In my last blog, I Did It Again, I talked about a problem that a lot of Christians struggle with, but the good news is that before you had a problem, God had a solution. It worked during the time of Jesus’ ministry on earth and it still works today – prayer and fasting.
A father had taken his child to Jesus’ disciples, but the disciples were unable to cast out what was in him. After Jesus rebuked the dumb and deaf spirit in the child, the disciples asked why they couldn’t cast it out. Jesus said, “This kind cannot come out by nothing except prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). Whether Jesus was referring ‘this kind’ to the unclean spirits that was in the boy or to the spirit of unbelief that was in the disciples, He was showing us that there are unclean spirits that will not come out as easily as others, but they can come out. It’s just that they must be forced or driven out through prayer and fasting.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Galatians 5:24). Christ saved you, but now there is something you must do after salvation – crucify the flesh. This is our responsibility, not Christ’s. As I said in the last blog, it is important to be on watch and prayerful because the enemy is looking for an opportunity to devour you. Thanking God when you get up in the morning and when you go to bed at night is good and asking God to bless and protect you, your family, church and friends is good, but this is NOT enough. There are traps being set and wicked plots being devised so you must set aside time to pray and fight in the spirit (not in the flesh) for what God says is yours.
Your soul is saved, not your flesh. Flesh comes with affections, passions, lusts, appetites, desires and urges. The Spirit of God that is in you wants you to obey the Father, but the flesh wants you to disobey the Father. Fasting is important because it teaches you how to say no. If you can say no to food, you can say no to the devil. Fasting teaches discipline and self control. You learn how to control your flesh instead of allowing it to tell you what to think on, what to do, what to say, and what to eat.
Some of us feed our flesh with too much television, filthy conversations and impure thoughts and then wonder why we have problems in the areas of lust, immorality and perversion. Goliath wasn’t born a giant. He was born an infant, but the more they fed him, the more he grew. (And I’m not just talking about food. The fear that was in Saul’s army had the ability to make him grow). If you don’t feed it, it won’t grow. Just like there are things your body needs in order to grow, there are things your spirit needs in order to grow (reading the word, meditating, fasting and praying).
Fasting has a cleansing effect. If it is able to eliminate toxins and poisons in the natural, imagine what more it can do in the spirit. It will drive out and kill every toxin, poison, sickness and venom the enemy has planted in your body and mind. According to Isaiah 58:6, fasting sets the oppressed free and it breaks EVERY yoke, but fasting alone is not enough. I heard a preacher once say that if you’re fasting, but not praying, you’re not on a fast – you’re on a diet. Funny, but it’s a true statement.
Jesus said, “I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29). The body that God gave us and put His Spirit in was made for Him, not sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:13). I pray that we all make up in our minds that we want to please the Father. I want us to hear God say, “I am well pleased with you”. And just don’t make this decision for you, but make it for those who are watching you and who need what is inside of you. It is time for the world to see Christ living in us (Galatians 2:20), but they can’t see Him who is alive when we refuse to die. We must choose daily to die. With our mouths, we tell God to have His way, but it’s our old ways that keep getting in the way. Train your flesh to serve you so you can serve the Lord better.
By faith, I say that you will overcome the world, flesh and the devil by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony. Ecclesiastes 7:8 tells us that better is the end of a thing than the beginning so don’t worry about happened in your past or about how your life started out. You are about to see better because the devil’s time is up and all those years of using you and your body is coming to an end.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, help us to give up what we want to do so that Christ can do what He wants to do through us.