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13-SPIRIT WALK—THIS IS MY FAST

THIS IS MY FAST
Isa. 58:1-14 [v6] Mt 6:16-18

FASTING IS THE DISCIPLINE
OF ABSTAINING FROM FOOD
FOR SPIRITUAL AND BIBLICAL REASONS.
1. It is called "afflicting the flesh" -- v3.
2. It is often practiced to demonstrate the sincerity of our prayers.

THERE ARE THREE MAIN FORMS
OF FASTING PRESENTED IN SCRIPTURE.

THE ABSOLUTE FAST — abstaining from both food and water – Est. 4:16 “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (NAS) — Acts 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

  • Normally this fast should not be for more than 3 days — after that you begin to dehydrate.
  • Moses, in the Presence of God in the cloud was super-naturally sustained on separate occasions — Ex 34:28 So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread, and he did not drink water. He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. — Deut 9:18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.  Ex 24:18; Dt 9:9,11; Dt 9:23-26; Dt 9:25; 10:10.
  • Elijah was given two supernatural meals that kept giving him strength for forty days — 1Kings 19:5-8 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
  • Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert and did not become hungry until after the 40 days — Mat 4:2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.  

THE NORMAL FAST – abstaining from all food, solid or liquid – but not from water —

  • Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.

THE PARTIAL FAST – a restriction of diet rather than complete Abstention from food —

  • Dan 10:3 I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all, until the entire three weeks were completed. 
  • Dan 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

THERE ARE SEVERAL
BIBLICAL REASONS FOR FASTING.
Believers should fast ––

  • When facing a national crisis – 2Chr 20:3 And Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD; and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. — Ezra 8:21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. — Est. 4:16 “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” 
  • For individual needs — Mat 17:21 “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  
  • During periods of distress — 2Sam 3:35 Then all the people came to persuade David to eat bread while it was still day; but David vowed, saying, “May God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down.” — Psa 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer kept returning to my bosom.       
  • When facing spiritual decisions — Mt 4:2; Acts 13:2 And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
  • In anticipation of Christ's return — Luke 5:35 “But {the} days will come; and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.”

MANY HAVE FOUND

  • Heavy burdens are relieved when fasting — Isa 59:8 They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks; they have made their paths crooked; whoever treads on them does not know peace. (NAS)
  • Wisdom is obtained through fasting — Dan 10.
  • Revival comes through fasting — v6.
  • God's protection from dangers secured by fasting — 1Kings 21:27-29 And it came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently.  [28] Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, [29] “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, {but} I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.”
  • Recovery of sick loved ones may come after fasting — Psa 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer kept returning to my bosom.  (NAS)
  • That the inauguration of a great ministry may follow fasting — Mat 4:2; Mat 17:21; Mk 9:29 And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” (NAS)

HOW DO I FAST? 
WHEN A BELIEVER FASTS —

  • Begin with a short fast — Jdgs 20:26 Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel and wept; thus they remained there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening. And they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. (NAS)
  • One day, from sundown to sundown.
  • Spend time alone with God during the fast.
  • Do not make a show of fasting - the Pharisees did this.
  • If possible agree with someone in a fast.
  • Situational fasting and prayer may be the only solution to a problem — Mat 17:21 “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” — Mark 9:29 And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.” — Joel 1:14 HNV Sanctify a fast. Call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders, and all the inhabitants of the land, to the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD.

THE OPEN REWARD FOR FASTING —

  • Mat 6:18 ALT in order that you shall not appear to the people [as] fasting, but [only] to your Father, the [One] in secret, and your Father, the [One] seeing in secret, will reward you.
  • The reward…the heritage of Jacob – Deut 32:9-14 For the LORD's allotment is his people, Jacob is his special possession.  10 The LORD found him in a desolate land, in an empty wasteland where animals howl. He continually guarded him and taught him; he continually protected him like the pupil of his eye.  11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, so the LORD spread out his wings and took him, he lifted him up on his pinions.  12 The LORD alone was guiding him, no foreign god was with him.  13 He enabled him to travel over the high terrain of the land, and he ate of the produce of the fields. He provided honey for him from the cliffs, and olive oil from the hardest of rocks,  14 butter from the herd and milk from the flock, along with the fat of lambs, rams and goats of Bashan, along with the best of the kernels of wheat; and from the juice of grapes you drank wine.

MINISTERING TO THE LORD IN FASTING

  • Act 13:2-3 ALT Now while they [were] ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work which I have called them to."  (3) Then having fasted and having prayed and having laid their hands on them, they sent [them] away.
  • Receiving revelation knowledge and information.
  • Dan 10:3 HNV I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine into my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, until three whole weeks were fulfilled.
  • Act 27:21 ALT But [after there] being a lack of appetite [for] a long [time], then Paul having stood in [the] middle of them, said, "It was being necessary indeed, O men, having followed my advice, not to be setting sail from Crete and to spare this damage and loss.

THE LIFE OF FASTING.

  • Fasting is a way of humbling yourself, and disciplines the body – 1Cor 7:5 ALT Stop depriving one another, except by mutual consent for a time, so that you* shall be devoting yourselves to [or, having free time for] fasting and prayer, and again to the same be coming together, lest Satan be tempting you because of your lack of self-control.

FASTING GETS THE FLESH OUT OF THE WAY.

  • Out of the heart flow the forces of life. These forces are the life sources for the mind and the body. — Pro 4:20-23 HNV My son, attend to my words. Turn your ear to my sayings.  (21)  Let them not depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart.  (22)  For they are life to those who find them, and health to their whole body.  (23)  Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life. — Pro 14:30 The life of the body is a heart at shalom, but envy rots the bones. — Pro 18:14 A man's spirit will sustain him in sickness, but a crushed spirit, who can bear?
    • This comes by the reborn human spirit.
    • This comes by the Word.
    • Give the heart an opportunity to be built up by putting as little demand on it as possible by the flesh.
  • Eph 3:20 ALT Now to the One being able above all [things] to do infinitely more than what we ask or think, according to the power, the [one] supernaturally working in us,
  • The fruit of the Spirit. — Gal 5:22-25 ALT But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace [or, freedom from anxiety], patience, kindness, goodness [or, generosity], faith, (23) gentleness [or, considerateness], self-control. Against such there is no law. (24) Now the [ones who are] Christ's [have] crucified the flesh with its passions and its desires [or, lusts]. (25) Since we are living in [or, by] the Spirit, let us also be keeping in line with [fig., be living in conformity with] the Spirit.

FASTING AND DELIVERANCE.

  • Ezra 8:21 HNV Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
  • Ezra 8:23 HNV So we fasted and begged our God for this: and he was entreated of us.
  • Ezra 8:31 HNV Then we departed from the river Ahava on the twelfth [day] of the first month, to go to Yerushalayim: and the hand of our God was on us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the bandit by the way.
  • Neh 1:4 HNV It happened, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven,
  • Est. 4:3 HNV In every province, wherever the king's mitzvah and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
  • Est. 4:16 HNV "Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day. I and my maidens will also fast the same way. Then I will go in to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish."
  • Dan 9:3 HNV I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
  • Joel 1:14 HNV Sanctify a fast. Call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders, and all the inhabitants of the land, to the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Prayer requests: 1-918-224-3609
Mail: Bishop Ira L. Hargis
Post Office Box 354
Sapulpa, Oklahoma USA 74067
Email:
pastoriralh@fireofrevival.com or
pastoriralh@hotmail.com

Awesome links: http://www.e-sword.net/, http://www.jsm.org/, http://worldenglishbible.org/, http://www.netbible.com/

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