Fasting Forward

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365 Devotionals: Lions and Visions

Memory Verse: “In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I ate no tasty food, nor did any meat or wine enter my mouth; and I did not anoint (refresh, groom) myself at all for the full three weeks.” Daniel 10:2 AMP

Song of The Day

Listen to “In The Garden” performed by Marvin Sapp.

Bible Basis

SeptemberBookRead FromRead ToDevotional
18thDanielChapter 10Chapter 12Fasting Forward

Key People

Here is a list of key people – the who’s who of overcomers, found in today’s reading (in order of appearance) with bios from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Daniel. A noble Jewish youth of Jerusalem, he is taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and serves the king and his successors with loyalty and ability until the time of the Persian conqueror Cyrus, all the while remaining true to the God of Israel.


Today’s Devotional Reading: Daniel 10-12

Daniel 7 Amplified Version (AMP)
Daniel 8 Amplified Version (AMP)
Daniel 9 Amplified Version (AMP)


Reflection

Daniel fasted and prayed for his people, humbly and sincerely desiring an answer.

Introduction to Fasting (Part 1)

Fasting is simply, “choosing for a set time to do without something that is difficult to do without, such as food [or a smart phone in today’s Western society]. This “sacrifice” allows you spend that [chosen] time in consecrated prayer, and it ensures that this area of your life is not obstructing your relationship with the Lord” (White, 2006) [4]. The body is a temple for the breath of life with which you have been filled (a living soul). It is to be cleansed and maintained to allow unencumbered spiritual communion with your Creator. Without His divine manna, weakness follows.

Fasting is a discipline in which you train your body to be in subjection to your inner spirit, which you consecrate to the Holy Spirit. This connection is made by faith. Consecration fasting is more than skipping meals. It is a period in which you take the time that you would normally spend eating, and devote that time to worshipping your Creator and developing your spiritual maturity, which includes cultivating the habits of prayer, Bible study, listening, and waiting for divine instruction.

Whether you are having a first-time fast track experience, or if you have already made fasting a part of your lifestyle, I recommend a reader-friendly, and very useful book entitled, Fasting Made Simple (which was given to me by a spiritual father years ago, as a preliminary introduction to some very key elements about the Biblical practice of fasting. The author of Fasting Made Simple has also delivered some excellent teaching on fasting, which I recommend for your hearing and are available from her ministry. Remember that it is for each person to determine with his or her physician and with the Lord, whether or not and how to implement this element if at all.

Fasting is a tool to crucify carnal (fleshly) thoughts and actions, and bridle the mind and body to reverence God and allow His way to be the focus of your will in every area of your life. Fasting denies carnality of things that it wants, so that you can give precedence to nourishing the spirit. When you fast, you abstain from some form of repast, and from all physical gratifications – which include martial sex – so some communication will usually be required. However, fasting should never be used as a vice – such as to punish a spouse for not behaving in a manner that you requested. Fasting is a necessary process if you intend to do spiritual warfare, which for most people is a necessity, whether you recognize it or not. The importance of fasting is rooted in self-discipline.

There is no way to completely get around the Biblical practice of fasting so long as you desire a closer walk with your Creator [*except in the case of health related restrictions and doctor recommendations, etc.]. In fact, Jesus said that there are some demonic forces that will not be abated without the preparation of fasting and prayer. Perhaps you have a relatively easy-going daily life, and you do not feel that there is a specific opposition to your faith walk.

Know that there is a spirit realm beyond the sight of the natural eyes. If you do not notice it, it means that you are not a present threat, and or you are walking under the covering of someone else’s prayer and fasting. You may be under divine protection because a grandparent, or parent, or other person prayed for you when lacked the wherewithal to pray for yourself. Satan appeals to the carnal mind, which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the carnal mind cannot fully rebuke him. It relates to and will side with him if left untamed.

3 And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. 4 But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:3-4 AMP

Introduction to Fasting (Part 2) – Types of Fasting

Abstention from food is a central focus of Biblical fasting. However, the Bible was written during a time when there was no cable television, video games, or other modern amenities. Fasting does not have to be limited to food, and in fact should be expanded to other elements in your life if there is anything that draws your attention to the point of distraction from your purpose. Watching television on one evening in an entire month for fifteen minutes is probably not going to change your life extremely [*but of course it is not impossible].

However, if you are proverbially glued to the television, or to any other activity so much that you do not relate or are simply never available to interact with your family and friends, or to communicate with your Creator, then you might want to pull the plug [on the TV]. Even religious activity with no temperance can be detrimental to your relationships. Though you may be a very spiritual person, you should not be “too holy” to minister time to people who need God just as much as you do. He saves souls that they may minister to His body – the body of Christ – which is a family of people. When you are delivered, you are to help others [5].

There are five types of fast that you encounter in Biblical text:

  • Absolute Fast. An absolute fast is rare for prolonged periods as the body can medically sustain only about three days without food or water, except in the case of supernatural intervention. Jesus fasted forty days and nights before being tempted in the wilderness [6].
  • Partial Fast. A partial fast is one in which you omit certain foods on a schedule such as every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • Rational Fast. A rational fast is one in which you eliminate various families of food such as all meats, or all dairy. This type of fast is also called the Daniel’s fast according to Daniel 10:1-21.
  • Normal Fast. A normal fast is one of a length of time where you consume only water for the natural body. This is the most common fast lasting more than three consecutive days.
  • The 21-Day Daniel’s Fast. 21 days is the period of victory over Heavenly Principalities which work to stop the prayers of God’s people.
  • A Sixth type of fast is the 31 Woman Fast. A regimen I developed as part of the 31 Women Ministries Wellness Program. On each of 31 days, pray about the manifestation of the verses of Proverbs 31:10-31 in your life. The 31-Woman Consecration Fast Track is part of my wellness plan.

References

« The Amplified Bible
« The King James Bible
« Wikipedia: Ezekiel

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Image Source: 365 Seeds of Promise by Shenica R. Graham.

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