How to Find Victory in the Valleys
Until recently, I used to think that fever was a disease, but it is not. Fever is the body’s response to disease.
This is similar to how fasting works. The body is wired to fight against something that’s not supposed to be there by raising the temperature.
But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand.Acts 28:3
Not only do germs come out because the heat forces them out, but vipers also come out when heat forces them out.
When we are fasting, we are simply increasing the heat in our spiritual life. That is why there can be some discomfort but ultimately, God wants to force everything that is not of Him out of our lives.
Sometimes, when we live complacent, cold, or lukewarm Christian lives, a lot of these germs or vipers can live comfortably. The moment you start to increase the heat – praying, reading the Bible, going to church, fasting, and giving – something begins to happen.
At times, it looks like the moment you get closer to God, things get worse but what is really happening is the bacteria, viruses, vipers, and germs are being forced out. They can no longer claim your life because now, Jesus is laying claim on your life, not only positionally but also practically.
However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.Matthew 17:21
There are particular kinds of problems that will not leave until you crank up the heat in your spiritual walk. The idea of prayer and fasting as a tool that does this is constant throughout the Scriptures.
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”Mark 9:29
The Lifestyle Of Fasting In The Bible
One of the accusations against Jesus was that He was eating and drinking a lot.
When Jesus was accused of not fasting with His disciples, although He did, His response was because He was with them and they didn’t need to fast then. He used the example of a wedding because you typically don’t want to fast on your wedding. However, Jesus said when the bridegroom is taken from them, then they would fast.
The early Church took that very seriously. They fasted twice a week, every Wednesday and Friday from 6 am to 3 pm. It was the culture of the church that you were required to fast before taking communion or water baptism.
The reason I am addressing this topic is we live in a culture today where most of us wouldn’t die from fasting but from over-eating. The food industry has become a money industry. A lot of the problems we have physically today are not due to fasting but due to not fasting.
As a Christian church, we believe in the practice of fasting. It is not just physical. Fasting is a spiritual practice of abstaining from food for spiritual reasons.
Fasting increases the heat in your life to drive out certain problems that you otherwise cannot overcome in your own human way.
Fasting Is Not Starvation
Fasting is not starvation; it is disconnecting from the world. Why is this important? Eve moved out of paradise by eating. Esau ate himself out of his inheritance. The first temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness was food. The Bible says for some people their stomach is their god. When the king’s stomach gets too exalted, he stops seeing his feet. Many of us have an affair with food. Food is our friend and that is dangerous.
You are supposed to have real friends; those friends cannot be fries. Some of us are deeper and closer to our fridge that to real friends. We comfort our negative emotions by eating. No wonder we get overweight or obese.
The Lord wants us to be people who don’t live our lives discovering ourselves but denying ourselves. He wants us to live our lives humbling ourselves before God and fasting is one of the ways you humble yourself and allow God to help you find victory in the valley. It improves your prayer life and helps you to conquer your appetite.
Starvation is the environment imposing it on you, fasting is you imposing it on your body. It is very different. Diet is trying to lose weight, and fasting is trying to get in line with God.
Do you have something you are believing for? A ‘this kind’ of breakthrough?
Is your walk with God so perfect that you cannot go a bit deeper and closer?
As you connect to God through prayer and disconnect from the world through fasting, God promises this kind will go out. Habits will be broken that you couldn’t break on your own.
Keep pursuing God and allow Him to guide you as you take on the challenge to fast.
If you feel the Lord guiding you, but you would like some encouragement, check out my Fast Forward book.
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