Text: Matthew 4:1-3
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
Jesus’ statement, “when you fast” (Matt 6:16) can’t be interpreted as “If you fast”. It means, it is expected that believers should fast.
There are two ways to submit yourself to the Holy Spirit for the training in self-control. First is the corporate fasting. This is fasting as a group, a fellowship, church or a people(Mark 2:18; Esther 4:16). You learn self-discipline when you heed the call of your leaders to participate in such fasting. The second is the individual fasting. This is that which you willingly choose to do.(Luke 2:36-37; Neh 1:4). Every believer who desires to grow in the Lord and in self-control should have a regular day of fasting, at least once a week. This is a way of always subjecting the flesh. Like an uncut hedge grows wild, so is the indisciplined flesh.
Aside from the regular fasting, every believer should live the fasted life. This is the fast that does not follow routine but completely directed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1). Paul spoke of “fasting often” (2 Cor 11:27). This doesn’t mean fasting every day but living a fasted life. The Holy Spirit can direct you to fast for a short or long period in order to achieve His own goal. Rev Kenneth Hagin once said, the Lord answered him thus, when he asked what the fasted life meant: “Never eat all you want, He said. ‘Keep your appetite under…” Thus, in the fasted life, the Spirit could just tell you to abstain from a meal or some meals, to eat less at a time or to deprive yourself of some pleasures just to be with the Lord. I have had times when the Lord told me to withdraw from the dinning table just to be with Him. The fasted life is a life of yieldedness.
Friends, as you daily yield to the Holy Spirit through the fasted life, you will experience the move of God in a new way.
1. Father, I receive grace to discipline my body to obey when our leaders call for a solemn fast in Jesus name.
2. Father, help me to be disciplined in my personal fasting and to live a fasted life in Jesus name.
1. The New Testament believer lives often in fasting through the fasted life.
2. Sensitivity and yieldedness are my keys to living the fasted life.