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Fasting Day 5: Renewal in the Desert

 

Sometimes our relationship with God seems distant. We feel empty, like we’re in a spiritual desert.

Have you been dry spiritually? Do you feel like you’re in a desert season – with no fire, no passion, no love of God’s word, no longing for prayer? When you’re in a dry spiritual season, one of the greatest things you can do is fast.

Consider three scriptural instances of fasting.

1. Jesus in the Desert

Consider Jesus’ example. In the first days of His earthly ministry, Jesus went through a desert. However, He fasted, and when He came out of the dry desert place, He came out changed, ignited with the Spirit’s power.

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he…ate nothing….14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit… (Luke 4:1,14, emphasis added).

Notice the change. Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” when He was led into the desert to fast. When He returned from forty days of fasting, He returned “in the power of the Spirit.”

If we truly commit ourselves to prayer during the fast (and we don’t merely diet by omitting prayer), when we return from our fast, we’ll return with new anointing, new power of the Holy Spirit in our lives!

2. Fasting and New Wineskins

“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.” No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And 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 2:19-22).

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.

3. The Samuel Fast

God called Samuel as a young boy to lead Israel. Before he became a man, Israel sinned by taking the Ark of the Covenant into battle as a good luck charm. For this offense, God allowed the Philistines to defeat Israel.  Not only did they defeat Israel, they took the Ark of the Covenant as plunder.

The Ark of the Covenant symbolized God’s presence – the place where He dwelled. To lose the Ark meant losing God’s presence among them.  This was so grievous to the Israelites that when the wife of Phinehas (one of the priests guilty for the spiritual decay) gave birth to her child, she named him Ichabod, saying, “’The glory has departed from Israel!’ because the Ark of God had been captured.  “Ichabod” means “where is the glory?”

Many of us are living Ichabod – God’s presence is gone. Perhaps we come to church week after week, but we no longer feel God’s presence closely, intimately like we once did. We have no revival in our soul – where we are broken but alive spiritually.

In this instance, Samuel called Israel to a fast. National revival resulted from Samuel’s leadership and the fast that he called (See 1 Samuel 7).

There is no better time to fast than when we feel we’ve lost closeness with God and passion for His word. (For more on the Samuel fast, see also On the Attack and Where is the Glory).

“When I feel myself growing dry spiritually, when I don’t sense that cutting-edge anointing, or when I need a fresh encounter with God, fasting is the secret key that unlocks heaven’s door and slams shut the gates of hell.  The discipline of fasting releases the anointing, the favor, and the blessing of God in the life of a Christian.”

– Jentezen Franklin, Fasting [Affiliate Link]

Moment of Worship: “Let It Rain”

Led by Banning Liebscher & Jesus Culture
From the album Come Away [Affiliate Link]

 

Bible Reading: Luke 4:1-2, 14; Mark 2:19-22; 1 Samuel 7

Prayer Focus:  Have you grown dry spiritually? Do you want new anointing and a fresh encounter with God?

  1. Abide in His presence as you fast.
  2. Make time to pray and meditate on the Word.
  3. Repent of idolatries. Admit your need for God’s presence.
  4. Allow the Holy Spirit to anoint you anew.

 

FROM THE FASTING ARCHIVES:

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

One Response to “Fasting Day 5: Renewal in the Desert”

  1. Botox Leeds says:

    I love such type of thrilled events. Awesome sharing of fasting 5th day.

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