Monday, February 25, 2019

The Importance Of True Christian Fasting

Dear Brethren, I was myself recently reminded by God to never neglect the importance of true fasting which brings about deliverance and breaks strongholds. Therefore, this message serves as an encouragement to you to reach out to the Lord in devotional fasting and prayer to receive your or your family's deliverance, blessings, and breakthrough in your walk with the Lord.

Throughout the world, there are countless Christians who are needy, afflicted, and suffering, yet disobedient; the Lord has instituted fasting as a way of helping us to express our deepest need and faith in Him (Isaiah 58:1-12). If we have an earnest desire for His will and attention, the Lord will faithfully hear us (Psalm 10:17; 34:17; 18:6; 116:1; Jeremiah 33:3). Fasting is an essential Christian way of living, and true fasting should never be done to please man, but God. In addition, we should not pursue fasting merely as a religious duty without a godly motive. When we fast, some of the reasons might be:
  • To express remorse for our sins and for repentance (Jonah 3:6-10; Nehemiah 1:4-11).
  • To seek help and express our dependence on God (Esther 4:3, 16; Nehemiah 1:4-11).
  • To plead with the Lord to delay or reverse a pending judgement and plead for His mercy (2 Samuel 12:16-18).
  • To seek deliverance from demons and strongholds in our lives (Isaiah 58:6-7; Matthew 17:21).
From the Scriptures referenced above, we learn that fasting in the Old Testament was done corporately, involving the entire community, while others fasted individually for mercy and repentance. In the New Testament, fasting is mainly done as a personal commitment (Mark 2:20; Acts 14:23), and this will be our focus in this chapter.

Fasting That Pleases God

For Christians, fasting should always be preceded by repentance. During fasting, we confess our shortcomings and reliance on the Lord (Daniel 9:4-19). In his fasting, the prophet Daniel was not self-seeking. Instead, he was seeking the will and the blessing of the Lord for his fellow Israelite brethren. Consequently, his fasting was accepted, his prayers were heard, and God answered him (Daniel 9:20-27).

Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed and fasted 40 days and nights for the work He was sent to do (Matthew 4:2), “…and was heard because of His godly fear…” (Hebrews 5:7 NKJV). As it is, when fasting, we should not place a demand on God to meet our requests. Instead, His will, purpose and glory must be evident (Proverbs 25:2; Judges 20:26-36). In other words, our fasting must not be merely for selfish gain but for things that are important to God (Isaiah 58:1-12). When our Lord Jesus Christ fasted and prayed for those 40 days with loud cries and tears, He was armed with God’s will ready to serve in order to please the Father (John 6:38; Hebrews 5:7; 10:7). His commitment in fasting was not casual, but He fasted to preach the gospel, set the captives free, heal the sick, and open the eyes of the spiritually blind (Luke 4:18-19). As we know, the Lord’s fasting was out of obedience and submission to the Father (Hebrews 5:8-10).

There is not a single Scripture verse in the Bible that suggests we do fasting without prayer; these two are inseparable! I know of many people who said they were on a fast, but without praying. That is neither effective fasting nor purpose-driven; our fasting must be for something specific (Esther 4:16; Daniel 9:2-3). I have also observed some people following a call for fasting and simply joining in without seriously committing their hearts in prayer for a specific cause. Fasting is a personal matter (Matthew 6:16) that should never be forced onto believers. When doing group fasting, as in Esther’s case, we fast about things that affect all of us, and as individuals, we fast for things that we need, including the needs of our families and communities. I would like to emphasize that fasting cannot cleanse us from sin, so it is not for self-purification. Biblically, we may fast for deliverance from demonic oppression and strongholds (habitual sins that control and corrupt our behavior) (Matthew 17:21). We are cleansed from sin and purified through confession and through the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 1:7-9; Romans 10:9-10). This is our purification, the blood through the CROSS! Praise the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Next, I will share brief testimonies on fasting and how the Lord blessed and delivered us. When the Lord gave us these visions and testimonies, He did so purposely so that we may share with you for your edification and serve as examples to help you grow in His grace.

Fasting as a Test of Obedience

On July 12, 2013, the Lord commanded Charis that she and three members of her fellowship group fast for one day and do four prayers for that day. The Lord did not say what they should fast about, so they worked out prayer requests to place before the Lord. After their fasting the following day, the Lord congratulated them for being faithful in fasting and that He was going to bless them and that this fasting was a test of their obedience to Him. Without being aware, they were tempted by the devil, to eat. In the vision, the Lord showed Charis how the devil strategically placed food to cause them to eat and disobey, but their obedience proved stronger and this was very pleasing to the Lord. He made the four of stand next to each other and He said: “I am really going to bless you all for being obedient.” As the Lord uttered these words, she saw how these words turned into a sound wave and entered both their ears. The vision changed and the Lord made them feel a hot sensation on their cheeks as an indication that they each had received a kiss from the Lord for being obedient. I can, therefore, witness that the Lord did bless all of them generously on their birthdays with some money which He instructed us to give ‘from His money’ (the ministry funds), as well other blessings which you will read further below.

As I shared previously (in Book 1 and in an articles titled “Prayer is the Key to Solving All Problems – Part I and Part II”), the Lord told us as a family (Charis, my wife and I) to fast for just one day when we were on the verge of having our house repossessed by the bank. After the one day of fasting, the Lord again commanded us to pray for a whole month. Like the prophet Daniel, the Lord heard our prayers, and we did not lose the house – at the end of the one month of prayer, the Lord concluded the matter and said that this house was now in His hands and He commanded us to “DO NOTHING” more. We obeyed, and today we have a testimony to share with you from the same house. HALLELUYAH! As it turned out, the Lord blessed me with a job and the bank called us, having withdrawn a court notice to foreclose, and negotiated a new and better deal with us without any input from us. The bank was acting on the Lord’s instructions.

Additionally, a few years ago when I was in bondage to smoking, I fasted a full seven days for deliverance from this habit, and in Jesus’ Name I received my deliverance that same week. Since smoking is a self-inflicted habit, I needed faith and obedience to work together with the Lord to deliver me, and He did. Those who are cigarette smokers or former smokers know what a troubling, traumatizing and tormenting habit this can be. I bless the Lord for the victory! In a message to a faithful brother and friend to this family and ministry who desperately needed a breakthrough and something from the Lord, the Lord once encouraged him saying, "My son Roy (not real name) must fast and pray if he needs something, and I love My son Roy".

Fasting to Receive Gifts for Ministry Service

Without being aware that the Lord was calling us into the ministry, He commanded us saying, “You, and your mother and father must go on a fast and I will tell you tonight about the fast”. When the Lord visited us that night, He said that He was going to bless us with gifts for ministry work, but we needed to fast for one day so that He could reveal the kind of gifts He had for us. Now brethren, it was necessary for us to fast and know the gifts from God so that we could add our faith to the gifts. No gift from God operates without faith (Romans 12:6); the fasting commanded from the Lord was to draw our faith to the gift. However, I will not draw attention to what gifts we received here, except to say that we are using some of those gifts to serving in this ministry. We will also add that when the Lord was about to deliver the gift for Charis, He said, “I am going to give you the biggest and best gift you ever had”. She received the gift of hearing mighty words and visions from the Lord, with a spirit of wisdom from Him.

As we shared in Book 1 on how this ministry started, the Lord commanded me to find five people to pray with, and as a reward for their obedience, He directed us to go on a three day fast. After the fast, He granted each person their request. Those who were unemployed received jobs, others received the gift of speaking in tongues, and some received healing and deliverance. The Lord is not pleased when we disobey Him or ask for something when we are not serious. We had three young men who came to our home church asking us to pray for them for jobs and deliverance. We took their requests to the Lord in prayer, and He commanded that they pray and fast for one day. One did not obey in fasting, so he did not receive anything. One gentleman fasted, but he did not have faith in the Lord, so he could not receive anything from the Lord. However, one brother received a full package of God’s blessing due to his faith and obedience and the Lord was very pleased with him. This same brother is still serving the Lord very faithfully today, praise the Lord!
Vision of an Answer to Fasting

On July 15, 2013, the Lord commanded Charis and the three other children in her age range to fast for one day. Well, they obeyed, and the Lord answered what some of them received for their obedience.

Vision Given to Charis on July 26, 2013

“I had a vision this morning of a woman, who introduced herself to me as Celeste (an Angel), who was being sent by the Lord. We were in a white room, and she had a white dress on with long, natural brown hair. This was the second time the Lord sent her to me. She said, “Hi! Do you remember me”? I answered and said, “Yes, I do!” I saw myself and the three other children in this white room and she turned to the one girl to my right and said, “You prayed and did not want to go to a certain school next year (2014). Your request has been granted; that was your blessing.” (We can confirm that her application for acceptance for 2014 was unsuccessful, and the Lord granted her request, as this was against her and her mother’s will.)

She then turned to the other girl and said, “Your blessing is that you act obediently and receive less spanking; you also received a blessing for your birthday” (this girl was personally blessed by the Lord with money, which was used for a birthday party and a gift she needed).

Thereafter, she turned to the boy and said, “Your blessing has been coming on slowly because you are not working faithfully on your salvation.” The boy insisted that the angel tells him what blessing he got and she said, You failed the previous quarter, but your blessing was you passed the last quarter(this young boy had been afflicted with every kind of disobedience in not doing school work, including neglecting to read his Bible and praying faithfully).

It was my turn, so she said, “Your blessing is still coming and it is going to be a very big blessing.” (While the Lord did not reveal exactly in this vision what Charis's blessing was going to be, she was thoroughly blessed on her birthday with a soul-moving message from the Lord and He also commanded my wife and I to give her a generous amount of money from our ministry funds). With that, she waved at us greeting us goodbye and the door closed behind her.” This was the end of the vision!

The Lord bless you as you seek Him and obey His Word. If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please start by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Grace and peace to you,
Brother Glenn