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Monday, August 9, 2010

FASTING BY Jentezen Franklin

What is fasting? I always believed fasting was basically starving yourself. Being a woman it meant I probably could lose some weight. I never truly made the spiritual connection behind fasting until I read this book. Maybe part of my willingness and openness to truly hear the message of this book was due to me finally being at a truly good place in my life where I WAS able to approach fasting for the right reasons: spiritually, a deeper connection with God.

This time around I have given you some quotes from each chapter but mostly summarized each chapter and given some personal reflection on how I interpreted what the author was trying to share with us.

SECTION 1 – THE PRIVATE DISCIPLINE THAT BRINGS PUBLIC REWARD

CHAPTER 1: Fasting for Your Break Through

This first chapter really helped open my eyes to see how truly beneficial fasting can be for my soul.

pg 11 – “The 3 duties of every Christian are giving, praying, and fasting.”

pg 14 – “When you faithfully follow the 3 duties of a Christian, God rewards you openly.”

CHAPTER 2: Dethroning King Stomach

pg 20: “You will have to choose to dethrone that ‘dictator within’.”

Oh, how I understand that statement! I love cheese, bread, wine and too many rich yummy foods to even list off. Through this chapter I learned it is okay to enjoy and partake in wonderful foods but we need to also not be indulgent on a regular basis. We need to keep our meals tasty, yes, but not over indulge on “fine” foods all the time. When we do, it numbs our senses in what is truly good for us and what we need to truly focus on.

pg 26 – “God knows there is never a convenient time to fast.”

I found this statement so true. We can always find an excuse on why we can’t fast right now. It’s the holidays; a birthday a vacation or I am just too busy with work. There is always an excuse on why to not make the sacrifice.

Job – 23:12 – I have not departed from the commandment of the lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

CHAPTER 3: - How Much? How Long? How Healthy?

pg 35 – “If it doesn’t mean anything to you it won’t mean anything to God.”

There are several different types of fasts. It is not an all or nothing mentality. The 3 types of fasts that are talked about in the bible are absolute, normal, and partial.

Absolute is no food and no water. Normal is usually without food of any kind for a certain number of days. Partial means giving up certain foods for a designated length of time. A very popular partial fast is called a Daniel fast, you can read more about it in the bible in the Book of Daniel.

pg 32 – “Fasting is like spring cleaning for your body.”

Fasting not only helps your soul, it puts into perspective what is important in your life. It also helps release you from any food or substance addiction or obsession.

It is a very freeing experience. It is important to always discuss with your doctor what you are wanting to do to ensure your safety. Some people with certain health condition need to be monitored closely by their doctor.

CHAPTER 4: Every Assignment Has a Birthplace

pg 47 - “Fasting keeps you sensitive to His spirit, enabling you to live holy.”

pg 48 – “Fasting is what prepares you for a new anointing.”

Fasting helps you hear what God is asking of you or telling you with greater clarity.

CHAPTER 5: Swatting Flies

Biblically speaking there is great significance in the number forty. It is peppered all throughout the bible. This cannot be by accident.

pg 61 – “There is a prophetic release that occurs in a church or an individual who fasts continually for forty days.”

pg 62 – “Devils will start – you guessed it –dropping like flies!”

Remember how the devil tempted Christ in the desert, but Jesus did not give in, he completed his 40 days!

A fascinating tidbit: to truly eradicate a family of flies is to diligently spray pesticides for forty days to wipe them out; otherwise you only destroy the current generation of flies.

Fasting for long periods of time is the same in the sense it cleans out the evil spirits, devils, in your life as well as help purify the future generations. This scriptural cleansing helps wipe out future generations of demons that would otherwise plague your children.

pg 64 – “His rewards are waiting to be released, so what are you waiting for?”

pg 66 – “Can you for-go that snickers bar in the afternoon to be delivered from recurring sin?”

CHAPTER 6: God’s coming to Dinner?

pg 72 – “Fasting is a constant means of renewing yourself spiritually.”

pg 75 – “When you worship, you magnify God.”

Do we just go about our everyday lives, hustling and bustling, saying our prayers, reading our bibles, doing all the “right” things but just going through the motions? Or are we really delving into making sacrifices, seeking a greater relationship, divine conversations, with God. Is our love for food more important than our desire to magnify the Lord? We should want to please Him with our worship and sacrifice.

CHAPTER 7: You Shall Be Filled

pg 80 – “When you hunger for God, He will fill you.”

pg 83 – “Fasting stirs a hunger in your spirit that goes deeper than the temporary hunger you experience in your flesh.”

CHAPTER 8: Rewarded Openly

Keeping it personal has a two-fold meaning to me. One: truly abandoning yourself to the fast, thus to the Lord, He will carry you when you feel weak if you just lean on him. Ask Him for help. Two: it is like in Matthew 6:1-4 – Don’t boast about what you are doing for the Lord. Keep it private. Public praise isn’t what we should be striving for.

Some amazing rewards are shared in this chapter of personal accounts from others.

pg 89 – “Fasting will break poverty form your life.”

Remember poverty is not just a monetary issue. A person can be ‘bankrupt’ spiritually, physically, mentally.

pg 90 – “Health and healing will follow fasting.”

CHAPTER 9: Nothing shall be Impossible – It Works!

pg 104 – “The Lord has assured me over the years that fasting will bring in the lost.”

“Fasting makes you more sensitive to the timing and voice of the Holy Spirit.”

SECTION 2 – OPENING A DOOR TO GOD’S PROMISES

INTRO: Why Is It So Hard?

Adam and Eve…temptation…they fell.

Jesus Fasted! Wow! Think, if He needed it, then we definitely need it!

We need to remember to do it for the right reasons. We aren’t collecting points with God, this isn’t a ‘Christian diet’, and we don’t do it to get others to notice how ‘good’ we are being.

We can make every excuse why not to do a fast but we need to just do it because God asked us to in chapter 6 of Matthew in the Bible.

CHAPTER 10: He Pleased God

pg 118 – “Hungering for God brings with it a greater reward than satisfying the temporary hunger in my body.”

pg 120 – “When the Holy Spirit calls you to fast, He is preparing you for what is ahead.”

pg 123 0 If you want to please God, believe God.

So many of us are starving in our faith but becoming ‘fat’ on the world, on society expectations, thus resulting in empty lives.

pg 125 – “We walk by faith. We don’t stay still, drowning in our misery.”

CHAPTER 11: Garments of Praise

pg 140 – “There is power in corporate fasting and power in corporate praise!”

This makes me thing of the bible verse…”where two or more are gathered in my name…” When we give praise to God together there is strength in those numbers. There is a fellowship, a support, a growth. When we fast together as a community the rewards are even greater.

CHAPTER 12: Fasting, Faith and Patience

pg 149 – “Faith and patience must go together.”

We can’t possibly understand what God already does know. What we have to learn is if we wait long enough through our prayer we will eventually see the dots connect. We can then look at the bright trail God has led us down. In this moment we can smile and say, “Oh that is why He had me do that!” But this is where patience is pivotal. If we can’t ‘sit still’ in his presence and let Him do his work through us then we are unable to see what He is doing all around us.

pg 152 – “we need to stop measuring our faith by the size of the problem.”

Remember Peter, he walked on water for a brief moment. Now imagine if his faith has been stronger. Wow, what could he have accomplished then!

pg 154 – “The Lord will reward your diligence.”

CHAPTER 13: God’s Priorities

pg 158 – “There is no higher authority then to know the heart of God for a situation you are facing.”

When you are fasting you are able to see clearer what God’s will is for you. Your ‘wants’ become less important. You are able to focus more on what you truly need. It is hard sometimes to decipher between the two, we may pray desperately for a want but through fasting, faith, and payer we can see clearer that sometimes the want isn’t what is NEEDED in our life.

pg 171 – “Do you remember the last time you were lovesick for God?

I like this quote. It makes it so clear to me just where our priorities should be. Think of the simplicity of saying grace before a meal. Do we rush through it or even skip it all together to just start shoveling food into our mouths? Or do we reflect on giving thanks not only for the food sitting before us, but for the fellowship of our family or friends who have gathered with us? Do we ever crave the companionship of God so much that food doesn’t even become important? If not, why not?

CHAPTER 14: For the Little Ones

pg 176 – “We fast because we need to know the right way for our lives.”

pg 180 –“We need to learn to trust the reliability of scripture when things get crazy.”

By making sacrifices and truly walking in our faith we are strengthening the path for our children and their children. In today’s crazy ‘disposable’ society we need to lean on the Lord even more.

pg 183 – “Anytime you fast it is a hunger strike against Hell.”

We need to stand up like Ezra did in the bible and fast. We need to do it for our children; they need us to seek God for guidance and protection.

CHAPTER 15: Is Your Blade Sharp Enough

pg 192 – “It is time we set ourselves apart to seek the Lord and find understanding.”

pg 196 – “When you fast and pray you sharpen the word of God in your mouth.”

Nineveh was in apparel. Yet they turned themselves around. America can be compared, in a way, as a modern day Nineveh. Can you imagine what an even greater nation we could be if we took to heart what is printed on our currency “In God We Trust”.

Pg 204 – “Keep your armor fit and your blade sharp!”

Fasts can be different; different levels, different types –short or long – partial or total – it is about what is in your heart. What is your intention behind it? Fasting isn’t about making ourselves front and center. It is about keeping God upfront. By doing this we keep our armor strong, fit, and able to withstand anything! Because…ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks, Kelly for your latest post/review. I've read it several times over the past few days. You've inspired me! I'm going to fast as soon as I find a convenient time. lol

    Seriously, you really did inspire me and you've reminded me of reasons I used to fast. It's been a few years. I first started fasting (only having water and organic juice) for detox reasons, but soon realized there were far greater benefits. Fasting joined with prayers makes a powerful weapon. I have never been strong enough to do what I consider a lengthy fast, my goal was always three days.

    Some good reminders you've given me are chapter 2: "Dethroning King Stomach"...the dictator within...that what I mean by not being strong enough. We have the world screaming at us, "Have it your way! You deserve it! Obey your thirst! just to name a few.

    Chapter 14: "a hunger strike against hell" is a great thought to keep in mind. Fasting has tradtionally been one of the foremost ways in which we express our desire to share in Christ's suffering. It's also a great way to strengthen self-control, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and needed in every area of our life.

    Thanks again. I look forward to your next post.

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  2. Kim...
    You are very welcome. And thank you for reading! I am glad I can share with others some wonderful insights I have found through the gift of fasting!

    I finally approached fasting for the right reasons after having read this book and the great rewards I have discovered have been profound.

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