Fasting for Results
“The mightiest weapon in the Christian arsenal is humility, expressed in fasting, combined with prayer.” – Lou Engle
Do you believe that? I certainly do. Prayer and fasting is the key to breakthrough and victory over life’s greatest challenges and opposition. Jesus made this clear in Mark 9 when His disciples asked him why they were unable to cast a demon out of a young boy and Jesus replied that “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting”. How many times in your life have you encountered a “this kind” of problem? When you have a personal “this kind” of struggle that you can’t seem to overcome, a “this kind” of conflict in your family that seems irresolvable, a “this kind” of illness in your dear friend, a “this kind” of injustice in your nation; the only way to defeat and overcome that giant is through dedicated fasting and prayer, something I have seen work multiple times in my life and ministry.
But what about the times when you fasted and prayed, and it seemed like nothing happened? This has happened to me as well, and honestly it has led to some discouragement and disillusionment with fasting. I know that there could have been a divine delay to the breakthrough, or maybe God’s answer might have just looked different than what I was expecting, but this understanding was still not enough to overcome my discouragement and thus I found myself lacking the motivation necessary to dedicate myself to fasting.
During this period of discouragement, I was praying about fasting and God gave me this revelation, “Fasting is NOT a means to an end, it’s a means to a Person”. The GOAL of fasting should not be the outcome you are looking for in prayer, but instead the GOAL of fasting should be a deeper connection with Jesus and a greater infilling of His Spirit. In Matthew 9 Jesus was being criticized because His disciples were not fasting. In verse 15 He answered by saying that His disciples do not currently fast because He is still with them, but the time will come when He will be taken from them and then they WILL fast. Why did Jesus have an expectation that they would fast after His departure? Jesus knew that when He was physically gone it would be necessary for the disciples (and us) to fast to spiritually connect more deeply with Him. By saying no to food (or your phone) and saying yes to Him, you are engaging in the most meaningful and profound invitation of His presence. By emptying yourself of food and entertainment you are then (and only then) made fully capable of being filled to overflowing with His Spirit.
Fasting for Jesus
When you are fasting to deepen your intimacy with Jesus, when HE alone is the goal, it will always be successful and totally worth it every time. This understanding has taken away my discouragement and rejuvenated my resolve to fast. Fasting is so much more than a formulaic approach to seeing your most challenging prayer needs and assignments answered, fasting is intended to be a means to break through to Jesus, and then His presence, His authority, and His power will be released into the seemingly impossible situations you are praying for.
– David Fox