Unveiling the mystery of spiritual empowerment through fasting
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. – Luke 4:14-15
Today we will look at WHY fasting is the platform for spiritual empowerment, producing radical and miraculous results.
Please take all the time you need to follow me carefully in this article, though it seems too long. You shall see why when you finish reading it.
And I pray that you receive the spirit of fasting and prayer from the Spirit of God as you read.
We are told in Luke 4:14-15 that Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee after His 40-day fast, and His fame spread through all the region round about. He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
Why is it that Jesus Christ never performed miracles let alone do anything outstanding until He returned from the wilderness of fasting and temptation? Well, He needed power. He needed to not only be endued with the power of the Spirit to fulfil His ministry and destiny, also to have the ability to function in this power.
After the fast then came the power! Fasting today, power tomorrow.
You may need a breakthrough, and fasting is one way to guarantee it.
That breakthrough might be in the realm of the spirit. It may be in the realm of your emotions or personal habits. It may be in the realm of a very practical area of life, such as a relationship or finances.
I can say with Marilyn Hickey today that what I have seen repeatedly through the years – not only in the Scriptures but in countless personal stories that others have told me – is that periods of fasting and prayer produce great spiritual results, many of which fall into the realm of a breakthrough.
What wasn’t a reality . . . suddenly was. What hadn’t worked . . . suddenly did. The unwanted situation or object that was there . . . suddenly wasn’t there. The relationship that was unloving . . . suddenly was loving. The job that hadn’t materialised . . . suddenly did.
But the question is, why is this so?
There are some problems too large for our faith alone to handle. This is when we need to fast. Fasting enlarges the capacity for faith. Faith does not come by fasting, but fasting can open your heart wider to receive more faith. Faith comes only by hearing God’s Word, but fasting can make you more sensitive to listening to God’s Word. The result is more faith.
Why does fasting work? The answer is found in understanding how God answers prayer.
Ephesians 3:20 clues us in: “Now to him [God] who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, ACCORDING TO his power that is at work within us.”
This scripture does NOT promise that God answers our prayers immeasurably more than what we ask. It only says that God is ABLE to do more than what we ask or imagine. The key phrase to understanding this scripture is the phrase “according to.”
The words “according to” suggest that prayer is answered in proportion to something. That “something” is “God’s power that is at work within us.” In other words, God will answer your prayers according to the amount of power that is currently at work within your spirit. God uses the power working within you to answer your own prayers!
Take note that this is not just power residing in you, but that power WORKING in you. Every Christian has power dwelling in them in the form of God’s Holy Spirit, but the question is, is that power working and to what extent?
If there is little power working in your spirit, then God does little for you. If there is a lot of power working in you, then God does a lot for you. It’s that simple!
The key to answered prayer is having power working within your spirit!
What does this have to do with fasting?
Very simply this. Your spirit and your flesh are in opposition to each other (Galatians 5:16-22). One will win and gain control and the other will lose and forfeit control. Either your flesh wins or your spirit wins. If your spirit wins, then you become stronger in spirit. This will enable more spiritual power to work within you. The result is obvious: your prayers are answered.
And how does your spirit get strength? The same way your flesh gets strength. By catering to it.
Your reborn spirit gets stronger when you furnish what the spirit desires. Your spirit desires the Word of God, prayer, holiness, Christian fellowship, etc. The more you give your spirit these things, the stronger the spirit will become. The same is true with your flesh.
The primary desires of the flesh are food, water, sleep–yes, even sex. Satisfy these cravings, and the body will want more.
The flesh gains strength when it gets what it wants.
The flesh loses strength when it does not get what it wants. This is where fasting can aid you in defeating the power of the flesh.
Fasting deprives the flesh of its desires, thereby crippling its strength.
Fasting causes the flesh to lose ground. Add prayer to fasting, and you can readily see the result: the flesh loses ground while at the same time your spirit gains ground.
Imagine your flesh and spirit are in a race against each other. Every time you do something for them, they move forward. So here you are. You pray, read the Word, go to church – and as a result your spirit moves forward. Yet at the same time you feed your body food as usual. So your flesh races forward, keeping up with your spirit. This goes on continually in most people’s lives. And we wonder why we are not making spiritual progress – growing in faith, love, grace, and power.
What’s the solution? FAST. Fasting makes your flesh go backwards, while praying will rocket your spirit forward, leaving your flesh way behind. As your spirit gains the upper hand, the power of the Holy Spirit in your can operate without hindrance and at a high frequency.
And then God can do great things through and in your life, ACCORDING TO THE POWER AT WORK IN YOU!