Does an “aha” moment excite you, the times of triumphant discovery that bring forth an epiphany? You gain a fresh perspective, a new understanding of something. This past week, my ladies Bible study group had such an experience.
We generally study directly from Scripture. Occasionally, I’ll use other books or resources to assist in the focus of a topic supplementing what we find in the Bible. With our current topic, we’re using a book written by Jentezen Franklin titled Fasting. I highly recommend the book. What I share here are my own thoughts and experiences.
A Little Background
I grew up in a religious home, but one devoid of a relationship with our Creator until entering my teen years, when my parents and I began to understand the Gospel. Thus, there are some things that were not role modeled during my childhood years, fasting being one such item. This is a statement of fact. If something is not “caught” by living experience then we must be taught.
I have heard countless sermons on giving and teachings on prayer. Yet, I don’t recall ever hearing a message on fasting other than the periphery mention of it in Scripture narratives, like the stories of Moses, Daniel, Jesus, the corporate fasts of the Ninevites in Jonah, or the Jews when facing extermination in the book of Esther, etc.
Our Aha Moment
What was our “aha” moment? It was a clear presentation of scriptural truth by Jentezen Franklin in the opening chapter of his book.
“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.”
Did you catch the phrase “A normal part of Christian life?” In the book, Jentezen likens the Christian duty of fasting to one of the strands of a three-strand cord. We all know that if one cord of a three-strand cord is severed or badly frayed it is weakened. That cord is unusable for many tasks.
Power from Heaven is released when we honor God in obedience. Think of the few narratives I mentioned above. Fasting provided breakthroughs, changed hearts, saved lives, and healings through Jesus.
I cannot help but wonder if the enemy has stagnated many Christians either by ignorance of this subject or our own blatant refusal to follow Christ’s example and teaching on it but, ignorance does not make it excusable. I and my group of ladies feel a passionate holy fire was lit inside. We’ve just begun studying and are thrilled to continue searching the Scriptures and learning more.
Fasting had not been role modeled in the homes of three-quarters of us and none of us had been under in-depth explicit teaching about fasting since becoming Christians. We are excited to complete our three-strand cord of duties and observe what God will do in our lives, the lives of those we share it with, and those we pray for.
Can you feel the fire? Have you been ignited like a spreading wildfire? I hope so. Our world needs the power of Jehovah God now just as much as it did in the days of Moses, Daniel, the prophets, Jesus, and the early church. I implore you, don’t ignore your duty and sacred access to God.
Jesus said to the tempter during his fast, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, CSB). Then later in the Sermon on the Mount says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6, CSB).
Dear Father God, I thank You for guiding me and exposing me to Your expectations about fasting. Show Your favor to those who obediently follow Jesus’ life and teaching in all things. Pour out great power from Heaven as we devote more time with You and feast on the Word. Give us spiritual breakthroughs, miracles, and wonders that the name of God be glorified. Holy Spirit, as we step out in obedience to this discipline, help us conquer the cries of our bellies. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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