As we start a new year, it’s time to revive our trust in God’s plans for us by uncovering passages from scripture of the supernatural power of God.
The supernatural is a reminder that when obstacles in the natural appear final, God always has the final say. No power, force, or person can impede the will of God.
In2 Chronicles 20:1-4, 13-17, King Jehoshaphat learns that a coalition of three nations is on their way to do battle. Although Jehoshaphat has built a formidable army, he is afraid.
When it comes to fear, remember that feeling fear does not;
- Disqualify your faith.
- Discount your faith.
- Demote you in service to God.
Fear is an involuntary neurological response to a given situation or circumstances. More times than not, fear is false evidence appearing real.
- Living in fear is trusting what you feel.
- Living by faith is trusting what God has said.
Although you may not be able to prevent the chemical reaction in your body that produces the feeling of fear, but you can control how you respond to fear.
The king responds by turning his attention to seek the LORD and proclaims a fast! Fasting is God’s method of doing the impossible and demonstrating His glory.
To fast is to consecrate yourselves to God through sacrifice and trust.
Fasting in the Bible is defined as abstaining from basic pleasures for spiritual purposes. From the Old Testament to the New, we see individuals and even entire nations fasting for various reasons ranging from aid in a battle to wisdom and healing.
Fasting also fosters a more profound sense of intimacy with God. It recalibrates us to hear God more clearly. When I fast, I am decreasing so that God can increase in me.
And when you fast, the point is not to see how bad you can suffer or how little you can do and still be considered fasting. In the Bible, we read about three types of fasting.
#1 No food. No Drink.
This type of fast should only be exercised under extreme caution and medical supervision. Furthermore, it should be for a very limited amount of time.
In Esther 4:16, there was a plot to exterminate all the Jews living in Susa. In response, Esther, the Queen, calls her uncle, Mordecai, and instructs him to gather all the Jews to fast, not eating or drinking anything for three days.
God honored the fast and exposed the plot, and saved the people.
#2 No food. Matthew 4:2-4
This is the most common type of fasting found in the Bible. Jesus fasted this way, eating no food for 40 days and 40 nights, only drinking water.
During a no food fast, you refrain from all food and only drink water or broths. And for the record, milkshakes are not approved fluids for this fast.
#3 The Daniel fast. Daniel 1:12-13, 10:3
Twice in the book of Daniel, we see Daniel rejecting the choice food provided by the king and eating only vegetables and drinking water, as well as abstaining from wine, delicacies, and other comforts.
In any fast, the key is sacrifice. We increase our time in prayer and in God’s word while fasting.
- Prayer is how we speak to God.
- Reading/meditating on scripture is how God speaks to us.
Fasting without praying or reading the Bible is called a bad diet.
Now, what if certain health issues make it unsafe for you to miss meals or severely alter your diet to fast? This is not the time to throw common sense out the window. A fourth recommendation, not directly found in scripture but is supported by the essence of a fast, is a #4 Electronics and media fast.
We live in a culture obsessed with information, social media likes and comments, and aggressively engaged with online confrontation and instant gratification.
To fast electronics and media is to refrain from using your smartphone except to make regular phone calls or work purposes and turning off the t.v., tablets, and other forms of media to spend time with and hearing from God.
Back in 2 Chronicles, the king and all the people have come together to fast and pray because enemies are coming to battle against them. They need wisdom and help from God.
As they unite in prayer, God speaks through His prophet Jahaziel with the following instructions, “Do not be afraid,” “Stand firm, hold your position, see the salvation of the LORD.”
The worshipers are placed in front, ahead of the military, as God demonstrates how this would not be a military campaign but a spiritual one.
Victory is promised, but the battle is not yet won. The people had to go out for battle, but the LORD would fight for them.
As the worshipers begin to sing, it causes such chaos over Israel’s enemies that they start to attack themselves and destroy one another. What appeared to be an impossible battle became a simple victory as the people prayed, fasted, and put their trust in God.
God’s ways may make no sense to us at times, but it’s because His ways are supernatural. He does what we can’t do when we do what we need to do, trust and obey.
(Before you participate in a food fast, you should consult your doctor.)