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Fasting Day 9: Feeding Faith, Part 3

Unbelief is the greatest hindrance keeping us from the breakthrough we desire. When we fast and pray, our lack of faith is exposed.

Fasting Day 8: Feeding Faith, Parts 1 and 2 demonstrated how we feed our faith through prayer and fasting, but there is a third element to feeding our faith that must not be overlooked—the ingestion of God’s Word.

Feeding our Faith Means Internalizing

God’s Word must get beyond the pages of the Bible and into our hearts and minds if we want our faith to grow. We must ingest God’s wonderful promises! Merely reading the Bible in the morning for five minutes might refresh your spirit but it will not give you the spiritual ammunition you need in a split second moment when demons are whispering lies of doubt, worry and unbelief.

When Jesus was led into the desert to fast and pray for forty days, Satan tempted Him to abandon His path of lowliness, suffering and obedience. In other words, Satan tried to get Jesus to suffer a momentary lapse of faith, the consequences of which would have been eternal! Satan tried to get Jesus to doubt the Father’s will.

Each time, Jesus answered with memorized scripture. He answered, “It is written…” (see Luke 4: 3-13). Beloved, we will never win the battle against unbelief until the Word of God is in our hearts and minds.

When we casually gloss over the Word without deliberately absorbing it, the scriptures easily go in one ear and out the other.  We must deliberately feed on the Word while we are fasting and praying if we want our faith to grow.

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16, emphasis added).

Feeding our Faith Means Renewing

We worship God when we fast and pray:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).

When we fast and pray, we present our bodies (and the meals we forfeit) to God as a living sacrifice, a memorial that forever remains before His throne. The worship that we offer God through fasting helps keep us sensitive to the Holy Spirit and obedient to Him, resulting in a holy life.

This passage in Romans continues, though. Notice what else should accompany fasting and prayer:

“1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2).

A mind renewal should accompany our fasting and prayer.  How does this take place? Through God’s Word. Our minds must be “washed by the cleansing of God’s word” (Ephesians 5:26). As we meditate on God’s Word, old thought patterns and perspectives are washed away and new ones are instilled.

Feeding our Faith Means Renovating

How does this relate to faith? To “renew” in the original language means to “renovate.” If someone is renovating a house, they don’t just clean it off on the outside, leaving everything the same on the inside. No, they will change fixtures, update appliances, restore wood floors, re-carpet, update wallpaper, paint walls and possibly repair electrical and plumbing problems. And that’s in a conservative case. I’ve known people to temporarily take the roof off of a one-story house in order to add a second floor. In other words, to renovate means to completely overhaul!

How can we completely overhaul our mind and thoughts of unbelief if we don’t replace incorrect thoughts with the truth of God’s Word? And how are we going to take captive our thoughts to the obedience of Christ if the Word of God isn’t in our heart and mind, ready on our tongue?

“17Apply your mind to my knowledge…18Keep them in your mind [believing them]; your lips will be accustomed to [confessing] them. 19So that your trust (belief, reliance, support, and confidence) may be in the Lord” (Proverbs 22:17-19, AMPC).

Did you catch what that said?  God is essentially saying, “Keep my words in your mind. If you do, you will be used to speaking them. When you continually confess and speak my words (what is true in Heaven concerning your situation), you will have belief, reliance, trust and confidence in me. Your faith will increase!”

When we confess the same thing about our situation that God does, faith is exercised. When faith is exercised, God moves from Heaven to earth.

If we truly want a breakthrough in our lives, we must internalize God’s Word. When we eat something, we chew it. We internalize it. We ingest it. Glossing over the pages of God’s Word while we’re fasting won’t cut it. We’ve got to eat His Word, just as Jeremiah did!

Fasting is a way of reminding our fleshly bodies that they don’t live by bread alone, but by the Bread of Life and every word from His mouth.

God led the Israelites in the wilderness for forty years to “humble” them (fasting is self-humbling) and to test them in order to know  what was in their heart (fasting is cleansing). Deuteronomy 8:3 says of the Israelites:

“He humbled you…to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”

We fast to humble and cleanse ourselves, to put our flesh under the authority of the Spirit and to remind our bodies that they are to live off of the Word of God. To live off of it, we must internalize it. The only way to internalize it is to memorize it.

Feeding our Faith Means Memorizing

What are you doing to ingest God’s Word while you are on your fast?

  • Are there promises in the Bible that relate to your cause for fasting?
  • Is there scriptural precedent for your cause for fasting – a time when someone else in scripture fasted for the same reason you’re fasting?
  • Or is there a time someone in the Bible received the same result you desire after a season in which they fasted?

God, who was faithful to them, has not changed. He will be faithful to you! I encourage you to memorize an applicable verse from that passage.

If you aren’t sure of a Biblical fasting scenario that relates to your need, then do a search of the words “fast” in the Bible. This can be done online (www.crosswalk.com or www.biblegateway.com) or in an exhaustive concordance.

Or you can also find an applicable Biblical instance of fasting by perusing the pages of this blog. Just look under “Article Categories,” then “Fasting” to see all of the blog posts on this topic, or click “Fasting” at the top of this page. There are over 100 posts that contain many of the Biblical instances of fasting. (Click here to see all of the fasting posts.)

You might also consider memorizing portions of Isaiah 58 that apply to your cause for fasting. Isaiah 58 is the faster’s chapter. In it are many amazing promises God made to fasters!

Whatever your means, I encourage you to complete the following goal: By the end of the fast (13 days) have a Word from God concerning each matter about which you are fasting, and have at least one of the scriptures memorized, if not all.

Remember that faith begins with checking in with Heaven first, just as Jesus did, to find out what God’s will is in Heaven. We should never arbitrarily choose what we feel God’s answer should be on our matter. We must wait on Him with an open Bible and a listening ear. When God has breathed upon a passage for you, by all means, memorize it! Instantly you will feel unbelief fade away and your faith increase!

Question: What passage(s) of scripture are you memorizing while you are fasting and praying?

 

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