UNBELIEF: The Enemy of Fasting
I believe it is important to go into this fast with a clear understanding of the Spiritual implications of fasting. The truth is, the devil and his hoards are not willing that you succeed in this year’s fast. I heard someone say, “This year’s fast is so much harder than last.” Yep! That is what happens. Anytime you stand up and make your declaration, the enemy of your soul is right there, waiting to do anything possible to hinder you from reaching the goal. I wanted to take a moment today and write about some of the enemies of fasting.
The first thing we need to remember is that what we do is Spiritual.
This is more then just not eating. It is not eating with a Spiritual purpose.
There has to be some mental preparation for going into the time of fasting.
We have to move in Faith. Why? Without it, it is impossible to please God. Understand this: THE BIGGEST ENEMY OF YOU ACCOMPLISHING YOUR GOAL FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS “UNBELIEF”
The truth is, there are many things that the enemy of your soul throws at you in everyday situations. On the other hand, when you have purposed to fast and pray this is a whole different level. You have to enter this with “Positive Faith.”
You have to understand and know that God has called you to follow Him. These 21 days of fasting and prayer are not something you are doing just so you can get out of the mess you are in while others are sinking in the boat. I am reminded of the time the disciples were on the water and a storm rose. All on board thought they were going to perish. Then off in the distance an image appears, is it a ghost? An illusion? Then they hear the spoken word, It’s me, Jesus. Lord if that is you bid me to come to you, Peter cried. Jesus called to Peter to come and Peter got out of the boat and stepped on the raging sea.
Often we focus on the negative of the story. You know the part, Peter notices the waves, and the storm Peter.. Suddenly this fearless disciple panics because he is sinking down under the water. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” But understand what Jesus said, because it is so important: Matthew 14:22-24 “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Make no mistake: Christ wasn’t winking or wearing a smile when he spoke these words to Peter. Jesus was grieved over his close friend’s unbelief. He was demanding, “Why did you doubt me, Peter? Am I not the Almighty Lord?”
Like Peter, we may move boldly in faith for years before a crisis comes that causes us to fix our eyes on our condition. As things grow worse, a sense of panic overtakes us, and we think we’re going to sink. Yet, the whole time God is within our reach.
Listen to the words of Jesus in Mark 11:20–24 “As they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto (Jesus), Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith…. What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”
When you are fasting you have to guard against unbelief.
On the night that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, He walked with the other disciples to the place called Gethsemane. Here in the garden Jesus went to pray. His heart was heavy, He knew what awaited Him, and when His trial became crushing and his cup overwhelmed Him, He wept out His deepest sorrows before the Father. At first glance one may speculate that Jesus would break under the pressure but that is quite the contrary. For it was here in the garden that He won the battle over every evil principality and power. Gethsemane is the place where all obstacles and mountains must obey His Word.
Some Christians today are say, “Ours is not a generation of tears. We have been called to celebrate. We are commanded to take everything by faith. All that is needed is for us to speak the Word, to say to our mountain, ’Go!’ There’s no need for tears, for crying from a crushed heart. We can simply meditate on God’s goodness.” Such is the posture of the prosperous modern church. They don’t want to sacrifice anything in intercession or tearful prayer. I agree, our God is a God of love, and yes, we are to celebrate before Him. Let me be clear, there will be times when trials are so overwhelming, that all one can is cry out to the the Lord.
It happened to Jesus. Yet, Christ never sinned in unbelief when He prayed at Gethsemane. On the contrary, he was demonstrating to His people how to obtain power and authority over all satanic forces. Remember when the disciples tried to cast out demons? All the hellish spirits laughed at them. It was not until Jesus came on the scene that the demons fled. The only authority they recognized was the one who had a contrite heart and broken spirit.
Jesus prayed a “breakthrough prayer” at Gethsemane. I think of Christ’s breakthrough prayer as the “ultimate prayer.” By ultimate I mean, the end of a series. Do you see this? By this point, everything had been tried. Now came the ultimate, or final prayer. The one that would move mountains and shake hell. It is simply this: “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).
Jesus gets up from pleading and says, in essence, “I have prayed, wept, fasted, done everything. Now, Father, I unload my soul to you, in total trust. Your will be done.”
Have you ever prayed this “ultimate prayer” over a situation? “Lord, I have prayed, fasted and interceded over this matter. I have asked, knocked, sought and believed. Yet, what is happening now is not what I want. In fact, I don’t think I can handle it. But You are the Almighty God, and I cast everything into Your hands. Now, Father, do what You want to do, when You choose to do it. I rest in Your promises to me.”
When you “believe,” you have rest. This is what the author of Hebrews talks about in Hebrews 4. To come into the blessed promise of the New Covenant, in which God declares to us, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my child.” Until you pray this ultimate prayer, you cannot move your mountain. But when you do, God will open your eyes to something amazing. You will no longer miss the answer to your prayer when it comes. Let us know be as so many others who say they believe yet, miss their answer when it is right in front of them. walk in faith, believe all things are possible. Destroy the enemy of fasting with the ultimate prayer, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”