifting our hands in prayer.
THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
After 40 years of wrestling with demons within and without the church, and having spent decades studying the scriptures on the subject of spiritual warfare; and having read numerous books and booklets on the subject - I offer the following "things" as weapons God has given us to war against
Satan, demons, and all that is evil. Time does not permit me to elaborate or expound on each, but leave that to you the reader to study and search out on your own... These are not necessarily listed
in an order based on "priority" - that is a matter of varying opinion.
The Love of Jesus Christ/The Love of God in our heart: 1.Co.13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ/The Power of God: Rom.1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (see - 1 Co.15:1-4)
The Holy Scriptures/The basis for truth necessary for salvation in written form to man: 2 Tim.3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
The Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer/follower of Christ: JN. 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive,because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
The Gifts of The Holy Spirit that are imparted by this indwelling Presence: 1 CO. 12:1-11
The exercise of earnest prayer, often accompanied by "fasting": MT.17:21 (Jesus addressing the question of casting out certain demons) However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
The Armor of God/Eph. 6:11-12
Closing thoughts: The dumbest and most ignorant Christian in town, or in a local church filled with the love of God in his or her' heart, and filled with the Spirit of God will put to flight legions of demons long before the most cocksure, puffed up believer ever will! Knowledge is fine when married to humility, but by itself it is a most sure path to failure in spiritual warfare. Never leave home without having first examined your' own heart and life before God. The devil knows when we are walking in disobedience and sin; and he will bring you into condemnation and render you ineffective and powerless with guilt and shame... never, never enter into spiritual warfare unless you have asked God to cleanse you of any and all personal sins and offenses. Take care of your own backyard, before you set out to clean someone else's. Remember, the battle begins with a clean heart and the love of Jesus in our hearts. The devil trembles when we walk in love.
to be continued...