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The Practice of Fasting (Part 5)

11 Jun
[audio http://theprayermotivatorminute.buzzsprout.com/3196/50999-the-practice-of-fasting-part-5.mp3]

We praise the Lord for allowing us to complete the first ten day fast which began on June 1st and ended on Sunday, June 10th. We are thankful to the Lord for all of you who have fasted with us on this first leg of the 40 day fast which spreads across four months (10 days per month in June, July, August, and October). We praise the Lord for those who joined us for the 24 hour fast on this past Wednesday, June 6th. We also praise the Lord for those who are fasting for 40 days and 40 nights under the leadership of Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Dr. Jim Garlow, Bishop Harry Jackson Jr, Bishop Joseph Mattera, Tony Perkins, Dr. Rick Scarborough, and others. God has brought many Christian leaders together during this time of fasting and prayer and we are looking for God to work in America and the world. No amount of voting, marching, protesting, or signing of documents can match the power of thousands of Christians who are sincerely fasting and praying unto God.

One of the things about fasting is that once you get going, you may feel like you want to continue. If the Lord is leading you to do this, please feel free to go ahead and continue fasting for 21 days or for 40 days. The other thing you can consider doing is continuing your fast with a Daniel fast. Basically, the Daniel Fast is a biblically based fast that comes from the example of Daniel in the Bible. This fast consists of three basic guidelines: (1) Only eat fruits and vegetables; (2) Only drink water as a beverage; and (3) Do not eat any sweeteners, meat or bread, or drink any wine.

Dr. Elmer Towns has a chapter on the Daniel Fast in his book, “Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough”. I would encourage you to buy this book and read it as you go on this journey. I will be sharing some important points with you regarding the Daniel Fast from this book from time to time. For now, allow me to share with you the eight point prescription and the five practical aspects of the Daniel Fast that Dr. Towns gives.

The Prescription
(1) Begin your fast by defining the problem, then pray for a specific answer to the problem.
(2) Fast as a spiritual commitment to God for His answer.
(3) Your fast-commitment is an outer test that reflects an inner desire.
(4) Fast and pray to understand the role of sin that keeps you from health/healing.
(5) Your fast is a statement of faith to others.
(6) The Daniel Fast is not done privately.
(7) Know the potential of the food you eat during the Daniel Fast.
(8) Yield all physical results to God.

The Practical Aspects
(1) The Daniel Fast will lead to spiritual insight.
(2) It is longer than one day.
(3) It is a partial fast, not a complete fast.
(4) The Daniel Fast involves eating healthy food.
(5) The Daniel Fast involves abstinence from “party” food.

Many people go on this fast for health reasons and it requires a commitment of your faith, time, and testimony to Christ. Again, if you choose to go on this fast, you do not need to let us know. Throughout this week, I will be providing further information specifically related to the Daniel Fast on some of these broadcasts and on http://www.gospellightsociety.com.

Please be reminded as you fast to continue to pray for the following among other things:

1. For God to heal Christian families
2. For God to revive the church
3. For God to heal the nation
4. For 3 million or more people to come to Christ
5. And if the Lord is going to tarry His coming, for God to give us the godly leadership that this nation needs going forward.

Our Scripture reading for today is Isaiah 58:1-14 from the King James Version which reads:

1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Allow me to share with you some important points regarding this passage from Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

In this passage, we see secondly that this fast provides lodging for those that want it: It is to take care of the poor that are cast out, that are forced from their dwelling, turned out of house and harbour, are cast out as rebels (so some critics render it), that are attainted, and whom therefore it is highly penal to protect. “If they suffer unjustly, make no difficulty of sheltering them; do not only find out quarters for them and pay for their lodging elsewhere, but, which is a greater act of kindness, bring them to thy own house, make them thy own guests. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for though thou mayest not, as some have done, thereby entertain angels, thou mayest entertain Christ himself, who will recompense it in the resurrection of the just. I was a stranger and you took me in.’’

We will continue discussing this passage in our next broadcast.

Our fasting quote of encouragement today is from Thomas Boston. He said: “In vain will ye fast, and pretend to be humbled for our sins, and make confession of them if our love of sin be not turned into hatred; our liking of it into loathing; and our cleaving to it, into a longing to be rid of it; with full purpose to resist the motions of it in our heart, and the outbreakings thereof in our life; and if we turn not unto God as our rightful Lord and Master, and return to our duty again.”

Our fasting devotional today is part 5 of our series titled “THE PRACTICE OF FASTING” from Richard J. Foster in his book “Celebration of Discipline”.

By the fourth day the hunger pains are beginning to subside though you will have feelings of weakness and occasional dizziness. The dizziness is only temporary and caused by sudden changes in position. Move more slowly and you will have no difficulty. The weakness can come to the point where the simplest task takes great effort. Rest is the best remedy. Many find this the most difficult period of the fast.

By the sixth or seventh day you will begin to feel stronger and more alert. Hunger pains will continue to diminish until by the ninth and tenth day they are only a minor irritation. The body will have eliminated the bulk of toxins and you will feel good. Your sense of concentration will be sharpened and you will feel as if you could continue fasting indefinitely. Physically this is the most enjoyable part of the fast.

Now, let’s take this moment to break up the fallow ground in our lives. Hosea 10:12 states, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

The great evangelist Charles G. Finney preached a message titled “Breaking Up the Fallow Ground – An Outline for Repentance”. In this sermon, he listed 28 sins that we as Christians should confess and repent of. The twenty-third sin he lists is: Hypocrisy. He urges us to confess this sin by saying, “For instance, in your prayers and confessions to God, set down all the times in which you have prayed for things you didn’t really want. How many times have you confessed sins that you never intended to stop doing? Yes, you have confessed sins when you knew in your heart you as much expected to go and repeat them, as you expected to live!”

Let’s go to the Lord in prayer right now and confess this sin and others before God.

GENERAL PRAYER

Dear friend, if you are listening to this broadcast and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever. Amen.

Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! We’re here to help you, feel free to contact us at GospelLightSociety.com

Until next time, continue to fast and pray. God Bless You!

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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Fasting Edition

 

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