“Whenever you fast…….” Matthew 6:16 & 17
I’m a believer in fasting. If a person reads the above two verses, without putting any kind of a spin on them, they tell me that Jesus expected His followers to fast on a regular basis. In fact, Jesus Himself set my example by fasting more than once, and at one point, He fasted for forty days!
I’ve never done a forty-day fast; I’ve never had a reason to do so, and to be truthful, I don’t think I could do it anyway. I applaud those who have gone the distance; I’ve personally known two folks who have done so.
My longest fast was for four days; we were in the process of moving to our current home and I accidentally left the back- yard gate open. Peanut, one of our elder dogs, wandered out and off and we didn’t discover that fact for several hours.
I looked everywhere and she wasn’t to be found, and she was a sickly dog. I was worried sick myself; at that point I began to fast, along with prayer. We found her at the shelter four days later.
When I fast, it is usually for a “Jewish day”; a 24 hour period beginning on the evening and going till the next evening (6pm to 6pm). I don’t eat solid food whatsoever; I just drink liquids of any sort. I also don’t tell anyone else that I’m in the process of fasting; it is a private affair between me and The Lord.
I fast for several reasons; to find out God’s will concerning an impending decision; to seek God’s favor and a “yes” answer; to seek His help for someone else’s plight; when I’m going through strong spiritual warfare; and when I want to show The Lord that I’m absolutely serious about what I’m praying about.
I’m an analytical person, almost to a fault. I’ve analyzed the results of my fasts, and for the most part, about 80 percent have been answered in the positive. That’s an outstanding figure to me! All I can say is, it is all The Lord!
Sometimes my fasts fail to be carried through; on a coupla occasions I got too dizzy and weak to complete my tasks for the day and had to quit. One time recently, I started a fast and went to visit a buddy at his business. He had doughnuts there, and I was into my third bite when I remembered that I was in a fast! Oh no! I had inadvertently blown it!
That’s happened two other times to me where I just forgot when there was a particularly pleasant food around. When any of the above happens, and it is an accidental break in the fast, I consider that to be an answer that The Lord wasn’t planning to honor my fast in the positive and therefore I need not continue.
Sometimes, I fast hard and God say’s “No” as an answer, or He doesn’t answer at all! That’s okay too, and I have yet to not experience peace over that answer. Remember, He will never give me a snake when I ask for a fish!
The reason that I bring this subject up, is for what happened just a few week’s ago to Jeri and I. We had been praying about, and planning a trip back to Pennsylvania in June, and all along we were planning to drive there.
I had completely forgotten the verse that tell me not to make presumptuous plans without first asking God what His will was for the future.
Well, we took a trip to Roswell to see our son, and on the way back (it’s a five hour drive), we were commiserating to each other that we just didn’t enjoy driving like we used to, and how on earth would we hold up to the coming trip east, which would be for no less than three/12 hour days!
The next day we decided to fast on what God wanted us to do; not a couple of hours after the fast ended, and direction started to become very clear; an example of God giving an answer quickly when we showed Him that we were serious about His will.
Shortly the doors began to open; Jeri found airline tickets at a bargain rate and on our desired schedule; then she got us a top-rate Tuscon motel at a low, low rate of 45 dollars and they’d take us and pick us up from the airport, and baby sit our truck to boot for free!
Next the doors opened for a rental car at the other end and it too, was at a bargain rate. When it was all said and done, we’d save a coupla hundred bucks below what it would cost to drive, and we’d save four days to boot.
Let me add, that I believe because of the “fish thing”, had God not intended us to go this route, He would have closed at least one of these doors.
I was so taken aback at how quickly our fast had been answered, that all I could do was sit there and thank God and praise the Lord!
When I’ve discussed the subject of fasting with other Christians, I’m amazed at how few ever actually fast; there is always some sort of excuse or they just tell me they just don’t practice it. Somewhere along the line, The Christian Church Universal has quit teaching the doctrinal importance of fasting, let alone even mentioning it.
Yet fasting is as Biblical as prayer itself, and is intertwined with supplication. I can’t do a biblical fast without joining it to my prayers. Besides, The Lord didn’t give me the option of saying no to fasting; He commanded me to do it!
So here are my challenges for this month; do you find your most important prayers often answered in the negative? Do you sometimes even feel your prayers aren’t making it higher than the ceiling? Do you fast in conjunction with your prayers? If not, why not?
For: Calvary Chapel/Silver city
May 2010 Testimony