By Funmi Komolafe
Brethren gradually, the month of January is coming to an end. It’s the month that many people have lean resources basically because so much money has been spent during Christmas and the New Year festivities. This was a period that we had so much to eat and give away.
My focus in today’s edition is about the much we had to eat and how to carry on with our spiritual life.
What steps have you decided to take to enhance your life this year?
Yes, you have resolved to go to church regularly and may have started doing that. This is commendable but you require more than this to have a breakthrough this year.
For some people, even some churches, have decided to fast. I mean take a break from our eating habits with the ultimate aim of moving closer to God.
Why is fasting necessary? Let’s refer to the conversation of our Lord Jesus Christ and his disciples with regard to their inability to cast out an evil spirit from a boy who has been bound with a lunatic spirit.
Matthew 17 vs 19 “ Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said , Why could we not cast him out?
Let’s see the reply of our Lord Jesus in verses 20 and 21 “ And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you. If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting”.
Note the reply of Jesus. First, he emphasized the importance of faith. One cannot claim to be a true Christian without faith in God. So, faith is important.
The last part of his response is the focus of this article “ this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting”.
Jesus had told us that we don’t just need only prayer but also fasting to break yokes, especially stubborn ones. He has simply told us that fasting is a key to a major breakthrough.
Good as fasting may be, it must not be viewed as a way of putting pressure on God for immediate answers to our prayers. We should see it more as a way of lifting up our spiritual life. Indeed a way of moving closer to God.
Brethren, how many days in a week do you fast? You cannot afford to live your life for the physical alone. You must take steps to grow your spiritual life . Remember, the spiritual controls the physical.
You need not wait until your pastor or the church declares fasting before you fast.
Choose your own time of fasting. Fast and pray and as you grow up spiritually, challenges will melt away.
Even our Lord Jesus who came to live among men with the authority of the most high God still had to fast.
Our reference is Matthew 4 vs 1 &2 “ Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungred”.
Fasting and the power of the Holy Spirit helped him to resist the devil.
John the Baptist also fasted so did several other personalities in the Holy Bible. So, why won’t you?
Fasting leads to breakthrough- 2nd Chronicles 20 verses 1-3 tells us about King Jehoshaphat and the multitude that came against him. Lets’ see verses 2 and 3 “ Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and behold , they be Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi”.
What did King Jehoshaphat do? Verse 3 “ And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah”.
Why do you think he proclaimed a fast? The king knew that he needed divine help to defeat these forces and he succeeded.
In the name of Jesus, every gang up against your life, against your promotion, the Lord will arise and fight for you in the name of Jesus.
Fasting; a period when we abstain from eating and drinking but intensify prayers, moves us closer to God. The body is light and the Spirit is not too heavy to hear from God. Moreover, fasting teaches us to make sacrifice and present our burden to God .
Apart from the spiritual gains of fasting, there are also physical gains of fasting.
I’ll share with you a sermon on fasting by Pastor Bisi Olowoyo, then of RCCG, Victory Chapel, Magodo.
Fasting according to Pastor Olowoyo clears the body of toxics.
It brings relief and rest to your digestive system and lowers blood and bad cholesterol.
Besides these, he said, fasting, sharpens your mental capacity. It also makes you loose weight. It also brings a change in our emotional attitude.
However, people with health challenges may not engage in fasting but such people can move closer to God by intensifying prayers .
Spiritual gains – Pastor Olowoyo describes fasting as a “ time for soul cleansing”.
Fasting he said, is also a time for “ a new desire for God”.
More importantly, the man of God said, it is a FAITH MOVE.
When we fast, it is “ an expectation that God will fill us with the Holy Spirit”.
The period of fasting is also a time for “ sensitivity to God’s words”.
Fasting he said, releases spiritual power.
When we engage in fasting, he said, we are empowered to resist demonic oppression . It also helps to break the spirit of delay and also releases supernatural provision to us as Christians.
So, when last did you fast? Brethren, we need to make out time to fast if we want God to walk the journey of 2017 with us. Fasting and prayer is the foundation of victory over evil forces. It wards off the arrows of the enemy against one’s life especially in the spiritual realm.
Brothers and sisters, you cannot afford to live by physical bread alone. In other words, eating and drinking 365 days in a year does not add value to our spiritual life. It rather weakens us and makes us vulnerable to spiritual attacks.
Take a personal decision to fast today. It could be once or twice a week or as the Spirit directs you. Please note that fasting is incomplete and ineffective without prayer.
Testimony – I’ll share the testimony of this single lady.
She wrote, “ I trusted God for a partner for 15 years . One day, the Holy Spirit ministered to me to join the sanitation department. I joined and I began to pick dirt from the floor. My story changed as my husband surfaced within a week. Now I am married at age 40”.
Are you in a similar condition of waiting like our sister? Whatever it is that you are waiting on the Lord for, by the grace of the Almighty God, you will receive it early this year in Jesus name.
Prepare yourself for a breakthrough. Take the necessary steps and the Lord will intervene in that situation to your benefit in Jesus name.