The Pastor’s Quill
FASTING… Not So Fast!
By Pastor Tim Hodge
Jan 07, 2018
Judges 20:26–27 (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. (v27) So the children of Israel inquired of the Lord (the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days…).”
I want to take a simple exegetical (word-by-word) look at Judges 20:26-27. Let’s pick it apart and get a biblical picture of some elements of FASTING. First, we see ALL the people participated. There is something very special that transpires by the Holy Spirit when people come together in ONE MIND and ONE ACCORD. Quite literally, He shows up, shows out, and shows off. It happened during a time of fasting and prayer in 2 Chronicles 20 when ALL the people came together – a strong prophetic word came forth and a miraculous deliverance was given to God’s people. It happened in Acts chapter two when the early Christians gathered in the Upper Room – He blew in and baptized them all in power and fire. Fasting is INCLUSIVE – everyone can participate. When a time of special fasting and prayer is called, don’t allow the enemy of your soul (that lying devil) make you feel you can’t take part. Don’t you even allow the thought, “I just can’t do that,” go through your mind. You CAN! In the 2 Chronicles 20 scenario, even the BABIES who were nursing were included in the fast for the day. Don’t tell me your level of spiritual discipline is lesser than that of an infant. Is it? Okay, I’m sure they were kicking and screaming, but shouldn’t our carnal nature do a little kicking and screaming in a time of fasting?
Second, we see they came to the HOUSE OF GOD. During a time of FASTING there must be more than a mutual meeting of the hearts and minds on a subject. There must be a physical gathering. I use this phrase often, but it is fitting here: “When we come together there should be a cross-pollination of our FAITH!” In God’s house, a special and sanctified place, we should have an extra release of power and anointing by the Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, they WEPT! This shows a strong essence of repentance and brokenness. Physiologically, fasting is recommended for the body to detoxify all the nasty stuff we have taken into our systems. The liver, kidneys, and digestive tract can have a time to be cleansed of lingering toxic junk. That’s true and it is a great benefit. However, fasting is not all natural. It has a stronger spiritual concept to it. It is a time to DETOX OUR SPIRITS AND MINDS! Repentance is a great way to detox during a fast. We can repent of lax living, bad attitudes, unforgiveness, etc. And still, this is a time of allowing God to BREAK us concerning things we really should be BROKEN about (i.e. our lost loved ones). If there is no weeping during fasting then something is not being accomplished to the level it has the possibility of actually reaching.
Fourthly, they SAT BEFORE THE LORD. Here is a forgotten art in America’s churches: TARRYING. I honestly don’t believe many people understand the power of WAITING on God. Our microwave-mentalities want to hit that two-minute button and *POOF* it’s done. Not so in the Kingdom. In Luke 24:49, Jesus gave a deliberate command: “Tarry in Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high.” There were no follow-up questions from those He spoke to. The command was simple: “Wait! You’ll know when it happens!” I have memories from my boyhood of seeing saints gathered at altars weeping, mourning, crying out to God, and PRAYING THROUGH! Sometimes they’d stay there for hours. At the next service they’d repeat the scenario. I saw miracles come from these times of waiting on God. I’m one of those miracles.
This waiting on the Lord element brings in an aspect of FASTING that has nothing to do with food. During a season of FASTING & PRAYER we should also look at not only what we are eating, but WHAT IS EATING OUR TIME!?!?!?!?! What activities should we put on the backburner for the designated time of FASTING and replace those activities with prayer, meditation, and getting into the word of God? That aspect may make more people cringe than the idea of going without food.
For the sake of space, that’s all I have time for here today. I’ll follow up next week. Until then, if we take these four points to heart, I’m sure we will see the miraculous hand of God move on our behalf. I’m SURE OF IT!!!!!
Fasting is one way we SIMPLIFY our lives and prepare ourselves for the promised “PLEASANT SURPRISES!”