If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ’move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17: 20b-21 (NASB)
Our Connect Group (that’s Sunday School for all you non-Southern Baptists) Lesson this morning was on fasting. We’re just finishing up the Gospel Project. When was the last time you had a lesson on fasting? I’m not sure I ever have before. Oh, we’ve mentioned it in passing a few times, but most people tended to dismiss it as something Old Testament people did, and not really applicable to our society today. But I’m wondering if this wouldn’t be the perfect time for our nation’s Christians to come together to proclaim an national fast. Jesus taught in this passage that there are some things that we can only accomplish by a combination of prayer and fasting. It would seem that the failure of our recent efforts to defeat abortion in spite of the overwhelming evidence against its continued practice in a so-called civilized society would affirm this truth.
Why is that, do you think? We have the Holy Spirit now. Shouldn’t simply praying have the same effect? Why do we need to deny ourselves anything to reach our goals? Doesn’t God want to answer our prayers? If so, why would we need to do more?
I think there are many reasons, but first and foremost is that “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (again NASB) If we’re going to fight a spiritual battle against demonic forces, fasting is the only way we can enter that battle. We have to be lifted up to that higher plain. Does that make sense? It’s like fasting alters our state of consciousness without any drugs or anything that would detract from our ability to hear and receive messages from God.
I’ve only fasted for any extended length of time on a few occasions, and that probably wasn’t nearly as long as many others have. But I can tell you that I prayed deeper and harder on those occasions, and God spoke to me like He never has before or since when I did. The results of those prayers weren’t what I would have ever wanted, but they were what needed to happen. That’s just a warning. God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we would expect Him to. Sometimes we might even be appalled at His response. But He always knows best. He knows the end from the beginning. And He always has our best interests at heart.
When Esther prepared to go before Ahasuerus, she proclaimed a three day fast. Don’t millions of babies deserve the same? Doesn’t the future of our country depend on it too? I don’t have much influence. But many others do. Can we find a date(s) and come together to do this? God bless you. Teresa