Get There “Fast” - The Exponential Power
Matthew 6:16-17 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (openly.)
Fasting is not about what you are giving up for God but what you will receive from God.
Fasting is shutting down the desires of the flesh because you want a breakthrough more than you want food.
Fasting is less about saying “NO” to the body, and more about saying “YES” to the Holy Spirit.
Decide WHY you are fasting (sorry, it can’t be “To lose some of the Christmas pounds put on over the last month.” That may be one of the benefits but fasting isn’t a diet.)
Make a Fasting Commitment: Fasting Contract
Here are some reasons people Fast – which areas stand out to you:
1. Health & Healing (Isaiah 58:8) - Expect healing and miracles (for yourself and/or loved ones).
2. Overcoming/Breaking Poverty (see: Joel 1:13; Joel 2:15-32)
3. Bondages/Addictions Broken (including sexual addictions – Judges 19 and 20); can also be substance, alcohol and food addictions. GOD IS ABLE!!!
4. Generational Curses Broken (Isaiah 58:12) – family curses of poverty, divorce, sickness, alcoholism, suicide, idolatry and other demonic attachments broken off you and your children.
5. Demonic Powers Broken – Jesus said, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).
6. Revelation and Wisdom – God will reveal things to come – Acts 13:14 when Paul and Barnabas “ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said…”
7. Breakthrough – Do you need breakthrough in your life — you want this year to be better than last year? Is the Lord calling you to a work – or a new walk in Him? Are you being called to a new level of leadership or ministry? You need a Breakthrough and HE IS “The God of the Breakthrough!” (2 Sam. 5:20, 1 Chronicles 14:11)
Decide today WHY you are fasting.
Get a journal. Write it down. You can fast for more than one reason — we have a BIG GOD!!!
What TYPE of Fast?
When the Bible talks about fasting it’s from food — not an activity. Fasting actually means in part “to cover the mouth.”
1. Skip a meal and pray/read Bible/seek the Lord instead.
2. Skip 2 meals and pray/read Bible/seek the Lord instead.
3. Fast from a type of food your flesh really likes.
4. Follow a Daniel Fast Principles:
–The challenge (and eventual delight) is to get your PLEASURE from the LORD instead of food (disciplining the flesh).
Delight yourself in the Lord instead of food. Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
8 But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. 9 And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, 10 and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” 11 Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king's food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” 14 So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king's food. 16 So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.
17 As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. 20 And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. 21 And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
Step 1: Be Specific
Daniel was not vague in his objection to the Babylonian diet. He defined the problem immediately.
1. The king’s food was against dietary laws.
2. Daniel and his friends had vowed against wine.
3. The king’s food had been offered up to idols/demons.
Step 3: Reflect Inner Desire by Outer Discipline
Many people have an inner desire for better health, but they can’t discipline themselves to avoid junk food, and other foods that are not good for their health. The physical health you seek from God may be more than an answer to prayer. Your physical health can be linked to any of the following factors:
1. Your food choices.
2. The level of your spiritual commitment as reflected in constant prayer during the fast.
3. Your time commitment. If you determine to fast for a certain time, keep it. For example, if you determine to fast 10 days, don’t stop on Day 9.
4. Your testimony commitment. Your fast is a statement of faith to God that you want Him to heal your body, and faith is foundational to the Daniel Fast.
Step 4: Pray to Perceive Sin’s Role in Poor Health
Notice James 5:13-18:
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.[b] 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
Sin is sometimes related to the cause of sickness.
Lack of Health/Healing may be the result of Spiritual Rebellion.
Lack of Health/Healing may be due to the sin of wrong intake. (Drugs, Pornography, etc.)
Repentance is linked to health according to James. James 5:13-18
Sick people must desire to be well.
In the Greek there are several words for “sick”. James uses “Kanino”, which not only includes disease but also means weak or weary.
Attitude is also a key to the success of Fasting. James said, “Are there any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing Psalms.”
Step 5: Fast as a Statement of Faith to Others
Daniel was making a statement of faith when he asked for only vegetables to eat and water to drink, then dared the overseer to compare the appearance of the four sons of Israel with the young men who ate the king’s food.
Step 6: Learn the Effects of the Food You Eat
Why are some foods good for us, and other foods not? What does certain food do to your body? If we really knew, there would likely be some things we would never eat again.
Food Guidelines for a Daniel Fast.
Daniel 1:12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.”
Daniel 10:3 “I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
When going on a Daniel fast, or any type of fast, if you have questions outside of what Scripture says, prayerfully seek the Lord and be led by the Spirit for the specifics for your personal fast.
Wisdom on Fasting - Pastor Jentezen Franklin
“Cry aloud; do not hold back;
lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
4 Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
11 And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
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