Faith Messages to build your faith

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

#103 Fasting As Self Denial

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: Fasting is a God- ordained form of self-denial. The  very nature of intercession calls for as much or more self-denial than any other form of spiritual activity.

   The major work of prayer and fasting from food is normally in secret. We think of fasting as abstaining primarily from food. However, fasting may include abstaining from such normal activities as sleep, recreation, and other special enjoyments. (Google image, Praying man).

   As far as possible, it should include abstaining from social relations with others while you fast. You may need to fast while still discharging family responsibilities or your regular work, or you may be able to get completely alone for the fast period (1 Cor. 7:5).

   Andrew Bonar defined fasting as abstaining from anything that hindered prayer. Though himself an avid reader, he had to fast at times from his excessive love for reading to find time to commune with God.

   Phillps Brooks described fasting as abstaining from anything innocent in itself in order to grow more spiritually or serve God more effectively. Perhaps for our generation fasting should often be from radio and TV in order to give ourselves more totally and intensely to prayer.

   The purpose of fasting is (1) to subject the physical to the spiritual and to give priority to spiritual goals; (2) to disentangle oneself for a time from one's environment, material things, daily responsibilities, and care; and (3) to devote one'e whole spiritual attention to God and prayer.

   We do not imply that daily duties and life's necessities are unholy or unspiritual; rather, we subject permissible things, even profitable things, to greater spiritual priorities.

   Andrew Murray taught, 

    "Prayer is the one hand with which we grasp the Invisible;
     fasting the other, with which we let loose and cast away
     the visible."

   Fasting added to prayer makes our communion more precious to the Lord and our intercession more powerful in its ministry to the Lord (Acts 13:2), as He royally intercedes from heaven's throne (Rom. 8:34). What, then, is the role of fasting?

   Fasting is integral to a life of deep devotion and intercession. Anna the prophetess is a beautiful example of such a lifestyle (Luke 2:37). Fasting is  essential to a life of personal spiritual discipline, and such discipline greatly enhances and empowers prevailing prayer.

   When you long to strengthen and discipline your prayer habits and to add a new dimension to your prevailing in prayer, add fasting. When you seek to humble yourself before God in total submission to His will and in total dependence on His almighty power, add fasting.

   When you face an overwhelming need, a human impossibility, and your soul hungers to see God intervene by supernatural power, add fasting.

   You and I have no more right to omit fasting because we feel no special emotional prompting than we have a right to omit prayer, Bible reading, or assembling with God's children for lack of some special emotional prompting. Fasting is just as biblical and normal a part of a spiritual walk of obedience with God as are these others.

   There may be times when physically you cannot fast more than one or two meals, rather than a full day or more. Perhaps your responsibilities demand that you eat, alone or with others. But you can still fast. Do like Daniel. He fasted partially for three weeks, and God wonderfully honored his fast.

   As a prime minister he had to attend some functions. He had to preserve his strength and could not hibernate for three weeks. So Daniel fasted from choice food (i.e., he ate only the bare essentials) and from the use of lotions (Dan. 10:3).

   God is not a slave driver. He understands your health and your situation. He wants to keep you well and effective. Ask the Spirit's guidance, and He will show you how and when to fast. But as far as possible, spend the fast mealtimes in prayer. Set apart a period of hours for prayer, especially if you are in a prayer battle.

   Satan does not want you to fast. He did not want Jesus to fast. He will try to tempt you with the thought of food. He will try to get you to forget your commitment to fast, just as he tries to keep you
from prayer. Satan tries to make you hesitate to fast, to procrastinate about fasting.

   Why be surprised? He fears  tremendously lest your prayer be empowered by fasting. He may even temporarily try to battle you all the more if you fast. He may become desperate. You are greatly endangering his work when you fast and pray.

Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana (With Jean's impressions added)

Mighty Prevailing Prayer
#103 Fasting As Self Denial
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

(pp. 183 -185) Zondervan

            Praying man 


    Father, I would appreciate your guidance in my decision to do some fasting, as I know You know what would be the most effective to draw me closer to You, and to become stronger in my faith and determination to serve You.
   I can see that adding fasting to my praying would please You, and that my intercession would become more powerful in my ministry efforts.
   Help me seek to humble myself before You in total submission to Your will, and may I totally depend on Your almighty power during my fasting efforts.
   I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Today's Bible verses-

(Ps. 68:35 KJV) "O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy place; the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God."

(Neh. 8:10 KJV) "For the joy of the LORD is your strength."

(Ps. 118:25 KJV) "Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity!"

Today's quote-

Wesley L. Duewel- "Surrender totally to Christ's lordship. Make a total consecration of all you are, all you have, and all your future. Present yourself in the totality of your being—body, soul, and spirit. 
   Offer up yourself as a living sacrifice to be wholly God's. this may well involve a dying to your own self-will in one or several areas. You must die to your carnal selfness, to all that is of "the world." You can now say with Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me: (Gal. 2:20). (Taken from p. 311 of his book, ABLAZE FOR GOD.

Today's popular post-

Lisa Buffaloe: You whisper in my heart… Come away, my beloved. My heart moans with longing, and I tear myself from the shackles and constraints placed on myself. And I come into Your presence where You wait with open arms. Your Holy Spirit envelopes, breathes, and rains on my thirsty soul.

Upcoming posts-

#104 In The Path of Prayer
6th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Begin Where You Are
8th- Saturday's post by Dave Roper

#105 Fasting Strengthens Prayer
11th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#106 United Fasting
13th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

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1 comment:

  1. This was very thought provoking for me. I think God is speaking to me through your writing. Thank you for this post. Debbie