Are You Missing The Key to Your Breakthrough?
What is fasting? Since there are so many misconceptions about it, I first want to clarify what fasting—biblical fasting—
is not. Fasting is not merely going without food for a period of time. That is dieting—maybe even starving— but fasting it is not. Nor is fasting something done only by fanatics. I really want to drive that point home. Fasting is not to be done only by religious monks alone in a cave somewhere. The practice of fasting is not limited to ministers or to special occasions.
Stated simply, biblical fasting is refraining from food for a spiritual purpose. Fasting has always been a normal part of a relationship with God. As expressed by the impassioned plea of David in Psalm 42, fasting brings one into a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord.
When you eliminate food from your diet for a number of days, your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God. As David stated, “Deep calls unto deep” (Ps. 42:7). David was fasting. His hunger and thirst for God were greater than his natural desire for food. As a result, he reached a place where he could cry out from the depths of his spirit to the depths of God, even in the midst of his trial. Once you’ve experienced even a glimpse of that kind of intimacy with our God—our Father, the holy Creator of the universe— and the countless rewards and blessings that follow, your whole perspective will change. You will soon realize that fasting is a secret source of power that is overlooked by many.
A three-fold cord is not quickly broken. —Ecclesiastes 4:12
During the years that Jesus walked this earth, He devoted time to teaching His disciples the principles of the kingdom of God, principles that conflict with those of this world. In the Beatitudes, specifically in Matthew 6, Jesus provided the pattern by which each of us is to live as a child of God. That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian: giving, praying, and fasting. Jesus said, “When you give . . . ” and “When you pray . . . ” and “When you fast.” He made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, was a normal part of Christian life. As much attention should be given to fasting as is given to giving and to praying.
Solomon, when writing the books of wisdom for Israel, made the point that a cord, or rope, braided with three strands is not easily broken (Eccles. 4:12). Likewise, when giving, praying, and fasting are practiced together in the life of a believer, it creates a type of three-fold cord that is not easily broken. In fact, as I’ll show you in a moment, Jesus took it even further by saying, “Nothing will be impossible” (Matt. 17:20).
Could we be missing our greatest breakthroughs because we fail to fast? Remember the thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and hundred-fold return Jesus spoke of (Mark 4:8, 20)? Look at it this way: when you pray, you can release that thirty-fold return, but when both prayer and giving are part of your life, I believe that releases the sixty-fold blessing. But when all three— giving, praying, and fasting—are part of your life, that hundred-fold return can be released!
If that’s the case, you have to wonder what blessings are not being released. What answers to prayer are not getting through? What bondages are not being broken because we fail to fast?
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