The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting (Pt.7)

by Rick

Today we continue our new series entitled, “The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting,” under the banner of the overall series for the year: “Expectation.”  We have already covered Jesus’ 40-day fast and  yesterday I introduced you to Moses’ 40-day fast.  I will discuss Moses’ fast, and the encounter he had with God during it, further today.

 

The Lord called Moses up to Mount Sinai.  He told Moses to come alone.  Moses went.  During this time he had an amazing encounter with God.  He came back after 40 days and 40 nights with the 10 Commandments and the glory of the Lord all over his face.  During this time Moses did not eat anything.  His supernatural encounter with God came during a 40-day fast.

 

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things.

 

  1.  We live in a society that is so fast-paced that people often attempt to excuse their lack of focus on God to their busy schedule.  Most of us have more task than time.  Many of us have jobs that don’t end at 5pm.  We have devices that connect us to work as soon as we get up and the devices keep us connected until we go to sleep.  Some even get interrupted while they are sleeping by their devices and the demands of their job and/or business.  It’s hard to imagine a time when Moses could take a 40-day Sabbatical and simply give all his time and attention to God.  Most people today have a hard time giving God 40 minutes, much less 40 days.  But all that said, I believe the busyness of our lives actually further emphasizes the importance of fasting.  You don’t have to stop working to fast.  You don’t have to change your schedule to fast.  Most of the time, you don’t have to (and you shouldn’t) tell people you are fasting.  You can simply go about your normal routine, but you can then take the time that was normally allocated to meal prep and meal consumption and spend time in the presence of the Lord.  God will honor your sacrifice and more importantly, fasting will change you!  If there was ever a time when this is critical, I believe today is that time.

 

  1.  Moses was so focused on God and what God was saying that he did not concern Himself with food.  Like Jesus said in John 4, there is food this world knows nothing about.  Both Moses and Jesus were satisfied in the presence of the Father, and He sustained them while their bodies went without food.  The same is true today.  Most people today are not going to fast for 40 days, and many don’t fast from all foods.  But whatever you are led to fast from, fast with all sincerity.  Give your heart and attention to God.  And He will sustain you as you fast.  And once again, fasting will change YOU!  Fasting will help you heighten your sensitivity for the things of God.  You will be able to hear and sense the Holy Spirit more clearly.

 

  1.  Fasting sets you up to have a divine encounter with God.  As I stated yesterday, many people express their frustrations to me, saying that they never hear God’s voice.  They complain about not truly sensing God’s presence.  I often respond by telling them to go on a fast and to spend time in prayer.  Fasting and praying are not about moving God.  God’s plans are set.  He knows what He is going to do.  What fasting and prayer do is help us align with God’s plans.  When we fast and pray, it helps us position ourselves in the center of God’s will.  This is where we want to be.  Oftentimes, we are not receiving or experiencing God’s best, because we are out of position.  Fasting helps us make and earthly alignment with our divine assignment.  Once we do, we get to enjoy the benefits of walking in the grace that is already allocated to us.  This grace wa being wasted while we were out of position.  But once we get IN position, we can make the most of God’s grace.  Like Paul, we can say, “God’s grace, towards me, shall not be in vain!

 

  1.  I could not close today’s message without going back to the impact the fast had on Moses.  When Moses came down from the mountain, he did not know it, but his encounter with God has residual effects.  Moses spent time in the presence of God while he was on top of the mountain.  During that time, Moses got to enjoy the glory of the Lord.  When he came back, that very same glory was ON HIM.  The glory of God was so thick on Moses’ face that people could not even stand to look at him.  Moses had to put a veil over his face, because what was on God wound up getting on him, in the presence of the Lord!  See, when you spend time in God’s presence, fasting and praying, it will change you!  What is on God will get on you!  You will leave your encounter with God with residue of the encounter all over you.  People will notice.  People will know that there is something different about you.  People will know that you have been with God, because you made the sacrifice to fast and pray.  I am a witness.  This has happened to me on many occasions.  I have had complete strangers come up to me and say things like, “Are you a man of God?,” “Are you a Pastor?,” “Who are you?  There is something about you.  Can you pray for me?”  This only happens when you MAKE time, despite your busy schedule, to give your attention to God.  This is why fasting is so critical, especially today!

 

Closing Confession:  

Father, this is a season of expectation for me.  This year I expect to see Your Harvest manifested in my life like never before.  For this to happen, I must align myself with Your will.  To do so, I fast and pray.  I don’t allow my schedule to be an excuse.  I MAKE time to give you time!  I give you my attention, so you don’t have to GET IT from me.  I make the effort to spend time in Your presence and as I do, I declare that I leave those encounters with Your glory still on me.  The world will take notice.  The world will know that I have been with You!  This is how You will draw in the lost to Jesus, through me!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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