The September Fast "...but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." Daniel 11:32
Welcome to our annual September Fast! Following is a list of fasting guidelines and instructions to help you in your quest for what the Lord has set before you. As a body of believers we join each year for the month of September to fast in unity to repent and seek the Face of the Lord. Please seek the Lord and ask Him what your portion will be during this fast and what your sacrifice will be to Him this month.
We will be having Saturday night Prayer and Worship Lock-Ins at the church from 7:00pm until midnight. September 8, 15, 22, and 29.
The 2008 fast concentrated on securing finances for the Kingdom work, and we surely have seen the prosperity of the Jehosephat Fast come down on us, as the Lord is faithful. In 2009 we engaged in the "Disciples Fast," endeavoring to seek God for the deliverance of souls from darkness. In 2010 we warred for our Nation and studied the Book of Ezra. As it is said in the book of Ezra:
"...The hand of our God is good upon us for there is hope concerning this thing. Arise and be of great courage and do it..."
"Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."Matthew 17:19-21
Fasting Instructions Isaiah 58:6-14 A fast should be done in conjunction with prayer, in two ways simultaneously.
Deny yourself a portion of:1) Food and2) pleasure
I. WHAT FASTING DOES A. Increases spiritual awareness and submission to God 1. Heightens our sensitivities to the spiritual realm 2. Reveals our inadequacies vs. God's adequacies 3. Increases our ability to hear God's voice and fight satan B. Believers fasted in Old Testament times. 1. Hannah was barren and was being harassed by Peninnah—I Samuel 1. 2. Hannah fasted and prayed for a child. C. Believers fasted in New Testament times when they ordained elders—Acts . D. Believers fasted in times of national crises—Esther .
II. DEFINITION OF FASTING A. Some fasts involve taking in water only; some fasts involve taking in some foods - Daniel 1:12. B. The Nazarites lived a fasted lifestyle. 1. Their diets were restricted and excluded grape products during vows of 30-90 days. 2. John the Baptist was a Nazarite. a) He ate locusts and wild honey—Mark 1:6. b) He had a special call on his life. C. Married people should fast only with each others' consent—I Corinthians 7:5. D. Paul fasted—II Corinthians 6:5; . E. Many of the miracles the early Church witnessed happened because of the foundation of prayer and fasting.
III. GOD HAS CHOSEN A SPECIFIC FAST A. The Disciples' Fast: to loosen the bands of wickedness 1. The disciples were unable to cast a demon out of a boy—Matthew . 2. Jesus cast the devil out and told His disciples, "This kind goes out only by prayer and fasting." B. The Ezra Fast: to undo heavy burdens 1. The Israelites safely endured a 1,000-mile journey back to Jerusalem after they had been freed from captivity in Babylon. 2. They carried gold and silver—Ezra . 3. They had little children and all their possessions. 4. They had fasted and prayed before they left—Ezra 8:23 C. The Samuel Fast: to release physical and spiritual oppression 1. Israel was oppressed by the Philistines. a. “Oppressed” can mean “broken by.” God restores us from this kind of oppression during a fast. b. The Israelites felt safe with the presence of God, the Ark—I Samuel 4. 2. They lost the Ark to the Philistines and the glory of the Lord departed.They would learn to lean and trust of God alone! a. Eli broke his neck and died. b. The Philistines reaped judgment. c. They finally sent the Ark back to the Israelites. 3. The Israelites mourned and sought God. 4. One message can stir people up for revival. a. Samuel called a one-day fast in Israel—I Samuel 7:6. b. They set aside idols and experienced God's presence. 5. Recognize your bondage. a. Repent and convert. b. The presence of God brings a breakthrough. c. Be dedicated. 6. The place of oppression can become the place of victory. a. Altars are the meeting place between God and man. b. You can hear the voice of God no matter where you are. D. The Elijah Fast: to break every yoke 1. Elijah had been used mightily of God. 2. He became temperamental and depressed —I Kings 19:4. 3. Elijah went on a 40-day fast—I Kings 19:8. 4. Fasting opened his heart so God could speak to him. E. The Widow's Fast: to share bread with the hungry 1. Elijah told the widow to fast and give the food to him—I Kings . 2. She fasted one meal and God multiplied her grain and oil for 3½ years —I Kings . 3. It's not the length of the fast, but the leading of the Lord in the fast. F. The St. Paul Fast: to allow God's light to break forth like the morning 1. He had a dramatic encounter with Jesus—Acts 9:3-7. 2. Paul went blind and fasted for three days—Acts 9:9. 3. Paul needed God's light to direct him. 4. Ananias prophesied God's will for Paul—Acts . G. The Daniel Fast: to restore to health 1. Daniel and his friends refused to eat the king's meat and drink— Daniel 1. 2. They were healthier and wiser at the end of ten days. H. The John the Baptist Fast: to bring forth righteousness 1. John was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb—Luke . 2. He made a way for Jesus and called people to righteousness. I. The Esther Fast: protection from evil 1. Haman wanted to destroy Israel—Esther 3:6,12,13. 2. Esther called a fast and went before the king on behalf of her people. J.The Jehosophat Fast:to secure victory in battle and obtain abundant physical blessings – 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 Jehosophat sought the Lord for help in time of crisis. He called the nation to a fast and their behavior during this time brought great results.
The Eight steps to The Jehosophat Fast: 1. Don’t be afraid 2. Lean upon the Lord (The Battle is His) 3. Stand 4. Rise up early to visit with God and get instruction 5. Believe that He will do what he says He will do. 6. Praise the Lord (Praising God before the promise arrives actually brings the promise to pass.Psalm 149 says that the “High praises of the saints executes judgment upon the enemy.”) 7.Expect complete deliverance, not partial, but complete. 8.There will be abundant blessings!
The RevivalCenter body of believers accomplished “The Jehosophat Fast” together for 30 days during the month of September, 2007.
IV. THE DISCIPLES' FAST – Book of Romans
A. Frees us from besetting (enslaving) sins , habits or behaviors.
1. When we submit our bodies to fasting, our attitude is affected. 2. Disciplining the body also disciplines the soul. B. Bondage comes when we believe the devil's lie that we have to give-in to habits or unChristlike behaviors and sins. C. God can deliver us from any temptation or bondage —I Corinthians . 1. Taking hold of God's Word causes us to be free. 2. To gain outward victory over sin, we need to take inner responsibility for our actions. 3. Fasting and prayer breaks bondages in our lives. D. Six things to do during the Disciples' Fast 1. Renounce sin. 2. Acknowledge problem. 3. Forgive. 4. Submit. 5. Take responsibility. 6. Disown sin.
V. ELIJAH'S LESSONS IN FASTING A. Emotional and physical habits need to be broken, be obedient. 1. Habits are behaviors we have grown accustomed to.
2. Jesus sets the captives free—Luke 4:18 B. Elijah was tremendously used by God, be faithful. 1. He prophesied a 3½-year drought—I Kings 17:1. 2. He prayed and it rained—I Kings 18:41-45. 3. He stood boldly against Ahab and Jezebel. 4. He called fire down from heaven—I Kings ,38. 5. He killed 450 prophets of Baal—I Kings ,40. C. He became depressed when things didn't go right, be aware. 1. Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah—I Kings 19:2. 2. Elijah became afraid, and he ran for his life. 3. He sat under a tree praying for death—I Kings 19:4. 4. Fear and depression can become a pattern for behavior. D. After big victories, the devil will counterattack, be watchful. 1. Noah built the ark, came through the flood, and ended up getting drunk — Genesis 6-9:21. 2. Lot got out of Sodom and Gomorrah, got drunk, and ended up committing incest — Genesis 19:29,32. 3. Peter got the revelation that Jesus was the Christ and ended up denying Him — Matthew ; 26:34. 4. Elijah was depressed and afraid because he did not see the big picture.
VI. EIGHT THINGS GOD DOES TO SET US FREE DURING A FAST --- As reviewed in the life of Elijah A. Prepares us 1. The angel gave Elijah food and water, and Elijah rested before his fast —I Kings 19:4-8. 2. Rest builds us up physically. B. Reveals our limitations 1. The angel said Elijah's journey was too great to travel without food, water, and rest beforehand —II Kings 19:7. 2. Fasting shows our insufficiency and God's sufficiency. C. Provides inspiration 1. Elijah went to Horeb—I Kings 19:8. 2. Mt.Carmel was in the Northern Kingdom, which was committed to worshipping demons and idols, but God prevailed there! 3. Mt.Horeb (Sinai) is where Moses saw the burning bush and where God gave the 10 Commandments. 4. God will inspireus to stand when fasting D. Opens our hearts so we can hear Him. 1. God spoke to Elijah, and Elijah responded that he was the only prophet left. I Kings 19:9-10,14. 2. Elijah was making excuses for his bad attitude. 3. He looked for an outward manifestation—I Kings -13. 4. Fasting touches our physical body, but it inwardly changes our soul as well. 5. God spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper. 6. God is faithful to set us free —I Corinthians 10:13. E. Builds our faith to confess and agree with His Word F. Speaks in a tender, inner voice where we can know His peace G. Shows His desire for our victory H. Gives new and clear direction—I Kings 19:15-21 1. He sent Elijah back the way he came. 2. God sets us free so we can face each situation we encounter.
VII. A NEW BEGINNINGaccording to I Kings Chapter 19 – Do not be afraid of the new beginning a fast often brings. --- As reviewed in the life of Elijah A. Elijah was to anoint Hazael to be the next king over Syria, Jehu to be the next king over Israel, and Elisha to be the next prophet. B. Elijah was never afraid or depressed again. 1. He who the Son sets free is free indeed. 2. Fasting and God's Word had set Elijah free and he yielded to God’s new design and direction for his ministry.
Ask the Lord what you should do and for how long you should do it.Each day of your fast you should be denying your flesh and your emotions.Perhaps you will engage in a complete water fast (take in nothing but water) or perhaps a juice fast (take in only juices).Often we commit to fast or “go without” a particular meal each day for the duration of the fast.Maybe one will only eat dinner and another will fast dinner.The Holy Spirit will show you what you are to do by the peace that enters your heart upon the thought of it, even if it is something you’d rather not do…… if it is of God, peace will be there.Also, when fasting one should commit to denying themselves a particular pleasure during the fast.Perhaps you will not go to the movies, not go shopping, don’t engage in sports or take “time off” of a friendship that you enjoy………. The Lord will lead you!
When we commit to a fast, we must also commit to prayer.Fasting without praying is like sowing without reaping.If you are going to be fasting, remember that you must take time to hear God during the fast.Be ready for God to make changes in your life, as well as destroy the works of the enemy and declare His Kingdom upon you. During prayer, the Lord will give you specific instruction and direction.When you pray, you will be able to more clearly define and embrace what God is doing through the fast.When you get hungry, this is time to read the Word of God and to pray.Take time to worship and minister to the Lord.Develop new habits. If you do not have a love for the word of God yet, Read Psalm 119 everyday for one month and you will have a love for the Word!
The enemy knows you are making the effort toward the Lord and he will try to stop you with discouragement and distraction and even tragedy if he can.Remember to stand firm on your decision and “see the deliverance of your God” upon you and the causes He has set before you.You have just stepped in the “boxing ring” with the devil.He will “show up” and not allow you to win by default.So, you must fight!There is no reason the devil should be able to touch you during this time!You are protected, but you must “Pay Attention.”Hit first, hit hard and duck quickly! That means to be serious about what you are doing.Rise early to pray, read and worship.Be ready to hear the Lord, respond to the Lord and in the name of Jesus command the devil to get off of what belongs to you and what God is doing in you! You are going beyond protecting ground…… you are taking ground.
I have prepared this to help you succeed in your quest for Christ and pray that the Lord leads you through it as you yield to Him.
I “leap and weep” at every thought of you!Your Shep, Sandi
“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the day:
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”