And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles (Mark 2:19-22 KJV)
In the scriptures, there are different kinds of fast. There is the regular fast where you don’t eat anything but can drink water or juice. Then there is the partial fast. This is omitting specific meals or refraining from specific types of food. Daniel had this type of fast at a time.
Then there is the full fast or dry fast wherein you completely refrain from both food and water for short periods of time. Paul had this type of fast. Esther called for this type of fast as well.
And then there could be a sexual fast as described in 1Cor 7. A fast could be as a result of personal instruction from God or proclaimed by the local assembly.
Fasting is powerful and Jesus mentioned it as one of the three things that can turn a life around in Matthew Chapter 6. Praying, Fasting, and Giving! No demonic power anywhere can withstand those three!
In Matthew 6:3, Jesus said ‘But when thou doest alms…,’ (or when you give)
In Matthew 6:6, Jesus said ‘But thou, when thou prayest…’
In Matthew 6:16, Jesus said ‘Moreover when ye fast…’
But the question I really want to address this morning is, apart from a generally proclaimed fast, when do I fast personally? When do I know that there is a need for me to fast?
The disciples of Jesus were reported to him, that they have not been fasting. And Jesus replied with a powerful and insightful statement in verse 20.
But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
Jesus Christ is saying when you come to some seasons in your life, and it as though the bridegroom has been taken away from you, then shall you fast!
In those times in your life, when things seem not to be working again, then shall you fast.
In those times of your life, when you pray, and your prayer seems to bounce back, and it looks as though the bridegroom has gone on honeymoon, then shall you fast.
In those seasons of your life, when it looks like the bridegroom has been taken away, and in reality, it actually is like there is no groom for you while you are growing older, then shall you fast.
In those times of life, when you know you ought to pray and yet your mouth will not open in prayer, and Jesus Christ seems far away, then shall you fast.
In those times of your life, when every relationship breaks, and none is ever looking good, then shall you fast.
In those times of your life, when three or four weddings that looked promising were cancelled, and the groom cannot be found, then shall you fast.
Jesus went further to say in verses 21 and 22
No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles (Mark 2:19-22 KJV)
That is, a new season requires a new approach. You cannot glide into your destiny on the wings of old strength. You need to make power available in the place of fasting and prayer. A new piece of cloth must not go on an old garment, or else there will be complications. You cannot import an old unbelieving boyfriend into your new life. New wine must go into a new bottle!
The grace of God over your life must not be spilled on the platform of sentiments. You cannot continue with sexual promiscuity in your newfound life with Christ.
Fasting will not give you more power to overcome the issues, it will open your eyes to see, know and understand the counsel of God for that particular season.
Fasting will not bribe God in any way, it will only get your soul humbled and in the right frame to understand and follow God’s counsel. It will break yokes and rejuvenate you!
Are you in a season of your life, when it looks like Jesus Christ has been taken away from you and nothing seems to be working? Then shall you fast….and pray…with God’s word!
CONFESSION FOR THE DAY
I receive the grace to discipline my flesh.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Oh Lord, help me to pay the price now
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
1 Cor 9:27 (CEV) I keep my body under control and make it my slave, so I won’t lose out after telling the good news to others.
ACTION PLAN FOR THE DAY
Go on a fast
BIBLE READING FOR THE DAY
Shouts of Grace Center, Ibadan, Nigeria
Joke Plaza, Beside Trans Amusement Park, Bodija-UI Road, Ibadan.
Sundays: 7.30am & 9.00am, Wednesdays: 6.00pm