Long fast: A scriptural study off
The length and amount of time we spend in prayers and fasting reveals the intensity of our desires as it relates to what we want from God. David said one thing have I desire of the Lord and that I will pursue after. If we desire spiritual growth it is natural to pursue same in prayers fasting and study of the word. Short or long, our fasting reveals our statement of intent.
It's a popular cliché in football circles used when one big team blows away another big team with a big score line. Pundits and commentators have always underline such performance as one of the team, the winning team, making a statement of intent to the other teams that, 'I want to win this league'. A season of prolong fasting and prayer is a statement of spiritual intent to the devil and his cohorts - 'I mean it more than ever this time! I am going out for all that God has in stock for me. I am changing my spiritual levels this year'!
Intent signals desire and what you desire determines what you acquire. Psalm 37:4 says what you desire determines what you are granted! Your spiritual desires will provoke the release of 'spiritual grants' from heaven!
I check through scriptures and I quickly put together a summary of fasting of people that fasted in scriptures. Let's look at them:
40 – FOURTY DAYS COMPANY – Moses, Elijah and Jesus belong to this company. The bible records of Jesus in Luke 4:1.
“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.”
A similar account was rendered of Moses in Exodus 34:28, and Elijah 1 King 19:8. And from there downwards we have fasting of 21 days, 7 days, 3 days etc.
- 21 days - Daniel 10:3
- 14days - Acts 27: 9,33-34 14 days of dry fast for Paul and the other people with him
- 7days - David 2 Samuel 12:16
- 3days - Esther 4:16
- 1day - Children of Israel Jud 20:26
The 40 days company include Jesus, Moses and Elijah, all three 'men' who appeared on the mountain of transfiguration. Men who have mortified the deeds of the flesh.
There were some others whose length of fasting were not mention but one thing the scripture did say is that for this men and women fasting was a lifestyle for them. In this category we have the following people.
- John's disciples Matt 9:14
- Anna Luke 2:37
- Cornelius Acts 10:30(this lifestyle won't be unconnected with the vision he saw)
- Paul - 2 Corinthians 6:5, 2 Corinthians 11:27
These men mentioned, especially Jesus, Elijah and Moses, gained spiritual mastery through the exercise of fasting. It is through spiritual discipline that we gain spiritual mastery.
The spiritual discipline embraced determines the level of spiritual authority that is attained. In 1 Corinthians 9:24 - 27 Paul said: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So, run, that ye may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so, fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
Fasting puts our body under and gives us spiritual mastery and authority that puts us over life situations and circumstances. Further in Philippians 3:7-12 Paul talks about how he keeps pressing for higher spiritual levels and authority. Those who wants to keep winning keeps pressing. Only by pressing higher do we get to know God deeper.
The longer we fast and pray and embrace this lifestyle the more we press into the deep things of God and gain spiritual mastery and authority! And I tell you friends, spiritual authority is above every other authority on the earth, for 'whatever is from above is above all'! It's time to press deeper in God!