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Letter from the Pastor

Posted on May 08 , 2010 in Blog

Getting the Job done!

In Matthew 17 the disciples hit a wall when trying to cast a demon out of a young man. It says that He was often thrown by this demon into the fire and the water. The Father approached them to ask for help but when the disciples tried they had no success at all. He was then left with approaching Jesus about the matter. He told Jesus, your boys didn’t get the job done. I am paraphrasing of course. Jesus rebuked them in verse 17. He said you are a faithless and perverse generation. How long am I going to have to put up with you? He had the boy brought to Him He rebuked the demon and the boy was set free, healed and delivered from that very moment.

Following this event when Jesus and the disciples were alone at dinner they asked Him why couldn’t they get the job done. Jesus said because of your unbelief. Then He starts teaching them about their faith and its potential by using the illustration of the mustard seed. He even tells them based upon this principle that nothing will be impossible for them. I can see them saying to themselves oh ok I got it now, and as they were about to go about there business Jesus makes a very powerful statement in verse 21.  “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

I can imagine how wild that day was for them. Experiencing successes, being known as the ones with Jesus. They were used of Jesus in miracles prior to this moment. They were saying amongst themselves when the father arrived with the boy, I’ve got this. Peter saying to John just chill I’ve got this. John saying to James you might be His brother but I am His favorite, I got this! You know how it goes, they were all pretty confident until they didn’t get the job done. It sounds a lot like today. We go a while and have what we deem a success in spiritual matters. We see some salvations and miracles here and there. Then all of a sudden when we think we got this we hit a wall. All that worked before is not working now. What are we going to do now? This passage of scripture not only reveals there will be roadblocks but greater demonic powers to be faced in our journey. It also reveals simple success strategies when that time comes.

He first rebuked them and said you are a faithless and perverse generation. That alone is a stinging assessment of a whole generation based upon the failure of a few men. But it was an accurate one. Their generation was steeped in the law and ruled by the religious. The word faithless in the Greek means without trust. The word perverse in the Greek means to distort. So we can conclude from that initial rebuke that this generation had distrust in God and His word. When we distrust God then truth will be distorted. He challenged the disciples about their unbelief or little faith. He wasn’t challenging their lack of faith but their lack of use to its fullest potential. You see a mustard seed being one of the smallest yet it becomes greater through the growth process. Your faith is like that mustard seed it may seem small at first but when you use it as God has commissioned you to it will grow into great faith.

At the conclusion of the private lesson Jesus was giving the disciples, He gave them a powerful revelation about this particular demon vexing this young boy. He said this can only come out by prayer and fasting. He of course was talking about their own personal walk with God and preparation to face greater spiritual warfare in the future.

Prayer and Fasting! Two things that’s foreign to many in my generation. Although foreign they are necessary to combat the greater powers and principalities that the Apostle Paul spoke of in Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Prayer has to do with our communication with God, and Fasting has to do with our commitment and consecration of our lives to God. We must not become legalistic about these measures. However, we must not allow the enemy to distort the truths about prayer and fasting concerning the empowered disciple. It is the people down through history that lived a life of prayer and fasting that had the greatest results for the Kingdom of God.

Are we supposed to fast? Jesus said in Matthew 6:16 and when you fast. So, it’s not a question of if you fast it’s “when you fast”.

Why do we need to fast?

It is the gateway to the supernatural inspiration, intervention and insight by the Holy Spirit.

Here are ways the fasting empower the disciple of Christ.

Sensitivity: It helps develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. It helps tune your hearing to His frequency so to speak.

Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Staying sensitive to the Holy Spirit helps us stay focused and dependent upon God.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

Strength: Matthew 17:21 says that these only come out by prayer and fasting. When we fast we are totally relying upon the supernatural strength of God to be infused where our natural strength is weak. Matthew 26:41 says “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Sight: Daniel 9:3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. Your personal vision is developed by the strongest and closest influences around your life. What you see is determined by what you seek. Your seeking is often determined by what those influencers are saying. If we set to seek God first then when He speaks and we listen then we will see what He says.

Joel 2:12 “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

Speech: How we see things will determine how we speak about things. Look at the 10 tribal leaders of Israel in Numbers 13:32-33 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33. “There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”  Your sight is your light and your speech is your reach. You can only go as far as your vision will allow and you are only as close as your confession.

Self-Control: 1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  When we stand together we can defeat the enemy in the area of self-control.

Submission: Submission is permission. When the devil speaks lies or threats into our ears we need to draw in closer to God. James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  The closer you are to God the lower the voice of the enemy becomes in your mind. Paul said 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Stability: When we commit our life to be a life of prayer and fasting unto God we create a stable environment in the spirit. We are no longer battling with alternate options, thoughts, or choices. There is only one choice, thought or option and that is God.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Strategies for Success: 2 Chronicles 20:3 -4 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4.So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.

Judah was surrounded by three enemy nations. They were about to be attacked and destroyed but King Jehoshaphat called the whole nation to a time of prayer and fasting. The end of the story is that God gave them the strategy for success in an impossible situation and they didn’t even have to fight. God caused the enemy to turn on one another.

Salvation of a City: Jonah prophesied destruction upon Nineveh by the Lord. Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Jonah 3:10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. God changed His mind when the King and all of Nineveh changed their hearts toward God.

When we are up against impossible tasks like Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of the city where success will only come with God’s help. That is when prayer and fasting are necessitated.

When God prompts us to fast that is when we need to fast. We need to live a fasted life as believers of Jesus. Prayer and fasting will help you defeat the devil when the normal won’t get the job done.

Jesus got the job done because of His preparation, consecration and revelation.

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

Kingdom Building,
Pastor Dale Wright
Judah Church

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