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Fasting Day 5: New Anointing

Fasting Day 5: New Anointing

We are humbling ourselves and drawing near to God through fasting. What can we expect in return?

Scripture is full of men and women of God who fasted. The results of fasting are numerous!  Today I have one result in particular on my heart.

In Mark chapter two, Jesus is questioned as to why His disciples weren’t fasting. John’s disciples were fasting. The Pharisees were fasting. They didn’t understand why Jesus’ disciples weren’t also engaging in this discipline.  Jesus answered:

“How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast” (Mark 2:19-20).”

Jesus Counted On Us Fasting

Jesus counted on His disciples fasting after His return to Heaven. He counted on you and me, His modern day disciples, fasting too. “In those days,” He said, “they will fast” (Luke 5:35).

If you are a Christian, God expects you to fast – just as He expects you to pray and to give. He doesn’t expect just some Christians to fast, or only those who are in ministry leadership, but He expects all disciples to fast. In Matthew 6:16, Jesus said “When you fast…”.  He did not say “if you fastbut “when you fast“.

God will bless your obedience in fasting. One way He will do this is stated in the very next verse of Mark chapter two.  While Jesus is addressing the topic of fasting and the fact that His disciples will fast when He is taken from them,  He continues:

“21No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull way from the old, making the tear worse. 22And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22).

It is interesting that when Jesus talks about old wine skins being unable to hold new wine, He is doing so in the context of fasting.

God cannot put new anointing, new wine, into old wine skins. If we want new wine, new miracles, new power, new closeness with Christ, new intimacy with Him – we must fast and shed the old skin for the new.

Old wine skins could not expand and hold the fermenting, ever-expanding wine. It would crack, break and the wine would spill out. It would be wasted!

The wine dresser would take oil and rub it on the old wine skins. As he would anoint the cracks and dried skins with oil, they would become like new.

Fasting prepares our wineskin to receive new wine. Through fasting we shed the dry, cracked flesh of our old nature.  We draw near to God and He in turn draws near to us, anointing our ‘skin,’ our earthly being, so that we can receive more of Him.

Allow God to Give You a New Wineskin

I want to be able to expand spiritually in the coming year, don’t you? I don’t want the Holy Spirit to be held back in any measure this year simply because I refused to let my vessel be prepared to hold more of His expansive power.

Keep abiding in His presence as your fast. Make time to pray and meditate on the Word. Allow Him to anoint you with His presence. The word “anoint” means to rub, as if to apply ointment. Linger in His presence often throughout your fast. Allow Him to apply the ointment of His Spirit to your dry, earthly nature. With so many pressing demands, it’s not easy to put things aside for a week or two, I know.  You and I will incorporate fasting as part of our lifestyle in the coming year, but our twenty-one day fast may occur only once this year. Why go to all the effort and restructuring of eating habits, only to leave out the vital time in His presence?

Take time in the morning — at noon and evening too — to pray and linger in the Word. Allow Him to shed old habits, unconfessed sin, wrong motives and stale religious acts. Ask Him to search and cleanse your heart. Choke off the old nature by refusing to obey it! Surrender afresh to Jesus as Lord and ruler over all you say and do.

Hunger and thirst after righteousness by spending mealtimes feasting on God’s Word. (Matthew 5:6). Forego vegging in front of the television in order to meditate on God’s attributes.

Remember that there will be spiritual opposition. Do you think the enemy is happy that you are preparing to receive more of the Holy Spirit’s power?!?!  If you have been tempted to throw it all in – tired of the extra effort, physical strain or mood changes — know that the enemy would love nothing more. Continue on in your fast, for in due season you will reap! God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! (Hebrews 11:6).

I know it’s not easy. But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We have been crucified with Christ. It is not we who live, but Christ who lives in us. Lean on His power. Trust that He will enable you to walk out this fast. The reward will FAR outweigh any temporal discomforts! May, June, July… even into Christmas of this year, you will continue to receive benefits from the seeds sown through your fast.

Growing up on an east Texas farm, we planted many things — from crops of peas (hated picking them!) to gardens of all kinds of vegetables. I remember putting those little bitty seeds in the grown and being amazed as over the course of months, big plants came from something so small and seemingly dry and dead.

The harvest to come from your fast will dwarf current discomforts. In comparison to what God will do in your life throughout the coming year, the sacrifice of the fast will seem as small as a tiny seed.  Today, you may feel tired, a little lacking in energy, similar to a seemingly dead seed. But hold on! Plant yourself in the ground of God’s presence through this fast. Allow Him to nurture your spirit through the nourishment of His Word and the rain of the Spirit…and before you know it, you’ll have a harvest on your hands that you couldn’t possibly have foreseen.

Question: In what areas of your life do you desire new anointing this year?

FROM THE ARCHIVES:

 

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