Fasting Day 21 Posts from the Archives:
- How to Successfully End Your Fast
- Why Does God Reward Fasting
- You’re Already All I Need
- Kings and Priests
- A Closing Prayer
- Shout: Audio Message
- Returning in Power, Part 6
- Returning in Power: Audio Message
- Healing Oil
- The I Am … For Your Every Need (3): Action Point
- Five Ways to Use the Praise Series (The Names & Attributes of God)
Congratulations! You made it! You’re on the very last day of your fast! Did you ever think it would go by so quickly?!
I’m proud of you for persevering to the end. I’ve received a few messages from fasters who struggled and contemplated throwing in the towel. But God reminded them this is a marathon, not a sprint; if you fall, you can get back up and run to the finish line. And now…here you are! A few hours away from the finish line! Let’s finish well!
Let’s take a look at how to end your fast physically and how to end it spiritually…
Have you been fasting counting on God to reward?
Why does God respond to fasting? Fasting is from Him, through Him and to Him. It originates from Him, is enabled by Him and expresses helplessness and hope in Him, which draws attention to His glory. God’s ultimate commitment is to His glory….
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him”
(Psalm 34:8). (Tweet this)
This is why we fast—to taste and see that Jesus is already all we need. We take refuge in Him and express confidence in nothing around us but Him. Fasting demonstrates our dependence on Him—our trust that He will provide all our needs.
Fasting helps us turn to the only food that can truly satisfy and meet our need—the Bread of Life. Once we’ve tasted Him compared to all the lesser things we’ve been filling ourselves with, we realize what we’ve been missing. We’re reminded afresh there’s nothing we could desire that could ever compare to Him. How could we have settled for so much less for so long?
We’ve been redeemed by Christ’s blood and made kings and priests unto God. We participate in the dual ministry of Christ. As kings, we rule with Him. As priests, we share His ministry of prayer and intercession. We can’t separate these two functions. If we’re to rule as kings, we must serve as priests.
The practice of our priestly ministry is the key to the exercise of our kingly authority. It’s through prayer and intercession that we administer the authority that is ours in the name of Jesus.
The rod of Christ’s authority, exercised in His name, is sent out through their prayers. Every direction in which the rod is extended, evil forces are forced to yield. Christ in turn is exalted! His kingdom is advanced!
… Father, thank you for the blood of Jesus that purchased our salvation. Thank you that we’re able to fast for the fun of it, not for the “earn” of it. Thanks to the spotless Lamb and His blood shed for us, we don’t have to do anything to earn our salvation! We didn’t have to fast to punish ourselves and earn something with You. But we have the privilege of fasting so that we can feast on You! Wow, Lord! We get to simply dine — to come to the table and feast, no fee, no prerequisite other than accepting your free gift of grace.
We enjoyed our time with You these twenty-one days! Now help us resume eating without losing an ounce of our intimacy with You. Without losing a shred of our sensitivity and obedience to Your Spirit.
“To set the oppressed free and break every yoke” (Isaiah 58:6)
Father, you know our causes for fasting. May our voices be heard on High. Hear from heaven and revive spiritually, increase faith, give a breakthrough, saved loved ones, heal bodies, provide financially, rescue businesses, give anointing and provision for ministries, restore marriages, give wisdom and direction, loose bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, set the oppressed free, and break every yoke of slavery!
“Is it not to share your food with the hungry…” (Isaiah 58:7)
We know that Jesus expected us to fast, but He also expected us to pray and to give too (Matthew 6). Help us be generous with everything we have — to not only give our tithes but offerings too. Show us how to meet the needs of others, for this is what is mentioned in the faster’s chapter, Isaiah 58. Start by showing us someone this week whose needs we can help meet.
Lord, You promised that when we engaged in the chosen fast our light would break forth like the dawn and Your glory would be our rear guard. Our dark night of confusion would become like the noon day. So Father, for those fasting for guidance, I claim wisdom and direction as clear as the noon day. For those praying for protection for loved ones, I claim your glory and presence as their very protection.
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins…” (Isaiah 58:12)
I speak blessing and anointing and the authority of Your Holy Spirit over every home represented in this fast. Isaiah 58:12 promises that when we enter Your chosen fast, “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations.”
Where families and relationships are in ruin and desolation, restore, Lord! The meanings of the words in this passage are full of promise for families. “Rebuilding ancient ruins” means:
- To rebuild, or establish, restored exiles. [Restore captive marriages and relationships, Lord.]
- To build and establish something new [and many faster’s are building new families, some from waste places, Lord, as you know.]
- To “cause to continue” and to be made permanent. [Father, in each faster’s life, build a godly home and heritage that will last and continue for generations.]
In the phrase, “You will raise up a foundation for many generations,” the word “up” means:
- to arise, stand up
- become powerful
- to come on the scene – [Lord, if there are unsaved children and grandchildren, parents, or spouses, cause them to come on the scene spiritually! We claim them for Your kingdom!]
- to be established, to endure, to be fixed, to be proven, to set up, erect, to raise up, rouse, stir up, to station
- to make binding
Wow! What implications for us, God!
“Foundation” has the idea of fixing something firmly: “to found, to be settled, to ordain.”
May Your stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, be our sure foundation … for our families, for our businesses, for our ministries, for our careers, for every step that we take this year.
“He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land…” (v.11) …
Are you waiting to see tangible results from your fasting before you praise God?
When God told Joshua to march around Jericho, scripture says it was a “tightly shut up” city.
What the Israelites saw was not a city delivered into their hands. No one was going out or coming into Jericho. It was tightly shut up.
God told Joshua, I have delivered this city into your hands, so march as if it is done. March off your territory.Joshua ordered the priests to take up the ark of the covenant and told the people to advance and march around the city.
Joshua had commanded the people, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” (v.10).
Joshua and the Israelites fasted words. The same piece of equipment we speak with is the same piece of equipment we eat with—our tongue!
When you began your year with a fast, you probably had many heavy burdens on your heart – things you want to see God do this year. Perhaps they seem otherwise impossible apart from fasting and prayer.
Your situation is very similar to that of Joshua and the Israelites when God told them to march around Jericho.
Do you desire to establish a godly heritage for your family? Do you have family relationships that need to be restored? Are you praying for a lost loved one? Isaiah 58:12 contains powerful promises for you.
When we enter God’s chosen fast, He promises:
“You shall raise up the foundations of many generations” (Isaiah 58:12).
Ezra called a fast for the sake of “little ones:”
I proclaimed a fast there…that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones (Ezra 8:21).
Do you have children who have walked away from the Lord? Are you concerned about the future of your grandchildren? Are you praying for the salvation of family members? Claim this promise!
Fasting and prayer is a way to lay a spiritual foundation for you and your family for generations to come.
When fasting, it is vital to know what scriptural precedents apply to your causes for fasting. Not only will this provide encouragement, it also helps you know how to pray and how to believe God to respond in your situation.
In scripture there was always a reason that a fast was called. We need to know those reasons. We need to know what God did in the lives of those in the Bible who fasted. We must have scriptural basis for our faith and expectation in God’s response to our prayer and fasting.
As we return from our time of separation unto God through fasting, I am going to take a moment to highlight some of these truths using the framework of Isaiah 58, the fasters chapter.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
When we practice fasting rightly, we can expect God to anoint us with His healing oil! Fasting gives us “new wineskins” and prepares us to receive this anointing.
Fasting and New Anointing
God cannot put new anointing, new wine, into old wine skins.
“No 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. 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 2:21-22).
When Jesus talks about old wine skins being unable to hold new wine, He is doing so in the context of fasting. (See Mark 2:18-20. See also Expecting Anointing, Part 1)
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. With new ‘skin’, God can give us new wine, new miracles, new power, new closeness with Christ.
In the Bible, wine symbolizes the Holy Spirit. When we became a Christian, we received the Holy Spirit inside the wineskin of our body. Throughout our life as a believer, God continually desires to do new things in us—to bring expansion and growth through His Spirit. But we need new wineskins to contain it.
Anointed with Oil
The Bible speaks of three occasions of anointing.
1. An anointing of respect or hospitality. A person was anointed to signify respect and hospitality. This was also a way to welcome guests into a home. (Mk 14:8; 16:1; Luke 7:46)
2. An anointing for service, for priests (Ex. 28:41), prophets (1 Ki. 19:16) and Kings (1 Sam. 10:1).
3. An anointing for medicinal purposes (I Sam. 1:6; Lk. 10:34; Jas. 5:14 & Rev. 3:18).
Jesus Christ, “the anointed one,” is the summation of all three types of anointing referenced above.
Scripture speaks of how:
“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (Acts 10:38).
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
Notice that “anointing” includes:
- Spiritual power through the Holy Spirit
- Equipping to proclaim good news to the poor—to proclaim the good news of the Gospel
- Freedom for prisoners
- Sight where it was lost
- Release for the oppressed
- Proclaiming the Lord’s favor
Anointed by the Good Shepherd
Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd (John 10:11). The Bible refers to you and me as His sheep. In real life, the shepherd would anoint the sheep in order to heal wounds and protect against dangers.
As they would enter the fold, the shepherd would examine the sheep individually. With a horn of oil, he would anoint a knee bruised by rocks or a side scratched by thorns.
We, like sheep, can have wounds—wounds of the heart and mind.
Attending the Weary
As the sheep each passed by the shepherd, he not only anointed the wounded, he attended the needs of the weary one. For this worn and exhausted sheep, the good shepherd bathed its face and head with the refreshing olive oil, then took his two-handled cup, dipped it brimming full into the water provided for this purpose and let the weary sheep drink.
God cares not just about the wounded and the endangered, but also about the worn and weary.
In the passage above from Luke chapter 4, Jesus was quoting Isaiah 61:1-2, which says,
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…”
Beloved, the Spirit of the LORD will bind and heal your wounded heart and weary mind.
“I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls” (Jeremiah 31:25, MSG).
At some point, the circumstances of life will render each of us drained, wounded, and in great need. But there is good news! Every need we have—and could ever have—has been met in Christ.
I’d like to share an exercise with you that I found life-changing when life rendered me utterly broken and in great need.
Gaze Turned Upward to God
It was the first Sunday of the month—my Sunday morning to pray in the prayer room during the worship service at church. I almost didn’t go. The incredibly tough months recently, on top of a rough few years, had caught up with me. I was not only emotionally broken and drained dry, I felt completely unable to pray.
Driving to church, I had to pull over because I was crying so hard I couldn’t see the road. I considered turning around and going home. Given the shape I was in, I certainly didn’t want to see people and visit. But worse than that, it seemed I was unable to serve in my area responsibility that morning. I couldn’t even pray for myself, let alone intercede for the church and those attending the service. But oddly, I felt compelled of the Lord to go. I didn’t understand why, but I went.
When I arrived, the prayer room was empty. The other woman with whom I pray was absent. A sigh of relief swept over me. At least I wouldn’t have to be around anyone.
In no shape to pray, I began thumbing through a thick book someone had placed on the table—Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter. It was the first time I had seen the book in the room. And I needed an aid in prayer—something to help me get in the word, get beyond myself and get started praying.
Then it happened. I read the following by Sylvia Gunter and God met me! Instantly!
The fasting content this year has been peppered with posts about acknowledging and praising God for who He is. I felt led to focus our attention on God—not on ourselves or our causes for fasting. Why?
God allows needs to enter our lives so that we will come to Him for the supply. He allows our needs in order to draw us closer to Himself—and reveal Himself to us in the process. If we spend our entire fasting time focused on our needs more than on God, we’re defeating His glorious purpose!
The posts centering our attention on God are:
- Praise You, Jesus: Alphabet of Praise, Part 1
- Praise You Jesus: Alphabet of Praise, Part 2
- My God Is: Names of God
- 300+ Names, Titles, and Attributes of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- The I Am … For Your Every Need (1): In Christ Is …
- The I Am … For Your Every Need (2): Praise Party
- The I Am … For Your Every Need (3): Action Point
These posts include alphabetical lists of the names, titles, and attributes of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are a five ways you can use this content throughout the year in your private devotions and group prayer meetings.
1. In your private devotional time—read these lists aloud to put your focus squarely on God and engender praise and worship.
2. Record the names and attributes of God in your phone voice memo app or another app, and listen to it during your daily routine—for example, during a commute, or while getting dressed for work in the mornings.
3. Use the lists in group prayer time for a confession of praise. Let everyone take a letter of the alphabet and read God’s names and attributes aloud.