This season we’re asking everyone in Church to do 3 things;
- Choose a Fast
- Choose a Prayer Meeting
- Bring an Offering
Jesus tells us in Matthew Chapter 6 He tells the disciples if you do these things privately they will produce a public result. When you pray, when you fast and when you give your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you openly. We are believing for breakthroughs in people’s lives. Of those topics fasting is probably the most controversial.
Ephesians 5:1 NKJV
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
Matthew 4:1-2 NKJV
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry
Jesus gave us the model to live, to be Christ like. One of the things Jesus did was a significant fast. If you look at the timeline of Jesus’ life, the first 30 years relative obscurity as a carpenter’s son. Beginning His ministry He went to John the Baptist to be baptised. The Spirit descended upon Him like a dove and He was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil where He fasted 40 days and 40 nights at the of the time He was hungry.
I believe Jesus was given grace to complete the fast and when the 40 days and 40 nights had finished the grace lifted and He became hungry. Then it says He was tempted by the devil and came back into the city where He began His public ministry. Notice He completed a fast before a new season was ushered in. Sometimes God will call you to fast and uses that as a way to send you in to the new season.
A number of years ago I was invited to teach at a Bible college. To know whether or not I should do it, I fasted and prayed. Morning tea came around and I knew that it what God wanted me to do. But I felt Him tell me to keep fasting. I felt the grace of God to continue, I didn’t feel hungry. All the way up to day 13. I was praying at lunchtime when I heard the Holy Spirit say it’s done. I said awesome, whats done? He said you’re going to start travelling and preaching now. Up until that time I had a desire to travel and preach but I was only invited to 2 or 3 events a year, next week I had 3 invitations, the next 6 years I was travelling to 3 or 4 events a month, then for the next 6 years after that full time travelling itinerant around Australia. If I look back at what was the catalyst for the new season was fasting. Even Jesus fasted and so if we want to be Christ like there will be a time when we are called to fast.
Matthew 6:16-18 NKJV
“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Jesus expects us to fast. It says when you fast, at that time between Matthew 5-7 it’s The Sermon on the Mount. He’s speaking to everyone following Him at that time, when you fast. There is an expectation that at some time you will fast.
Matthew 9:14-15 NKJV
Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Here John the Baptist’s disciples come to Jesus and ask why do we and the Pharisees fast often but Your disciples don’t? One of Jesus’ disciples was Andrew, and Andrew was actually one of John the Baptist’s disciples. When Jesus started His ministry Andrew left John the Baptist and followed Jesus. Jesus says can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them and they will fast. Notice Jesus says while they’re here with me while I’m on earth they won’t fast but when I go they will. If you look at the rest of Acts fasting was what they did. There is an expectation.
Acts 13:1-3 NKJV
Now in the church that was at Antioch, there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Here are some things that happened before, Jesus Christ came, died and rose again. Secondly, the Holy Spirit was poured out on them. We can already see this is the lifestyle of a New Testament believer. At that point in the early Church they were fasting and praying. It doesn’t say for anything specific, it was part of the lifestyle and how they worshipped.
In the midst of that, the Holy Spirit said set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work that I’ve shown them. Very interesting as a side note, the Bible tells us earlier that Saul who was a hater of Christianity on the road to Damascus he was knocked off his horse and had an encounter with Jesus. At that point, the Lord said to him I’m going to make you a light to the gentiles. He didn’t just take that word and go do it straight away. When Christians step out into it and it doesn’t work, it’s because they did the right thing at the wrong time.
Saul went back to the Church of Jerusalem full of Jewish Christians. During a time of prayer and fasting, God spoke to them and say now you can start the ministry to which I’ve called you. I am sure at the start of that fast no one knew that was going to happen, but in the midst of it, that was what happened. That’s why at some point in your life as a believer. It’s not every week, it’s not even every year. At some point as a New Testament believer, God is going to call us to do some fasting.
Daniel 10:2-3 NKJV
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
So for three weeks Daniel was fasting, jumping forward to verse 12. Just before this an angel appears and speaks to him.
Daniel 10:12-13 NKJV
Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
Watch this, Daniel starts on a 21 day fast. After 21 days Daniel receives an angel. The angel said to him this, the moment you started praying I was coming to give you the answer. What delayed me? The Princes of Persia. That phrase Princes of Persia means principalities, powers and demonic forces over that territory. They were stopping me from getting through to you. While praying and fasting not even knowing, God sent the Archangel Michael – and that way he was able to breakthrough.
Watch this, you start praying and fasting, you don’t even realise some of the warfare you’re interacting in. There’s some things you’re releasing in the spirit that you don’t even see coming and eventually, the breakthrough comes. That’s why the devil is attacking you so much before this fast. Because the devil knows what’s going to happen as a result of it. I have found so often in the life of a Christian one of the main times the enemy attacks is just before a fast. It is an act of warfare the enemy doesn’t want us to fast, he actually opposes it. Sometimes when you fast you’re engaging in spiritual warfare. The bible says the weapons of warfare are not carnal but they are mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, and one of the ways we engage in spiritual warfare is in fasting.
Mark 9:29 NKJV
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
This kind can only come out through prayer and fasting. What that tells me is there are some breakthroughs you’re only going to get through prayer and fasting. It also tells me this, if you’ve never fasted before – get ready. Because there are some breakthroughs coming your way. That you didn’t even realise were available.
I love the story in Judges 20, which talks about the Israelites going to war with the Benjamites. They were praying and said Lord should we fight the Benjamites? The Lord said yes. So they went out and fought and lost. They came back and prayed again, Lord should we fight the Benjamites? So they went out again and lost. They came back to camp once more.
Judges 20:26-28 NKJV
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. So the children of Israel inquired of the Lord (the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of my brother Benjamin, or shall I cease?” And the Lord said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.” Have you ever done something God told you to do and it didn’t work out the way you thought?
They prayed and asked, do you really want us to fight? We’ve lost twice already and the Lord said Go up for tomorrow I will deliver them into your hand.
Notice the first two times they sought the Lord He said yes. The third time he said yes and you’ll win. What was the difference? This time they fasted to get the breakthrough the word of God said they’d have. This is why we call this season 21 Days of Breakthrough because I believe there are breakthroughs available for our Church as a result of fasting.
Matthew 6:17-19 NKJV
But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
He says we are going to get rewards as a result of fasting. What are we going to get? It doesn’t say, because there is a multiplicity of things that could happen. Sometimes you can receive direction, sometimes revelation, sometimes you can receive a miracle, sometimes you can receive deliverance. I’ve seen some people receive life-changing deliverance from patterns and habits as a result of fasting, healing as a result of fasting, there are so many things that can happen when you fast.
In 2018 when we called the first 21 Days of Breakthrough, our Church financially was in a big mess. In one of the prayer meetings there we 4 of us in the meeting. We were praying in the Holy Spirit, I saw a picture of us holding detonators over a massive bedrock. I said I think we’re supposed to keep praying, we prayed for about 55 minutes non-stop. At the end of that time, I saw us push the detonators. The bedrock shifted and I saw blessing flowing out of it. I said I think something has just happened. Over the following year, our Church experienced the greatest financial breakthrough. God has done incredible things. This year we’ve put 4 more staff on. We were not in a position like that 3 years ago. Something happened when we were praying, fasting and giving – something shifted and moved that was impregnable as a result of fasting.
My encouragement for you is this, we don’t pray and fast to make God love us, to make ourselves worthy, to prove who is more spiritual. We pray and fast because God has rewards for that discipline. I believe God has things for every single one of us. You would choose one type of fast, certain people’s jobs and health will prevent them from some fasts.
5 Types of Fast:
- Juice and Broth
- Daniel Fast
- Intermittent Fasting
- Delicacies Fast
- Media Fast
Some people have said they have events and Birthdays e.t.c. what should I do? Participating in the party, I don’t believe that will stop you from seeking God.
Choose a prayer meeting and bring an offering. Matthew Chapter 6 says, when you pray, when you fast, when you give your Father in heaven sees what you do in secret and will reward you openly.
There was a man in our Church believing for promotion in his career for 20 years and he got knocked back, after the 21 Days of Breakthrough he applied one more time and he got the job.
Write down things you’re believing for in the next 3 weeks. Every prayer meeting we have we will carry the requests around and we will pray for them. Jesus says if two or three of you agree for anything it will be done. The next three weeks are set apart for the Lord, the next three weeks we’re believing in God for breakthrough.