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From the Archives: Fasting Day 5

Library-Laptop-fasting-archives

Fasting Day 5 Posts from the Archives:


 

Praise You, Jesus: Alphabet of Praise, Part 2

Jesus

The previous post began an alphabet of praise to Jesus for who He is. This is the continuation of the alphabet beginning with the letter N.

Name above all names
Your name is perfume poured out
The nail-pierced hand holding mine
My nourishment
My need-meeter

Never-failing
Absolutely necessary and absolutely enough
My nothing-is-impossible

God Only Son of the Father
The only true God
One my heart desires
One who chose me and called me
Omniscient, all-knowing and all knowledge
Omnipotent, all-powerful One
God Omnipresent, always-here
One who gives me rest
One who restores my soul
One who anoints my head with oil and causes my cup to overflow
One who gathers me under Your wings
My overcomer

My prophet, priest, and king
My pardon
My physician
My portion
My protector
Prince of peace . . .

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Fasting Day 5: Six Encouraging Reminders

Remember

Over the years that I’ve been fasting, I’ve encountered the following six issues. These vital reminders are not only encouraging, they can determine whether or not you are successful in keeping your fast, whether it’s a joyful or joyless experience, and whether or not your fasting is effective.

If you’re like me, you’ve no doubt had thoughts of quitting by now. The thought may be fleeting, but it does cross your mind now and then. You’ve likely felt so bad that you’ve not had the desire or energy to pray. You’ve struggled with others’ opinions of your fast. You’ve battled discouragement and doubt as to whether your fast is accomplishing anything (other than making you miserable).

We’re human. When we fast, we’re going to struggle with one or two of these things, if not all of them. Some fasts are worse for me; some better. But when I stop and remember these six things, I hear a coach on the sidelines cheering me on! Giving me guidance! Giving me the tools and perspective necessary to persevere and fast effectively. I hear reminders that actually take some pressure off of my “performance” and enable me to enjoy what God is doing through my fast!  You know these things, but it’s so helpful to hear them again:

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Fasting Day 18: Renewal in the Desert

Dry 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.” . . .

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Fasting Day 5: Expecting Anointing, Part 1

wineskine

One day John the Baptist’s disciples questioned Jesus about fasting. They wanted to know why Jesus’ followers didn’t follow the Jewish custom of fasting. . . .

Jesus used two illustrations to explain that the old way of fasting and the new way could not mix. The New Covenant was about to be established and with it, all things were going to change – even fasting.

In the Old Testament, fasting had to do with mourning, seeking God’s help in a crisis or seeking God so that He might turn back judgment (see Jonah 3:5-9). But under the New Covenant, we don’t fast to change God’s mind. We don’t fast to achieve forgiveness or merit with God. All of that is under the blood of Jesus Christ! When we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, all of our sins were forgiven!

In Awakening, Stovall Weems describes the difference between fasting under the Old and New Covenant,

Under the Old Covenant, the entire mind-set was to “do in order to become.” But under the New Covenant, the operative principle is “you already are, therefore act like it” — rejoice and celebrate that Christ has set you free (Galatians 5:1)! [i]

The old is very different from the new. To illustrate this, Jesus used the example of putting a patch of new cloth on an old garment. Next, He compared old and new wineskins.

At that time, wine was stored in wineskins. The wineskin had to be soft, pliable and expandable in order to hold new wine. As the new wine would ferment, it would cause the wineskin to expand. Such an expansion would cause old wineskins to crack and break if filled with new wine. The wine would spill and go to waste. . . .

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Fasting Day 5: New Anointing

grapes

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).”

. . . .

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. . . .

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