“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6
“This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:29
As a church, we have committed the month of February to fast for the Lord to loose the chains of spiritual bondage, set the captives free, and lead us to be the church Jesus calls us to be. With each one of us taking a spiritual stance in our walk with Christ, together, the Holy Spirit will be unleashed and we will all be changed for the better.
Many Christians are just going through the routine of following Christ. Their relationship with the Lord has grown cold or apathetic and they are not alarmed by that. Many find themselves helpless before the Lord because of a stronghold they thought would be a way of life. If there is a sin that cannot be broken with more discipline then it could be termed a besetting sin. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, it says that your temptation is not unique. Others face it as well. Unfortunately, many people believe the lie that they have to live with it. Yet this verse says there is a way out.
By committing to fast during the month of February, you have made a commitment to take control of your physical appetite so you can develop the strength to take control of your emotional appetite. You give up food as a demonstration of the commitment of your will. When you make a choice to fast, you are saying that you want to strengthen your spiritual appetite and grow closer to God.
In the Old Testament, fasting played an important role in the life of the believer. They had several national days of fasting. One was called the National Day of Atonement. In Leviticus 23:27, it states that they shall afflict themselves on that day. That literally means to fast and abstain from food for reasons of feeling sorry for your sins and confessing them to God. The Day of Atonement was so sacred that if one of them were disobedient, they were cut off from the people (Leviticus 23:29).
I have noticed an ever increasing battle being waged in our church. When you see all the mishaps, discouragement, and fear increase, I believe it says that we are hitting on something. Things could get worse before the chains are broken. I want to encourage you to continue to fast and pray. Don’t let the small battles bring fear into your daily journey. I don’t think the devil is under every rock, but sometimes it may feel that way.
Have I reminded you to stick to your commitment to fast and pray for God to loose the chains that bind? I love what I see the Lord doing behind the scenes. It is starting to come to the surface and when we fully see the divine activity surface, then that is the ingredient for revival. Keep on keeping on.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene