Glory be to God for another wonderful time to share God’s word with you.
Let me continue from where I stopped last Sunday:
INDICATIONS FOR FASTING AND PRAYERS
f)When one needs empowerment from above to do extraordinary things: This is what Jesus Christ wanted the disciples to realise when they couldn’t drive out evil spirit from the boy that had seizures.Hence,he told them :
“…this kind can’t go out except by prayers and fasting”-Matt 17:21
Many great men and women of God over the years have received power to perform exploits through periods of fasting and prayers.This fact is undeniable.
g) When one is about to embark on a new project/mission/journey: Jesus laid the example for us in Luke 4 by going through 40 days and 40nights of fasting and prayers before He started his earthly ministry.
h)When one is about making an important decision:
Do you want to know the next move of God concerning your life? Are you at a crossroad, not knowing what to do next? Are you faced with many good options but confused on which one to choose? If yes,you need to fast and pray! Let’s see some examples from the Bible:
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off”-Acts 13:2-3
“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust”- Act 14:23
As I round off this series,I need to point out a situation where people fast as a result of disobedience! It happens when people go against God’s will and end up in difficult situations. This kind of fasting is not good for any child of God! However,anyone that works against the move of God can find himself/herself fasting secondary to disobedience! I will explain with the story of Paul en route Rome as prisoner.I am sure you will enjoy the story:
“We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea. Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement.So Paul warned them, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship“-Act 27:8-11
Paul told them the mind of God but the advice of the pilot and the owner of the ship was followed: “Afterall,who cared about the words of an ordinary prisoner like Paul !” This is the way many people think when God sends someone to them not to embark on a path.Let’s continue with the story:
“Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.” 27:12
One thousand flies can be wrong eat shit!!!Majority of people supporting a view doesn’t mean such view point is right.This is the reason why people who use voting in making spiritual decisions are prone to make mistakes!
“But the weather changed abruptly, and a wind of typhoon strength (called a “northeaster”) burst across the island and blew us out to sea. The sailors couldn’t turn the ship into the wind, so they gave up and let it run before the gale.” 27:14-15
Popular decisions usually have their honeymoon period but it is usually temporary as we can see in the above Scripture. On the other hand,God’s instruction may not be attractive initially but in the long run,it pays to follow such leading.
“Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. And on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands” vs 18-19
Can you see what disobedience could result into?They used their hands to throw away the goods in the ship including the ship’s tackle!
Now let’s study the response of Paul in relation to the issue of fasting :
“Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss”-vs 21
Paul now explained their critical situation to us:They had been fasting!For how long have they been fasting?
“As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you”-vs 33-34
I am sure some of those in the ship wouldn’t have deliberately gone without food for 14 days.They would have given 1000 reasons why they couldn’t fast.But when trouble came,they forgot about food.This category of fasting is not for children of God.Rather the other eight categories of fasting and prayers earlier mentioned should be part of our practices as Christians.
We shall converge here for another edition on Saturday by God’s grace…