Wouldn’t it be great to know what tomorrow will bring into your life? What if you knew what the future will be- how would it impact the way you think, walk and live in this life? What if someone would daily give you instruction and you flow with that information and stand amazed how it all played out-how would you react? Well, the thought of knowing the future or things before they actually happen may be spooky for some, while it is intriguing for others God had provided the means to take us there and experience it first-hand.
We spoke about the proper practice God outlined for Israel to fast in Isaiah 58:6-12. God promised us that if we fast according to the list given by Isaiah the Prophet, we will obtain and maintain various spiritual blessings;
1. We will be shining Lights
2. Healing in various areas
3. God’s Righteousness
4. Greater Anointing and Power
5. Our Prayers constantly Answered
6. Continual Guidance by the Holy Spirit
7. Spiritual and Emotional satisfaction
8. Refreshing presence of God when we’re running dry
9. Projects that endure
10. A Restorer and Repairer of people’s lives
Waiting on God with Fasting
We spoke about “Waiting on God Developing Ministry” in one of the previous articles. In it we outlined Jesus’ calling, training, entrance into the ministry, and consistent guidance. I would like to look again at this amazing example with a different approach with reference to a focus on the Fasting Factor that made Jesus into a powerful minister.
When we WAIT on God with FASTING- we are in effect saying, “I’m fully expecting you to confirm and reaffirm instructions to guide me in the next phase of ministry. When we WAIT we are remaining in expectation to be used by God. As we FAST the fight we experience with hunger pains, evil thoughts, and past shameful memories will try to side-track us from the purpose God has for us. So let’s look at how Jesus professionally dealt with His Fast Waiting on God.
At the age of 30, Jesus was inspired to go to John the Baptist to be baptized in water (Luke 3:21-23)
Jesus did not move immediately into the ministry even though He was baptized and anointed with the Holy Spirit. (Lesson 1)
Jesus waited and was led. (Lesson 2)
The Bible says, Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil (Luke 4:1-2)(Lesson 3)
Just because you’ve been baptized in water and by the Holy Spirit and experienced the presence of God in your life doesn’t mean you go out and save the world. Jesus could have taught in the synagogue that day when He was baptized by John. No, He Waited and the Holy Spirit led Him- Where? Into the wilderness to FAST, FAST, FAST for 40 days being tempted by the devil. What for? What was He lacking?
God moved Jesus in this way to teach us an OLD &NEW Testament example. When Israel was miraculously delivered from Egypt they had an 11 day journey to the promise land which became a 40 year experience. Moses said, and you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these 40 years in the wilderness,
1. To humble you,
2. And to test you,
3. To know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not (Deut.8:2)
Jesus was led to Fast 40 days, because God the Father had to allow Him to be tested by the devil. Just like the children of Israel were tested for 40 years. It took 40 days verses 40 years for Jesus to straighten out the spiritual kinks in His life oppose to the 40 years the Israelites did and failed God.
God wanted Jesus to model what a Man of God should ideally encounter for their practical application to becoming a powerful minister. The refining process God has for us to become a powerful minister will be the same-to humble us, to test us, and to see what’s in our heart by way of FASTING.
Temptation with Fasting
The reason for Jesus fasting was to be tempted by the devil. Remember in my previous article “Why are you Fasting,” we pointed out 9 reasons for proper fasting. The 10th reason is to be tempted by the devil.
1. To humble us
2. To test us
3. And to see what’s in our heart, to see if we obey God.
The 40 Day Temptation
The devil’s temptation was on 3 areas of Jesus’ life and ministry (Matthew 4:1-10)
1. Jesus’ physical need and desires. Turn this stone into bread. Jesus fought back by saying, Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God.
2. Jesus’ authority and power as the Son of God. Throw yourself off the cliff the Angels will catch you. Jesus’ combat the temptation by saying You shall not tempt the Lord God.
3. Offering Jesus material wealth and security for ungodly idol worship. Jesus said you shall worship God alone.
The Practical Approach to Fasting
These areas of temptation that we may experience when we fast for entrance into the ministry as God will lead us; Is design to refine our character to say no to ungodly counsel, offers, and wealth and false security by evil sources. A minister needs to be aware of these areas of temptation. People will be used by the devil to interrupt your fellowship with God during your fast. Friends and family members will suddenly come and visit you, old flames, ex’s, will desire sexual encounters they will call, text, and email you. Offers for business ventures will come to side-track you. Positions for management will come to try to take your time away from seeking God.
The devil tried recently to side-track me with a management position for 8 months with the MTA project that was promising with great pay but it consumed me. So I did some work for them and resigned because it took away from doing God’s will. They understood and released me. I did help them tremendously for 3 weeks. However, I have a job that allows me to pay my bills and write articles teaching God’s people. God said, I will take care of you just teach on-line.
God may have you fast more than 40 days periodically. 3, 5, 7, 10 or however many days throughout the year to polish you until you overcome the devil and training needed to enter into the ministry God has for you.
Fasting for POWER to Minister Effectively
After the 40 day fast and temptation from satan in several areas in His personal life and ministry. Jesus passed the test and returned in the POWER of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him throughout all the region round about. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all (Luke 4:14-15).
At this point in Jesus’ life, He knew He was called, He was trained for 30 years, He was baptized in water and by the Holy Spirit. He was led into the wilderness to fast 40 days. He returned in the POWER of the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is different from being in the POWER of the Holy Spirit for the divine purpose of ministry. Only fasting not just once but over- and –over as the Spirit leads us will allow us to encounter a powerful anointing to minister.
I encourage you to read this article and the other waiting on God article to get deeper into this area of ministry by fasting. In my next article we will look at other bible characters who were led to fast for power to minister. May God bless you with insight and passion to begin fasting for power in Jesus’ name amen.
Read more articles by Manuel Vargas or search for articles on the same topic or others.