Posted by: Administrator | March 18, 2014

Intimacy with Christ through Fasting

Intimacy with Christ through Fasting
by Judy Hitson

Matthew 17:21 NASB “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

This Bible verse is in reference to a boy with a demon It surprised me when I discovered this verse is not included in two translations I looked at, NIV and ESV. Why Lord, I asked? I don’t understand. I know there is no reason to fear the ministry of deliverance. If you experienced deliverance from bondage to freedom in Christ, you may be familiar with prayer and fasting. If not, may the following testimony of a personal struggle of mine shine a light of understanding to be helpful in your life.

Since I’ve come to know the Lord, He blesses me with times of deliverance and healing.  When I first heard of binding and casting out demons, it was foreign to me. I’d think of the movie, The Exorcist, which totally freaked me out. If you saw it, you know what I’m talking about.

Most of us dream and hope of living happily ever after. As a child, I went to church every Sunday and attended a Christian school, but at home there was arguing and complaining with family, friends and neighbors. I grew up with religion but did not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. When I came to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I was 36 years old and thought the spiritual baggage was gone; the wonderful life I dreamed of was complete. I was married, we had three children at the time, were members of a local church and I worked as a nurse. Learning to read and study the Bible was new to me and I couldn’t get enough of it. I was hungry for the Lord, His word and to be among people of God that knew Him and shared the mighty things He was doing in their lives. It was like utopia.

It wasn’t long until that bubble of utopia burst and I came face to face with tests, trials and tribulations of life, like a struggle I had with anger. It became a shouting match at home with my husband and children. I’d have quiet time in the living room in the early morning and be at peace with God. By the time I got to the kitchen is was like mayhem. The quiet, peaceful manner I longed for was lost in becoming a screaming Mom with the children and fussing with my husband at the breakfast table, hurrying them to be ready for school and work.

Unforgiveness was bound in my heart getting tangled with bitterness in my soul and generational sins. I needed help and asked for prayer with Bible study friends. As I learned about spiritual warfare, deliverance ministry and inner healing, it was scary to me. What I read and studied in the Bible to be a woman of God was not a reality for me. What was wrong with me that I’d get angry over little things and shout, yell, and scream in daily routines of life? I cried out to the Lord for help. At a friend’s house, a flyer from her church caught my eye, it was a Bible series on Spiritual warfare; just what I needed. Desperate for help and out of my comfort zone, I went in fear and trembling. The teacher said, the Lord helps us when we are desperate. At ministry time, I could not get to the altar fast enough for prayer. She prayed for me like she was reading my mail and took authority against religious, familiar and other spirits. This was my first experience with prayers of deliverance for which I am eternally grateful. Since then I’ve learned not to fear enemies of my soul but rather take authority in the name of Jesus Christ and the life of His Spirit to be free from areas of bondage.

Recently, when I heard, “This kind does not come out but by prayer and fasting,” I received it as a word from the Lord for me to overcome food idolatry and my struggle with weight gain.  To know the Lord, His word and life in the Spirit, I find it is like a treasure. To draw close to Him in an intimate love relationship, as first love, I come to Him about everything and anything. Spending time soaking in His presence, in prayer and His word, I hear what He has to say to me. When it comes to food, I’ve rebelled going my way rather than the way of the Lord. It is like another time around the mountain for me with the Lord in regards to this sin area of my life. I want to obey and follow Him to be free with food. A nudge came to fast a week from refined sugar, I obeyed. After the week, I couldn’t wait to indulge in my favorite sweets. Realizing that is not going to work, I sought the Lord for the next step. I love sugar but sugar doesn’t love me. It makes me lazy, sleepy and unproductive. It makes me feel unhealthy with aches and pains and poor circulation. Why do I consume food on my lust? It isn’t funny but sometimes I laugh when I share my cravings for sweets with someone. Taking it seriously, another nudge came for me to fast three days from refined sugars and starches, I obeyed. I confessed to the Lord, I couldn’t wait to eat the things I crave like candy, cakes, pies, breads, crackers, whatever. A  nudge came to fast three more days and add whole grains. I did not want to, but obeyed.

During a fast, I’ve learned we can go through the motions on a natural plane without needed results. Yet during times of prayer and fasting, I find deeper intimacy with the Lord to overcome battles by His Spirit who gives strength to heed His word and find victory in Jesus in the area of struggle. It is a process. The battle is the Lord’s. In the midst of this present battle, I trust the Lord to win it by His Spirit in me and stand on the promise of Ps. 32:8 NKJV I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.

As I shared my experience and present struggle, did it bring areas of needed victory in your life? Is it time for you to experience intimacy with Christ through prayer and fasting?

There are times we feel distant from the Lord. He reveals this is a battle between God’s calling on our life in the Spirit and our human desires. God wants us to see our need of change, be transformed by His Spirit to live Christ on earth as it is in heaven. God will cleanse us and transform us to walk in the Spirit and stop lusting after the flesh. The choice is up to us to follow the Lord or go our own way.

Prayer: Father help us mature in intimacy with Christ and discern times You call us to prayer and fasting. In Your name we pray, Lord Jesus Christ, and by Your Spirit who gives us life. Amen.

Post Note: There are many ways of fasting from food, time, negativity, activities, media, television, shopping, relationships to name a few.

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