Fasting for Vision
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]I[/mk_dropcaps]f you have been around Christian culture for a while you have most likely encountered or heard about fasting. At the beginning of the year many of us set out to fast to set our year off dedicated to the Lord. Over the years I have done various types of fasts for anywhere from 1 day to 40 days. Every time they bring breakthrough. Not always how I thought it would come, but that is our God. He can not be boxed in. Why do we fast? And how is fasting connecting with visioneering? Is fasting really different than just dieting? Lisa Bevere says it best: “A diet is changing the way you look, a fast is changing the way you see.” Fasting transforms our vision to be more like Christ’s. To step out of a self conscious state and into an others conscious way of being. To love like Christ means we have to set aside self. Our needs are secondary to serving that of others. A fast is one of the best ways to bring our soul into this method of operation.
You should have a clear intention as to why you are fasting before you start, and even more important you should do it not out of feeling obligated but out of obedience to a prompting from the Holy Spirit. If you have been struggling with clarity of vision for a while and could relate to Strip it Off post, then it is likely a time for a fast. Fasting is one of the most powerful ways I know break of stagnant areas of my life. How so? It is not just dealing with the desires of the body for food, but will challenge all of your being: spirit, soul, and body. When you are fasting it as though you are praying 24/7. Then supercharge that with praying in the spirit which is praying the perfect prayers and BAM! You are a deadly weapon to the enemy.
Do not be surprised if you are challenged during the fast. Expect it and prepare for it. Here are a few things I have found helpful when I go to fast: I have noticed every time I set out to fast the reason for it is always challenged. But we can be prepared for that in a few key ways.
1) Write out the purpose for your fast. Include what you are fasting and for how long. Doing so makes this an agreement between you and God and will help keep you accountable when you are tempted to stop. Keep it in front of you and read it aloud to yourself. When you know why you are doing something it will help you to take the next step. Plus writing this out beforehand gives God all the glory when what only He can do is accomplished.
2) Check your motivation. Make sure it is God’s prompting that is initiating your fast, not your own. That is why in scripture it says not to share that you are fasting as a means to prove your holiness. I do not believe this means to conceal that you are fasting, but that you don’t use it as a way to gain praise or status. I believe in the family of believers seeing others fast has challenged me in my faith to seek the Lord more fully. The issue here is a heart issue. Only you know what your motive is in sharing that you are fasting. Do a heart check and be sure your motivation is pure. If it is then do not be afraid to step out and do it. God always makes away for those who are faithful and obedient. This is your way to see that first hand.
3) Press into Prayer. In the moments you are feeling tempted to slip in your fast is the time to seek God and pray. Not so the feeling leaves, but that you put your own fleshly desires in their proper place, as a servant to the will of God. This is what makes fasts so powerful. In a way we are “dying to self” in a very tangible way so that God’s will and plan for us is reinstated in the throne of our lives.
4) Partner Up. I find having a friend who is fasting at the same time with me is a great encouragement. I love meeting up to pray together at least once a week. To reach out and check in to encourage and hear how the fast is going for them. To pick them up when the separation and shift makes things feel heavy. We are always more powerful in partnership. A fast I find requires us all to dig a bit deeper and be pressed a bit more than normal. Plus it always helps to have someone praying for you to protect you in the journey. Do not wait to start a fast though if you do not have someone to do it with you. You can simply ask family or a friend who is not fasting to support you in the journey in prayer.
In 2015 I want to see life through eyes that are more like Jesus. I am sure you do too. I want to grow in my discernment not just in the natural, but down to the spiritual. I want more intimacy with my Father God, and to flush out old patterns, habits and ways of thinking that are keeping me from being all that He made me to be. I see a fast as a way to clean out my spirit to be a purer form of myself. Every time I have fasted there is breakthrough and revelation. It is not without a fight and a battle in the midst of it.
Jensten Franklin in his book “Fasting” talks about how in a fast putting God first and forcing our physical needs to submit and surrender there is a special authority in the spirit that comes along with that. In scripture it states both in Matthew 17:21 and Mark 9:29
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.[/mk_blockquote]
You are a threat to the enemy when you fast because you are positioning yourself at a new level of intimacy with the Lord. You are stepping to the form that God made you to be on a new level. Expect the battles will come, but remember you are victorious and you NOT in this alone. God is right there beside you strengthening you and sustaining you. It is his deepest desire to make us into the best version of ourselves. You will get to encounter the Lord unlike you have ever before in a fast, but you must stay the course.
I strongly believe in the power of prayer and fasting to clean out the old. If you want more of God and have never fasted before, maybe this your time?! I would love to hear your story and victories as you do so. God has more for you. If you feel frustrated with being stuck in the same issue or level for too long God is prompting you to get more. That only comes when we create the space. He is seeking to get more to you and perhaps all that is missing is creating some room for Him to move in. A fast creates that space.