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Fasting equals results
Summing up here, I want to first highlight all previous keys which resulted in results from God. In the Book of Daniel, we see that this was another man who knew his history. Knowing that where he was now was the fulfilment of Jeremiah’s prophecy from God. Daniel took it upon himself to pray and fast, making his supplications known to God. He like in Nehemiah 9 confessed the sins of himself and Israel as a whole. He asked for forgiveness and during his prayer, he is interrupted by Gabriel. He then brings new understanding concerning a vision (Daniel 9).
Fasting is honoured by God
Fasting is a submission to God and while Jesus was led to the wilderness in Luke 4, (or Matthew 4) we see after constant, consistent rejection of the Devil, Jesus is ministered to, returning in the Power of the Holy Spirit. Even before this occurred, Jesus was given the strength by the New Spirit which resided in him to speak back life to the Devil as he became tempted. God honoured Jesus and the fasting and while he was weak God made him strong. Paul stated that God was his strength in times of weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Faith is unto death and beyond! Esther in Esther 4:16 asked those in Shushan to proclaim a fast to God, so that when she entered the king’s presence, which was not lawful unless sanctioned, she would find favour. She said if she dies she dies! She was of course accepted and her fast here was honoured by God.
Fasting is one of two unbelief killers in certain situations
Moving on to Matthew 17, we pick up at verse 14. This encounter is largely misinterpreted in the world, and by God’s Spirit and some simple reading, we can see what is really being said here. Jesus is approached by a man who complains to him about the disciples not being able to cast out a demon. Jesus’ reply if you focus on the words is regarding a lack of faith or unbelief. The disciples ask why they could not cast him out and obviously something I haven’t picked up previously is that they must not have taken much attention to Jesus’ reply prior. Jesus again refers to there unbelief and proceeds to comment on this theme. He goes on to describe how this kind can only be removed by fasting and prayer. Nowhere did he mention the demon. Some chapters earlier in chapter 9, it would be foolish for Jesus to say the time to fast is not now, and then to now be angry for the disciples not fasting to cast out a demon. If that was needed he would have said earlier you must fast to cast out this kind of demon. What he is alluding to here is the unbelief, he never ever mentions the demon after the man has told him what happened.
Fasting should not be forced
Jesus had just called Matthew to follow him, and was sitting in a house where publicans and sinners came to dwell (Matthew 9). The Pharisees saw this and were amazed, asking why are these people not fasting as we and John’s disciples? These men obviously seemed to fast and expected others to also, Jesus however stated that this was not the time to fast. Just because the church you go to decide to call a fast, it does not mean you have to, likewise with a family member. Fasting is something solely to God. If fasting is not in your heart, don’t waste time!
Fasting is for God alone
Many times in life I’ve been told to fast and not felt to in my heart and just gone through the motion, this isn’t something we should dabble in. If your heart is not in a fast don’t waste your time, more importantly God is not pleased with it. You do not fast for people but fasting is for God, fasting is not more people’s smiles or for people to know that you’ve been fasting (its not a contest). In Matthew 6, as well as other things like prayer and alms, God shows us that fasting is an act for God and not for people. God even says that he would bless openly for our secret act. The early chapters in Matthew 6 highlight a personal relationship with I AM. Don’t let people tell you you can fast without fasting to God as such fasting is earthly. In Acts of the Apostles 23 we see how man bound themselves under a curse in order to kill Paul, it was accepted by those forty or so men that they placed a curse on themselves. These men must have subsequently died as they did not kill Paul. I close by saying Fast to God and no other.