Organizing the Inside 365 Days

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

Archive for Unbelief

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.