Fasting is for the spiritual adventurist, the lead-me-beyond-myself faith-walker.
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READING TIME: 4 MINUTES.
Fasting is a matter of turning down the world’s noise and tuning into God. It’s not about a bunch of man-made religious rules and regulations.
It’s about love. Love for Him and a soul desire to go deeper, press further, forsaking other “stuff” for the privilege of encountering Him in a hidden, holy place.
A place not tethered to this physical world with its distractions, clamoring demands and earthbound desires where your soul’s senses—hearing, sight, feeling, smell, taste, spiritual discernment—are sharpened and fine-tuned to God.
That’s where prophetic intercession begins. A God-directed, God-appointed prayer-fasting dimension fused with faith to war against principalities, break strongholds, unhinge spiritual prison doors, and cast out demonic interference.
All by God’s lead, command, and authority filtered through you (His servant) for His glory.
Welcome to shift territory. Shifts in you, in others, in situations. It’s what the whole Jacob’s ladder and Messianic heaven-and-earth connection—and Isaiah 58 (God’s chosen fast directives)—are made of.
In other words, fasting isn’t focused merely on what you’re not doing (not eating, not watching TV, not shopping or whatever else you’ve forfeited for a period), but on action, what you are doing. In both the spiritual and natural realms.
For sure, the initial action is quieting your soul, climbing into the crevices of His Word to excavate new treasures, worshiping Him and journeying into deeper intercession.
But it’s more than bunkering up in your prayer closet for the duration. In fact, it’s the rest of the story that apparently attracts God’s attention and ignites change.
When I wept in my soul with fasting . . .(Psalm 69:10a NASB).
WHAT GOD SAID
God lays down the parameters of what He considers a holy fast—and what falls short. Just look at Isaiah 58:4 (NLT excerpts).
What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance
bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind . . .
covering yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
The answer is a flat no.
The fast God wants—the kind of fast that reflects His heart—is as much bold and courageous in the battle but also humble, honest, and serving Him and others. Like when Jesus washed the disciples feet.
Translation: Get your mind on heaven. There’s work to be done in this late hour. Clean the slate and confess your sins before Him. As much as possible, get things reconciled with others.
Doggedly seek His heart on situations, and do battle on behalf of others, not just yourself. Remember, this the enemy’s battle is raging on—and escalating.
This is the fast God wants . . .
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless
Give clothes to those who need them
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
—Isaiah 58:6-7 (NLT)
THE ISAIAH 58 GAME PLAN
Preparing for and during your fast . . .
1. justice—release those wrongly bound . . . even those who are bound-up in situations because of your prior actions, words, offenses . . . or those who are bound by the enemy and need the Word and intercessory prayer to free them.
2. freedom—lift those from servitude, usury oppression and break every heavy yoke . . . even the yoke of false accusations and slander from your lips.
3. generosity—meet the needs of people in trouble and fulfill your duty to your community, even by feeding your neighbors or the poor, by clothing those who need it or by volunteering in an outreach to help others. Bless someone during the fast using the money you would have spent on meals.
When you take passionate action during a part of your fast time to actualize the things that are tender to His heart, people are freed, saved, released, blessed, healed, fed, clothed, transformed.
Here’s His promise, per Isaiah 58, if you walk in His chosen fast . . .
1. spiritual growth—His light within you will burst forth, your previous gloom/worries will be replaced with His joy, truth, understanding.
2. healing—newness will replace those old wounds (emotional, spiritual, physical) and His strength within you will be renewed.
3. well-guarded—His glory will follow you, guide you and satisfy your needs even in the desert, your personal wilderness. When you call out, He will answer, “Here I am.”
4. spiritually nourished—your soul will be like a watered garden, a spring that never fails because His living water is flowing over you. Better able to hear His voice, His heart on a matter, how to spiritually battle in intercession on behalf of the oppressed.
5. warrior-strong—your soul will be readied with His strength, His leading, His desire to rebuild (restore) those ruins in your life and those He put before you in prayer and in person, repairing spiritually broken walls, restoring every nook and cranny so every soul can stand on His foundations, freed from the enemy’s grip to serve and worship the Lord and fulfill His determined purpose for their life in Him.
KEEP IN MIND
So you’re called to step into a holy fast? Excellent.
1. Be prepared to battle in prayer . . . and elsewhere.
2. Consider seeking the Lord for a trusted prayer-fasting warrior to partner with you in the fight. Moses had Joshua. Jeremiah had Baruch. Paul had Barnabas.
3. Expect to evidence change, be changed, and encounter His Holiness. God, in His amazing kindness, lifts you up from the mundane, the tangible, and reveals words of wisdom or knowledge, helping you see (discern) within and without.
Backpacked girl facing mountainous region by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash.com
[Expanded from a 2009 post of same title]