Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for May, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 271 A Love For The Things Of God

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’Matthew 25:23 (NLT)

What does it mean to have a love for the things of God?  Let’s say I was planning a trip to Europe and was scheduled to be abroad for six months? While on this trip I couldn’t take anything with me. I had to entrust the things I valued most to my closest friend. If that friend loves me, they are going to take care of my things; especially those things that are important to me. Additionally the things that are associated with my name are also going to be important to my friend and need to be looked after. The important things would primarily be my family, but especially my children.  Perhaps, I’d want my friend to take care of my ministry and those things that I have labored to support, like my garden, or home. I would likely want to have my bills paid, as this would also protect my good name and reputation. My friend would take care of any special commitments that I’ve made to others, and even look after my pets.

How does one know if they have a love for the things of God?
Such a simple and uncomplicated question, yet discovering the truth may not be that simple. Part of the evidence of your love for God is proven by the way you care for those things that are important to Him. Only you and God really know the truth, your heart will guide you and the Holy Spirit will strengthen you to make the right choices as your love for God grows even stronger.

1. Ask yourself do you care for the Body of Christ? Do you love the brethren? The “Body of Christ” which is the church; the children of God are near and dear to God’s heart. A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. John 21:17 (NLT) If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?  1 John 4:20 (NLT)

2. Do you know where your loyalties lie?  “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Luke 16:13 (NIV)

3. Do you love the things of the world? You really can’t love God and the things of God if you love the things of the world. Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 1 John 2:15 (NLT)

4. Have you torn down the idols in your life? God wants to take you into the land that He has promised. Is there an accursed thing that can be found in your midst? Consider this, do you have old ungodly music, DVDs, books, etc. that you are holding on to? These represent those things that unbelievers cling to; these are idols and as Christians who love and care for the things of God we must remove them from among our own possessions. Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Joshua 7:11 (KJV) Think about all your choices and if there is anything you have allowed to become more important to you than God.

5. Do you care for the physical things of God like the environment, the animals and your own body? A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10 (NIV) Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20

6. Are you cheerful about obeying God’s Word? Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”  John 14:21 (NLT) Is it a difficult chore to do what is right? For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3 (KJV)

7. Is your hope and glory eternal? To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: Romans 2:7 (KJV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 270 Give Away Your Broken Pieces

Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever. Daniel 12:3 (NLT)

Wisdom is applied knowledge.
When you have built a relationship with knowledge and have accepted truth, only then can you apply your knowledge. We must first be partakers of God’s Holy Word to establish wisdom. The wisdom that comes from your life experiences is meant to be shared. God didn’t charge you anything for your salvation and healing. Freely you have received and freely you must give. Let your light shine as it will light the way by encouraging others to be in right standing with God.

Your broken pieces are worth more than you know.
Everyone has had brokenness before. We’ve all had something in life that was broken. Something somewhere along your path and mine has been broken. Maybe it was a dream, a broken marriage, a broken friendship, or a broken heart. Dealing with brokenness is not easy, but it does have to be dealt with.  Your victory over brokenness can help bring healing to someone else.

Let God end your brokenness and bring your healing first.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (NIV) When God mends our hearts and saves us from our brokenness; we must be willing to then give to others. The wisdom that comes from having “gone through,” is unlike the results we only read about. Once you have walked through something with God, your broken pieces become a tool to help others, but only if you let it.

The wisdom that comes out of our broken pieces must be shared. Too many Christian women choose to wallow in sorrow, never accomplishing anything more than mastering the art of a pity party. The time comes when you must allow God to mend the broken pieces and restore your will to do even greater things than before. Now you are stronger, not weaker; you are wiser and better. Sharing means giving, and you can surely give your way out of sorrow and sadness. Giving out of love and compassion always comes back to you in the form of rich rewards. The fulfillment that comes from giving in service to others will amazingly bring about healing in your life.

Where are your broken pieces?
If you’ve been carrying them around, perhaps God Is saying lay them down. Maybe you feel you have a right to carry this load. The only revenge you can find is to hold on tight to your brokenness. I believe God wants to give you a new dream and a new promise. Let go of all the broken pieces at once and let God place in your life something new. Be willing to give God everything, even your broken pieces.

Organizing the Inside – Day 269 He’s There Every Step of the Way

29Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions.
34Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. 36Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Psalm 119:29, 34-36 (NLT)

I’ve read countless books which provided instructions.
Many books are said to help you grow in your faith. These books are full of great ideas, antidotes and thoughts to live by. I must admit, I’ve never read a book, attended a seminar or taken a class where the one providing the instruction was intimately involved in the life of the student or listener. These professors and writers never once agreed to walk with their students every step of the way to carry out their great teachings. Sure, I’ve known many great teachers who have encouraged me to make improvements in my life, but they never walked with me daily to show me how. In this way, God is so different. God not only gives us His Word to follow, but He also is intimately involved in ensuring our success every step of the way. He is the Master Instructor and class is always in session. How awesome is our God!

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Psalm 8:3, 4 (NIV) What an honor and privilege it is to have a personal relationship with the author of the greatest book ever written.

Jehovah Rohi, my Shepherd.
Many more laws will be passed, lessons taught and books written, but there will be no other teacher, author or mentor who can compare to the Great Shepherd.  As God teaches us He also guides our hearts and minds; providing not only hope for tomorrow, but bringing full salvation to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2 (NIV)

Organizing the Inside – Day 268 Becoming One With The Word

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  Psalm 1:3 (KJV)

Meditating is pondering and thinking deeply within one’s self. To meditate on the Word of God is to stop and consider what you have read in the Word. Meditating is a way of recalling scripture that has been (eaten) read, by (chewing) pondering it, considering it fully and deeply then (digesting) accepting it again. By thinking deeply upon what you have read you are, (recalling) in a sense, preparing for the Word to be re-digested.

The word Selah found in Psalm is interpreted as a pause, signifying a silence or musical interlude. Selah indicates a time to think or a period to be still before resuming the musical performance. When meditating, you recall the Word and then you consider it in silence, then you accept it. This is more of a cycle or process for becoming one with the Word of God.

Why should you meditate?
Meditating is a way of allowing the Word of God to penetrate your heart. The very essence of who you are comes down to the condition of your heart. As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. Proverbs 27:19 (NLT) As you mediate on God’s word you are being changed into the image of Christ, because the more you look at, consider and think upon His Word, the more you become like His Word. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25 (NLT)  When your heart is guided by the Word of God, it will result in a godly lifestyle. If you choose a path of obedience, ultimately, you’ll find fulfillment in living God’s purpose for your life. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

A significant aspect of meditation is repeating the Word.
It can be repeating it either in thought or speaking it out loud. Meditating anchors your life in Christ, which is where God has planted you. The trees planted near the river are deeply rooted in place. These trees are rich and healthy with strong green leaves. As you organize your devotional time with God, if you haven’t already done so be certain to include meditation. It will enrich your life and keep you deeply rooted in Him.

Organizing the Inside – Day 267 A Simple Pattern For Prayer

9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)

Lord here is my laundry list.
How do you usually approach the throne of God for prayer? Do you start out with a list of wants, then move to the don’t wants and finish it off with a sprinkle signature, “in Jesus’ name, Amen”? I believe Jesus looked through the portal of time and saw how our busyness would affect our prayer time. He knew all the cares and worries of life would bog us down causing our prayers to not have the right focus and be ineffective. I believe He wants us to enjoy prayer time and therefore He taught us what to focus on, and how to remove obstacles when praying. Jesus gave us a pattern to use when praying to help us work through the challenges He knew we would face. His pattern makes it clear that our laundry list is not the most important priority when we pray.

Jesus sets up the lesson by telling us in advance.
He tells us that a lot of words aren’t necessary; the Father already knows what you need. 7“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Matthew 6:7, 8 (NLT) Therefore, no chanting or stringing together a bunch of words to sound good, Jesus clearly teaches the fruitless nature of this sort of praying.

  1. First acknowledge God and give Him honor. Expressing gratitude and thanksgiving is one way to show honor to God.
  2. Prayer is not primarily about what we want; it’s about what God wants. Consider what it means to have His kingdom here on earth, just as it is in heaven. In His righteous kingdom His will is done completely. We should ask that God’s will be done in every area of our lives and in the lives of everyone else we are praying for.
  3. What is it that we truly need? The bread we need for today, to live in Christ. Jesus is the bread of life (the living Word) and without Him we cannot live. We need Jesus to be our daily portion.
  4. One thing that hinders prayer is unforgiveness. Jesus knew that our relationship with others would influence our prayers. We should cover both by seeking forgiveness for anyone we may have wronged and forgive anyone who may have hurt us. (read Matthew 5:23, 24)
  5. Living in this evil world among a perverse and wicked generation we need to ask for help and guidance to keep ourselves from being corrupted by evil. We should also ask for protection and strength to overcome evil which we know presents itself in many forms.
  6. Close out prayer by acknowledge the purpose and focus of all our prayers. It’s about God’s glorious kingdom and His righteousness. In His kingdom there is 100% obedience and those who live there are totally committed  to doing His will.

Jesus is teaching us a type of outline for prayer.
When following this outline we stay focused on how we should pray. Each individual person has to interpret the outline and what it means to them. Organize your prayer life by first studying Jesus’ teachings on prayer. Jesus gives us instructions for the beginning, middle and ending of our prayers. As we let go of our own desires and ambitions, and begin to totally seek God’s kingdom we will experience the peace and contentment that comes with answered prayer. This is praying “in Jesus’ name” when through faith and obedience we pray as we live and move and have our being in Him.

Read more on prayer
Matthew 6:5-15
Hebrews 4:14-16
James 4:3
Luke 11:1-10

Organzing the Inside – Day 266 God’s Small Appliances Cook Up Great Results

Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7 (NLT)

God doesn’t fulfill dreams using the microwave. He often does it in the pressure cooker or the slow cooker. Understand clearly that faith and patience will ensure victory. Rest in the goodness and grace of God, which is able to bring about results in your life. Who doesn’t want what they want, when they want it? I’d dare say most of us do. The real test of true Christian character is found in our willingness to humbly accept the timing and plans of God. Sure there are times when we think, dear Lord, this is taking too long. God has a process and His plans toward you are good. (Read Jeremiah 29:11)

I’m reminded of a one of my favorite episodes of I Love Lucy. Lucy and Ethel were working in a candy factory. They had to individually wrap each piece of candy as it came across on the conveyer belt. Lucy, being impatient, had another of her hair-brained ideas and kept calling out to have the conveyer belt, “speed it up a little,” Each time she did only created more chaos, as the candy started coming at a rate much faster than they could handle. Eventually the two of them had a huge mess with chocolates in their hats, pockets and mouths. What a mess we make when we try to do things our way because of a our lack of patience. Trying to rush the plan of God only creates chaos and calamity. Trusting God starts with having the faith to believe He really does know what He’s doing and that He’ll leave no work undone. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Allow God time to build. He is working to get you ready to receive all the glorious gifts and blessing He has in store for your life.

The process of fulfilling God’s will for our lives is simplified in two ways.
1.  Be willing to listen and obey as God directs your life.

2.  Be willing to submit to God’s own timing.

The farmer knows that seeds planted at the right time will produce a much different result than seeds that are planted in the dead of winter.  Planting at the wrong time will never reap the harvest you desire.  There is a process and this all takes time. Much cultivating occurs between seed time and harvest. It’s imperative to submit to the will of God about every detail of your vision, allowing Him to prepare you for the work that is ahead. Be open to the timing that He has planned and adapt your plans according to His good pleasure. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” Genesis 8:22 (NLT)

Organizing the Inside – Day 265 Surely God Understands Me

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Psalm 51:6 (KJV)

Just because God knows how you are, doesn’t mean you don’t need to change. I wonder if we make excuses so that we can justify not  changing. So you have a habit and you know it shows an overt lack of faith, yet you try to justify it by saying, “God knows how I am.” In her futile attempt to rationalize her so-called quirkiness that’s rooted in an irrational germ phobia, she summarizes such behavior as, “just how I am.” Not calling it what it is, a real lack of trust that God is greater than her fear. In the vanity of her individuality, she tries to suggest it’s no big deal to wash her hands 20-30 times while preparing a meal. Honestly she knows her compulsive behavior is bordering on sin, but it’s much easier to play it off and leave things the way they are. God accepts us because He sees our faith when we come to Him. ( Romans 3:27)  But, just because God accepts us the way we are, doesn’t mean He is pleased to accept our unwillingness to completely yield to Him.

I’ve always been this way is not a good reason to continue.
How can one find internal order, when there is an unwillingness to let go of everything and yield completely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, 1 Corinthians 14:33a (NIV) Certainly disorder is what any of us have if we don’t let go. …and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23 (NIV) The scripture is fired up and loaded, ready to defend your position because after all, “God understands,” for he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. Psalm 103:14 (NLT) God’s gentle kindness and longsuffering demonstrated through His patience, in that, He hasn’t utterly destroyed us is not permission to continue in wrong-doing.

Choose to let go of this thing that you have falsely identified with. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) Allow God to permeate every area of your heart. Today, may you give up the not so cute thing that you’ve been clinging to. That hard thing that’s been around so long it’s now considered harmless, and only customary. Yes, give up full ownership and not hold back anything for yourself. It’s not necessary to fix, undo, move, hide, tuck, tug or pull, only YIELD. God is willing to meet you at your point of need. He reaches down to right where you are, where we all are in our lives today. It’s time to surrender this one, which seems like an old childhood friend, so familiar yet after all these years a stranger to anyone new in Christ.

Is Christ truly Lord over all? Or is that one weakness, you’re holding on to, enough to keep you from relinquishing the throne?  After all God knows how you are.

Organizing the Inside – Day 264 Words Matter

The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)

God doesn’t speak His word everyday right before dawn and say, “Let there be light.” God’s Word was spoken once and it stands. The power and ability to sustain the Word is within His Word. God is a finisher and His Word is sent to perform His will. The creative nature of the Word has the ability to sustain our lives and keep us alive in Christ Jesus. Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 (NIV) which refers to Deuteronomy 8:3.

You have what you say.
Do we take seriously the power of our words? Do we actually understand the significance in uttering even the words, “I am so tired,” even though we may feel tired? A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.  Proverbs 18:20 (KJV) Our words have the same creative force and power behind them as does God’s. We are made in His image and likeness, and the power to speak things into existence is real. There are countless examples in the Word of God where we see how words have the power to change lives (especially when spoken in faith). One of the most significant examples is found in Romans. 9If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 8:9, 10 (NLT) Change your words and change your life.

Make a decision to speak words of life that heal.
Decide to no longer speak words into your life that are filled with discouragement and dismay. Make a conscious effort to think about every word that comes forth out of your mouth. The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking; the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words. Proverbs 15:28 (NLT) Every word you speak has eternal significance. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. Matthew 12:36 (NIV) How sobering is the thought of being held accountable for useless words. Due to the creative nature of our words we must give more thought to what we speak, before speaking it. This is not just some interesting theory this is real truth established in the Word of God. By saturating your heart with the Word of God, speaking words of truth, life and love will come easily. …for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:45c (KJV) Think about what you say, because words really do matter.

Here’s an awesome article written by Natalie Allen about the WORD.

Organizing the Inside – Day 263 How To Organize and Prepare For Fasting

6Is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? 7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh? 8Then shall your light break forth as the morning, and your health shall spring forth speedily: and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9Then shall you call, and the LORD shall answer; you shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness; Isaiah 58:6-9

Who: The bible does give many accounts of corporate fasts. (2 Chronicles 20:3, Jonah 3:7) I would encourage you to commit your part in a corporate fast to the Lord. Make certain that this is the fast for you. If God wants your participation, then He will speak to your heart. God won’t guilt you into fasting just because the Pastor said so and not even because it sounds like a good idea. If you are on board with what God is leading this particular group of people to do than great. If not, For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning. Romans 14:23b (NLT)

What: Fasting is serious business. You should not arbitrarily proclaim a spiritual fast as something to do to be more spiritual. If the fast is not ordained by God you probably won’t last until the end anyway. View fasting as something more than a tradition or ritual and enter into it with purpose, reverence and humility; otherwise you will likely give in to your flesh and not last until the end. The world fast for strife and debate; they call it a hunger strike. As believers we don’t fast to prove a point or to make our voice heard by political officials. We fast to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free, to break every yoke of bondage. I do believe it is possible to have strong faith in one area and not have faith in another area. Therefore, it’s important to be specific about what you are fasting for.

When: You will know when to fast according to how the Holy Spirit is leading you. When there is a hard thing in your life, and you know that your doubt and unbelief is affecting your faith, this is likely a great time to proclaim a fast. But no one can tell you when to fast except the Holy Spirit. Unless it is a corporate fast and even then you want to know God is speaking to you to fast. Give your fast a start and end time as well as a specific purpose. Take your fast before the Lord and proclaim it before Him.

Some fast from sun up to sun down. Some fast for several days consecutively or for longer. Another method is to fast from sun up to sun down, but over the course of days. When fasting, you will reach a point where food is no longer a concern or preoccupation. Generally, the most difficult part of a fast is likely the first few days because your body is craving food. You must push past this point and then you will begin to sense the spirit man getting stronger and the hunger and constant thoughts about food will subside.

How: There are several ways of fasting. No food only water, no food or water and no food and natural juices. The point is to deny your body of food; essentially to deny your flesh. However, some modified versions of fasting abstain from other things like television or sweets. (read Daniel 10) You know the things that your flesh tends to want; be led by God in what you should fast.

The end of the fast is as important as the beginning and middle. I suggest you never come off an extended fast quickly and abruptly. Be prayerful, and ease back into your normal food routine. Otherwise, you may make yourself very ill. If after seven days of no food you decide to raid the fridge and eat everything imaginable, you will pay severely.

Additionally if you are on medication or have health concerns about fasting, exercise wisdom. Consult with your physician and more importantly, consult with the Lord. God knows your heart and He will show you exactly what to do about fasting.

Make sure you don’t give up one thing, only to take up another. For example you may be prone to eat out of boredom, but after giving up food you take up television, this will make your fast ineffective.

Consider having communion as the last and first meals of your fast, marking the beginning and ending. There is nothing in the bible (that I’m aware of) that says you can’t have communion at home or on your own. Surely God will lead you; you only need to ask Him for guidance.

Be certain that you don’t appear to be fasting, this is a private matter and no one else needs to know. 16And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18 (NLT)

Finally, the only exception is if you are married you’ll need to gain agreement with your spouse before proclaiming a fast. The married woman is subject to her own husband and during your fast you will abstain from normal relations therefore it’s a good idea not to suddenly spring it on him. (read Numbers 30:10-15 and 1 Corinthians 7:5)

As mentioned in yesterday’s post. It’s important to take heed to what you do and say when you are fasting. This is a time of consecration and hanging out in your usual places (while nothing sinful of course) won’t support your efforts to set yourself aside.

In conclusion, fasting is something I believe is very personal between you and the Lord. These are only guidelines and suggestions to help you organize yourself for a fast. This was not meant to be an in-depth study on fasting.  The information I share on this post and any other is mostly out of my own personal experience and walk with God. My heart’s desire is to inspire you and me and encourage us both to deepen our relationship with Jesus by working on organizing ourselves from the inside out.

Organizing the Inside – Day 262 Lord, Help My Unbelief

17Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. 18And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.  Matthew 14:17-20 (KJV)

Jesus made it clear what the problem was.
Jesus told His disciples, “Because of your unbelief,” this is why they couldn’t get rid of the hard thing. The same applies to our lives as Christians; certain things that keep coming up or that we continue to struggle with are still hanging on, not because of a lack of faith, but because of no faith. You won’t get the full meaning of this scripture if you read it in some versions. The King James Version makes this clear. Jesus said faithless, which is not the same as other versions, which reads “little faith.” Real faith doesn’t have any unbelief mixed in, and only a small amount is needed. We’re talking mustard seed size!

Jesus gives a simple solution.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Matthew 14:21 (KJV) Consider this, Jesus was referring to this kind of unbelief, not a certain kind of demon. The unbelief in your life that affects your faith only goes out by prayer and fasting. Something supernatural happens when you fast and pray. The spirit man becomes empowered as your flesh is crucified and denied food. Caution, fasting without prayer will do nothing but make you hungry. The two must go together, so never fast under constraint or when you’re not praying and only do so when led by the Holy Spirit.

When fasting, consecrate yourself unto God.
Fasting and prayer is what Jesus prescribed as the remedy for unbelief. Take heed to the things you do, the places you go and the things you say. Set yourself aside for holy purposes. (Isaiah 58:7) While I believe you can continue routine daily activities, your spiritual awareness is heightened to hear the voice of God and it’s important to keep your heart in tune. Remember fasting is not a means by which you get your point across to God, but an act of humble submission whereby you allow the Spirit of God to purge the doubt and unbelief. Jesus said unto him, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”  Mark 9:23 (KJV) If you are to, loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and… break every yoke? Isaiah 58:6 (KJV) I assure you that you will not be able to undo any heavy burdens in your own or anyone else’s life with unbelief hanging around. Jesus told His disciples, “Because of your unbelief,” this is why they couldn’t get rid of the hard thing. The disciples couldn’t break the yoke of bondage for one reason, their unbelief.

We don’t fast to move mountains.
We fast to deny the flesh and strengthen the inner man as we draw closer to God. As a result of that closeness (oneness) we are then empowered to do His will. Because of the heightened awareness of your spirit you will begin to see things that were not otherwise apparent. Through fasting and prayer you are empowered to proceed (take action) in faith, break yokes of bondage and undo heavy burdens. The Word of God is real, true and active. (also read James 2:14-24)

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will look at how to prepare and organize for a fast. We will cover simple steps you can take to make sure you have an effective fast, and that you last until the end.