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Countering the Enemy’s Offensive (Part 1): Don’t Stop Fasting Prematurely

Countering the Enemy's Offensive

There’s one thing you must know if you’re going to be successful on your fast—the enemy is going to launch an attack against you. Powers of darkness will go on the offensive against you. They’ll send everything in their arsenal your way in an attempt to discourage you and cause you to abandon your fast.

The bottom line is this: Expect resistance from the enemy! Know in advance that it’s going to come. If you’re prepared, you’ll be able to properly identify it when it comes and avoid falling prey to the enemy’s tricks.

Opposition to Daniel’s Fast

The enemy tries to get you to abandon your fast prematurely because fasting sets spiritual forces in motion. Take Daniel’s fast for example.

Daniel’s twenty-one day fast is recorded in Daniel chapter ten.

“At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over” (Daniel 10:2-3).

An angel was sent in response to Daniel’s fasting and prayer:

“You who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you… Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them” (Daniel 10:11-12).

The first day Daniel began to fast, God heard his prayer and an angel was sent from Heaven with his answer. Well then, why was the delivery delayed? The Prince of Persia battled fiercely, detaining the angel until Michael came to help.

“Since the first day … your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia” (Daniel 10:11-13).

The angelic battle lasted the same amount of time as Daniel’s fasting and prayer.

What if Daniel had become discouraged and abandoned his fast before day twenty-one?

Daniel’s fasting not only resulted in a response from God, it affected the delivery of His answer. It affected the outcome of the spiritual battle that delayed it.

If Daniel had stopped fasting even one day too soon, the victory could have been forfeited. Daniel might have aborted his answers to prayer.

It was later revealed to Daniel that while he was engaging in fasting and prayer those twenty-one days, he was:

  1. Making a difference
  2. Upsetting power structures
  3. Effecting the outcome of spiritual battles

Fasting puts the power of God at work. It agitates Satan and demon spirits. So we shouldn’t be surprised by their attacks, caught off guard, and defeated.

One way we can hand the enemy our defeat is by stopping our fast prematurely.

Don’t Stop Your Fast Prematurely

Like Daniel, you and I can’t see what is taking place in the heavenly realm as a result of our fasting and prayer.

Our fasting could not only be resulting in a response from God, it could be affecting the delivery of that answer from Him. A spiritual battle could be taking place, detaining the one delivering our answer to prayer. And our fasting could be affecting the very outcome of that battle.

“…Beware of the devil’s temptation, usually through difficulties and discouragements, of breaking off the fast prematurely.” ~ Arthur Wallis [1]

Whatever the end date you felt God set for your fast (after yesterday’s post, you’ve no doubt written it down by today), don’t stop fasting prematurely! Don’t stop before that end date! If you do, you might abort your answers to prayer!

Don’t Expect Congratulations from Enemy Forces

Do not expect Satan and demon spirits to congratulate you on your fast!

They’ll try to get you focused on how you feel. Or, if you’ve felt too weak and sick with a headache to sense God’s presence in a special way these first few days, the enemy will try to get you focused on that. They’ll try to get you to conclude fasting is hopeless and give up.

You will hear them whisper things such as:

  • “Your fasting isn’t working. Nothing is happening. It’s a waste.”
  • “You’re too tired. You have too much responsibility to compromise your strength right now.”
  • “You’re going to die. Doing without food is going to kill you. Don’t you feel how sick you already are?”
  • “Your situation is beyond hope anyway. You’ll never get a breakthrough. You don’t feel anything different, do you? See there—it’s not working.”

If not through gentle whispers, demonic forces may come after you through difficulties and trials. Opposition and hopelessness may confront you at every turn.

A Testimony of Triumph

In the years that I’ve led Pursuit 21, I’ve seen some of the most stressful life-events happen to people while they’re fasting. One of the most vivid accounts in my memory is the grandmother I wrote about in Shout. A child’s physical and emotional well-being—and entire future—hung in the balance. As his grandmother fasted for him, she encountered terrible trials and earth-shattering stress (apart from the issues with the courts and CPS). The traumatic events that threatened to derail her fast came out of left field!

But this grandmother persevered. She overcame discouragement and temptations to abandon her fast. She praised God in advance for his faithful answer. And as you can read in her account, God came through! Six years later, her grandson is safe and sound, delivered from the harmful situation—still experiencing the fruit of his grandmother’s fasting and prayer.

So beloved, whatever you do, don’t quite prematurely!!!! Don’t let all the enemy succeed in his attempts to derail your fast!

TweetablesTweetables

  • The enemy IS going to launch an attack against you during your fast. Be prepared and win the battle! Click to tweet Tweet
  • The enemy will tempt you to stop your fast prematurely. But if you do, you could abort your answers to #prayer. Click to tweet Tweet
  • Fasting puts the power of God at work, and agitates demonic spirits. So we shouldn’t be surprised by their attacks. Click to tweet Tweet
  • Your #fasting and #prayer are making a difference and effecting the outcome of spiritual battles. Click to tweet Tweet

Questions:

  • Is it hard to conceive that your fast is making a difference, upsetting power structures, and effecting the outcome of spiritual battles—like Daniel’s fast did? It is!
  • In what ways have enemy forces gone on the offensive against you? Have they used discouragement … or tried to get you to focus on how you feel … or worked through life events?
  • Are you being tempted to stop your fast prematurely?
  • Have you made a commitment that come hell or high water, you will persevere all the way to the finish line? That you’ll not stop even one day too soon? 

 

OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES:

FROM THE FASTING ARCHIVES:

 

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[1] Arthur Wallis, God’s Chosen Fast (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publications, 1968), 114

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