5 Keys to Breakthrough: Fasting
Y’all, we are in a spiritual battle that requires spiritual warfare. We can argue and post and complain all day long, but what we need is to get on our face before a holy God and intercede for the church and for our nation.
If we spent as much time and energy seeking the Lord as we do debating masks and schooling and white fragility, we might not be in the mess we are in.
I’m not saying this issues aren’t important or shouldn’t be discussed; but I fear we seek to make our opinion heard more than we seek God.
If we would gather at church, not for social hour, but to fall on our knees and weep and pray for true revival and lost souls, maybe we would experience the presence and power of God moving and bringing revival to our nation.
One of my favorite Old Testament narratives is the account of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, when he was surrounded by the enemy.
“The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways his father David had followed. He did not consult the Baals but sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel.”2 Chronicles 17:3-4, NIV
Verse six tells us that “his heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord.”
Fast forward to chapter 20, verse 1:
“After this the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat.”2 Chronicles 20:1
The Word tells us that “a vast army” was coming against Jehoshaphat (2).
He was king of a nation who had turned away from God. They worshiped idols and sacrificed their children. Jehoshaphat followed the ways of God, but God still allowed the enemy to come as judgment for the sin of the nation.
Many in our nation have worshiped the idols of wealth, entertainment, and pleasure. We’ve sacrificed our children through abortion and sex trafficking. And God has allowed the enemy to attack through disease, division, and discord.
But as followers of Jesus, we should walk in God’s ways as Jehoshaphat did. When the enemy came against them, he didn’t debate and argue and reason and complain.
“Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.”2 Chronicles 20:3
See, Jehoshaphat didn’t get mad at God or blame others for his troubles. Instead, he knew that his only hope for deliverance lay with the Lord, so he turned to God and sought His help. That should be our first response in times of trouble.
I want to share over the next few weeks five keys that I believe are biblical ways to respond when we are faced with opposition in our spiritual lives.
Key #1 Fasting
First, let me say that I am not a biblical scholar, nor am I about to give a theological treatise on fasting. All I can say is that Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast. That means they didn’t eat for a particular period of time. I know there are all kinds of books written about all different kinds of fasts, but all we know is that they fasted.
Fasting in the Old Testament was used on different occasions: as a sign of grief and as a sign of complete dependence upon God (See Judges 20:26, 1 Samuel 7:6, 2 Samuel 12:16, Ezra 8:21-23, Nehemiah 9:1-3).
Esther proclaimed a fast for three days before she went to the king to plead on behalf of the entire Jewish nation, which faced extinction. I would say they needed a breakthrough. As a result of that prayer and fasting, Esther and her people found providential favor and divine guidance. I would say they got a breakthrough!
In Matthew 6:16, Jesus gave instructions on fasting in secret, not to be seen by others; and in Acts 13:2-3, the early church was guided by the Holy Spirit after a time of fasting. There are no instructions on what to fast or how long to fast in the New Testament, so I am not prescribing how to fast.
I just want to make one point: fasting is a way to show that we are coming humbly before our God, completely dependent upon Him for help. If we truly desire to see breakthrough, we will be willing to deny ourselves and seek the Lord.
How you fast is between you and God. But I believe that if we will take this first step, showing God that we trust Him, need Him, depend on Him, that we are completely desperate for Him, and that we see no way out of our situation without His divine intervention, I believe He will honor that.
“The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”2 Chronicles 20:4
As our nation and world continue to face uncertain times with this global pandemic, we need a breakthrough. We need to “come together to seek help from the Lord.”
We do not know what tomorrow holds, but we can commit ourselves afresh to the One who is more than able to see us through.
Join us for more keys to breakthrough from Jehoshaphat next week as we continue our series Faith in Action.
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