By Bishop Toris Young
4. The fast before a battle
There is another fast in Judges 20, which is a powerful chapter about fasting. God had told the children of Israel to fight the tribe of Benjamin, because the tribe of Benjamin had become perverted and God was ready to judge them. He said, "I want you to go fight against them." They prayed and sought the Lord, and then asked Him, "Should we go now?"
And God said yes. He told them to send Judah up to the battle first. They sent Judah and his men to battle, and they lost the battle, losing 22,000 men. Think about what had happened; they did just what God told them to do, and it was a failure and a disaster.
They went back home and cried and sought God as earnestly as they knew how to do. Then they again asked, "Should we go out today and fight against our enemy again?"
Again God said, "Yes absolutely go." They went out to battle and lost 18,000 more men. In two days, 40,000 Israeli soldiers were dead. The amazing thing is that God had told them to do it, and yet they were suffering defeat. But then we come to verse 26, which says: "Then all the children of Israel, that is, all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the Lord and fasted that day until evening; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord." The children of Israel fasted that day until evening and brought a peace offering before the Lord. If you read the rest of the story, that time they went out and completely killed off the enemy.
What is that about? You should never go into a major battle without fasting first. Don`t expect to walk into expansion and do great things for God, or to start a new initiative or plan that launches you out or expands your business, without putting a day of fasting behind that effort. something happens when we fast and pray that will not happen if you don`t fast, even if God told you to do it. First, you need to attach fasting to it. it will bring the victory every time.
5. Fasting to lift God`s judgment from another`s life
The fifth fast is found in 1 Kings 21:27-29
So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, "See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house."
This is the story of Ahab, a king who was extremely wicked. A prophet prophesied over him that the dogs would lick up his blood because he had sinned against God. Do you know someone who knows right from wrong, and yet that person is living a wicked life? There is a supernatural power in fasting and prayer that is not confined just to your life.
Ahab was so wicked that the prophet told him the dogs would lick up his blood, and hearing that so moved him that he humbled himself and began to fast. God said that because that wicked man had humbled himself in fasting, God would lift the judgment. I believe that you can fast and pray and by so doing lift judgment off another`s life. If you know someone for whom you desire to see God`s judgment lifted, pray these words:
Father, I claim this soul for You, I pray that even as I fast, You will lift judgment off_____________________`s life and extend mercy. Bring that person to his senses, I pray. break the yoke of sin that binds. Loose the bands of wickedness. break up and mess up ungodly associations in that person`s life. Drive him or her to their knees. In Jesus`s name, amen.
6. The fast for healing
Just as 1 Corinthians has become known as the "love chapter," Isaiah 58 is the "fasting chapter." In that chapter we read:
Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the mourning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, "Here I am." Isaiah 58:6-9
This portion of Scripture says that your health will spring forth speedily. Fasting can usher in God`s healing; your cholesterol levels can come down, your blood pressure can normalize, and you will feel the healing power of God come upon you. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. If we would just get out of the way and let Him be God, we will see His supernatural power at work. But we must decrease, and He must increase.
7. The dominion fast-the forty-day fast
Why sis Jesus fast for forty days and forty nights? (See Matthew 4.) He did it for dominion. he did it for authority. Adam lost dominion when he ate of the fruit of the tree God told him not to eat. Esau lost his birthright by eating. In the wilderness, the children of Israel lost the Promised Land by eating quail when God had given them His supernatural provision of manna. Is that meat you feel like eating rather than fasting worth the risk of you missing the promise of God? Fasting makes you tough in the spirit. Fasting makes the inner man rise up and say, "Devil, who do you think you are to mess with my family, or put fear in my mind, or inflict my body. Greater is He that is in me." By fasting forty days and nights, Jesus got back dominion. He returned in the power of the Spirit after He fasted.
THE EFFECT OF GODLY FASTING:
When you fast, you will raise up a foundation for many generations. In Ezra 8, we read these words: "Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions" (Ezra 8:21). I believe there are three powerful reasons indicated in this verse for fasting.
First, we fast to seek of God the right way for us. God will reveal to you the right way. He`ll help you at the transitions. He`ll give you the wisdom you need. he`ll give you the direction that you need. You may be thinking, "Should I take that opportunity? Should I go for that job? Should I go to that college? Should I be this or should I do that? "You should determine to fast to seek of Him the right way for yourself.
Second you should fast for your little ones, your children. God said that you can raise up a foundation for many generations by fasting. something begins to happen in the home of people who fast. The house of faith is built, and it extends from generation to generation to generation. At Greater Bibleway Church International we are able to reach people around the world because of our commitment to fasting and prayer, we have people sending there prayer request to us each and everyday because they know that we can get a prayer through on there behalf. I have seen so many people healed, delivered, set free and doors open because of fasting and praying.
Third, we learn in Ezra 8:21 that we should fast for substance. We fast to petition God about our substance, our resources, our finances. We affirm to God that he is our Source, and we are pleading for Him to bless us financially and materially.
When we fast, we are seriously seeking God`s face. Fasting disrupts business as usual. Is that what you are looking for? Are you crying out for God to do something in you that He has never done before? Are you tired of business as usual? The, get ready to begin your fast!
You can receive a copy of Bishop Toris T. Young Journal a 21-day guide to successful fast, along with a personal word from Bishop Young. Why do we fast, Preparation for the fast, Getting Started and 21-days of directions and all the tools to seek God and get true results. This Journal is free, for a gift to Greater Bibleway Church International of $10 or more we will send you a personal journal signed and anointed by Bishop Young so that you can get started today.