Fast Forward

Imagine this: there’s a door in your house that has been closed and locked. You’ve seen this door for years, but you have never seen it open. The reason is that you have never had the key. After all, it wasn’t your fault since no one told you where to find the key. You would not know where to begin! Eventually, curiosity gets the best of you, and you start searching all through the house to find the key. After sweeping through the whole house, you see it in the most unexpected place – the necklace that hung from your neck. Who would have thought that the keyhole fit the exact measurement of the key-shaped necklace you have always worn? As you place the key into the hole and turn the door handle, you realize you are walking through a door you have never entered before. Here’s to what’s ahead…

This analogy serves the purpose of introducing our topic for the week: fasting. There’s a power to fasting that most people do not realize. Fasting is much more than the absence of food – it is to deny the flesh to partake of a greater spiritual reality. It is not settling for the soulish desires but rather being satisfied by the Lord’s will instead. 

In Matthew 6:1-18, Jesus gives a discourse on three familiar topics: giving, prayer, and fasting. In each instance, He introduces the subject with the clause… “and when you pray…” (Matthew 6:5-15). The ‘when’ word suggests that this act is based on an assumption – it’s not IF you pray, but WHEN you will do it. If this is true, why do we not hear much teaching on fasting since Jesus says, “… and when you fast…”? (Matthew 6:16-18). Why is fasting not practiced in most churches? 

Perhaps this is the reason why the church in America is not operating in the power of the Holy Spirit like we’d want to see. Do you want to see miracles? Do you want to see healings take place? Do you want to see answers revealed and breakthrough happen? Then fasting is not an additive; it is a necessity. 

Take Jesus’ example in Mark 9:14-29. The disciples have tried their best efforts to rebuke a deaf and mute demon in a young boy. However, they could not drive it out. After Jesus challenges the boy’s father’s unbelief, Jesus casts out the demon with ease. Privately the disciples asked him why they could not cast out the evil spirit. The answer? “This type can only come out by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29). 

In the example above, we see that fasting – covered with prayer – releases an extra release of faith necessary for breakthrough. The disciples did not understand the power of fasting, so they were ineffective in their ability to cast out the demon. I wonder if that is why we may not see the chains being broken in our lives. It very well could be! 

Fasting is the method used to humble oneself before the Lord. There are plenty of biblical examples to demonstrate this. Ezra proclaimed a fast for his journey to “humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions.” (Ezra 8:21). The Lord reveals to Isaiah what ‘true’ fasting was, and it was not to go through the motions: “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed and for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord? (Isaiah 58:5). Moses, Daniel, Paul, and Jesus all fasted in various lengths and types to position themselves before the Lord in humility. 

Why is humility necessary? When we humble ourselves, typically fashioned with fasting, we put ourselves in our proper place with God – I am only a creation and dependent on the Lord. God is the Creator and needs no one or nothing. The act of fasting demonstrates an attitude of meekness and submissiveness, recognizing God’s reign in the world and, more importantly, our lives. In response, God will lift us up in our humility (James 4:10). In fact, “Whoever then humbles himself as {a} child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4). 

I mention the subject of fasting because it has been a lost discipline. As I look at the United States of America, I realize how important it is to seek God for our nation like never before. From those who have more years than I, the division has been the greatest they have ever seen. There are Christians who do not understand biblical values and would vote off of feelings rather than principles. A spirit of anarchy and lawlessness has spewed onto the streets leading to rioting and looting. Racial tensions with the police have led to an outcry for justice. There’s a longing for deep-seated corruption to be exposed and wickedness to be revealed and accounted for. All of this and more as Americans attempt to make sense of what is real and not biased in an era of ‘fake news.’ 

That is why I have called together a fast for our nation until the day after the election. I know America is not alone – the enemy is busy at work, stirring up strife and turmoil in other countries, which he is attempting to overthrow God’s purposes there as well! Yet I know in this time, God has given me a burden to pray and to fast for the US so that His will can be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. 

If you feel inclined, join me in fasting for America. I can send you details on what I am doing. It’s imperative to note that we are not in a battle against people but against, “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. “(Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, we fight not with fists or weapons of war but on our knees. To pray that God-infused values would take place. To ask that justice is finalized and wickedness dealt with. To plead to the Lord that biblical issues such as abortion would be eradicated, and people would understand and value the sanctity of life.

The door might be locked, but it doesn’t have to remain that way. Through the power of fasting and prayer, you have the key to unlock the breakthrough that is necessary for our country, your church, and for your personal concerns. All you have to do is commit to the Lord, and that key will open that door. It’s always been up to you. Are you ready to see what the Lord will do through you by humbling yourself to a fast? Let’s come together as the people of God to see His will be done throughout the Earth! 

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14  

Have a blessed week! 

4 Comments

  1. This may be the most important blog you have done up to now Nathan. I will write you a personal note on my situation and how I can fast without harming my
    physical body. Keep up the good blogs! Blessings on you and Valerie. My prayers for you both, M.

    1. Author

      Thank you Margie! It is imperative that we fast & pray for our nation at this time. I’ll respond to you by email on how you can fast appropriately. Blessings!

  2. I am in. I think I would be able to do a short fast because of my health issues but I would love to be in prayer for this also. Thank you for your blogs, you and valerie are always in our prayers.

    1. Author

      Wonderful Angena! I’ll message you the details so you can be apart of the fast. Thank you for your prayers!

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