EMPOWERING CHRISTIAN WOMEN: First Friday Fasting and Prayer Blogger Widgets

First Friday Fasting and Prayer

Friday, May 02, 2008

Moving Forward on our Knees
First Friday Fasting and Prayer
May 2, 2008

“Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life.” Romans 6:3-4

The First Friday Fast seeks to encourage Christians in the discipline of regularly fasting and praying. Fasting was a discipline the early church practiced frequently because they understood the truth that when they took control of their physical appetites, they were better equipped to take control of their emotional appetites that were often the cause of poor decisions.

Poor decisions lead to internal turmoil. Billy Graham once indicated that at least 90% of the Christians in church were living defeated lives because of carnality which come over time with habitual sin in their lives. Rather than victory, internal turmoil and frustration rule their lives! When you choose to fast, you strengthen yourself to stand against a force that has enslaved your spiritual appetite too! Some believers were under bondage to habitual sins and knew only prayer and fasting would help them break the control of the outside influences that were tempting them to sin.

During a fast, seeking God is critical to breaking free, because as we seek Him, and obediently follow His instructions, we turn away from the unrighteousness in our lives. (2 Tim. 2:19) It is only by acknowledging and acting upon God’s total ownership of everything we are, have and will be that we prevent ourselves from being robbed of His blessing and from making ourselves unfit for His service.

How many Christians in American churches are living a full and meaningful life as God intended? If this doesn’t describes you, then know that God has provided you with a way of escape and through His Holy Spirit you have the power to break the habits that allow Satan to gain strongholds in your life! You can stop the cycle of being controlled by an external spirit that makes you do what you do not want to do. (Romans 7:15) How?

Keep in mind that fasting without following a spiritual prescription is nothing more than a diet. So, let’s spend time and effort during this month’s First Friday Fast learning the spiritual prescription for dealing with habitual sin in our lives! In his book, Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough, Elmer Townsend suggests steps to help break the power of habitual sins. Here is a summary for your consideration:

Recognize that you have a problem and are controlled externally. This does not mean that you are demon possessed, but rather you are not being internally controlled by God! Ask God to search your heart and reveal any sin to you. You might be experiencing depression, and perhaps confessing you are worthless and may have given up this area of your life as hopeless. Of course believing you are worthless is a lie, so confess your previous lack of faith! You have not been successful because you have believed lies and have not allowed faith to grow inside of you. (Matthew 17:19-20) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) God has promised to forgive and purify us! There will be no revival in your heart without confession of sin. You can be delivered from this sin.

Now write out the sin that you want to break. Whether it is adultery (lust in your heart) anger, alcoholism or drugs, a critical spirit, hate (murder), lying, pornography prejudice, pride, overeating, unforgiveness, whatever, write down what God wants to change in your life! Focus on this sin, believe that God will break this problem and expect God to answer. Be honest. Do you KNOW that He will break this sin? Do you have that confidence? If not, confess your lack of faith and ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit so you can live a life of faith pleasing to Him.

Renounce audibly any control over your mind that is not from Christ. “But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be corrupted from a complete and pure devotion to Christ.” 2 Cor. 11:3 Please take into consideration whether you have ever been involved (innocently or not) in any type of occult, or New Age activities like playing with the Ouija board . Make a list identifying the ungodly influences in your life and AUDIBLY denounce them. You are Holy, bought with the blood of Jesus; renounce anything that has influenced you that doesn’t bring glory to God.

Recognize you have been successfully deceiving yourself. You have believed many lies. You must choose to embrace God’s truth. You have deceived yourself when you hear the Word of God and fail to apply it to your life. (James 1:22) God judged Israel , the apple of His eye, because of their sin of idolatry. If you are habitually sinning, then you are caught up in idolatry with whatever you are allowing to control you! Do you think you are not going to reap His judgment with this besetting sin? You cannot continuously sin without experiencing consequences. (I Cor. 6:9) As long as you continue to deceive yourself, you will remain in spiritual bondage. However, God’s truth will set you free. Pray, acknowledging your deceitful practices of lying and be determined to embrace the truth of God’s Word.

Remember to forgive all those that have wronged you. Make a list and then obediently choose to forgive! If you don’t forgive, God will not forgive you! (Matt. 6:14)

Render yourself accountable to God and to those God has placed in authority over you. Consider going the next step and asking God to bring a friend into your life who will hold you accountable to right behavior.

Recognize your responsibility to confront the problem of pride with a spirit of humility. Only you can fight the battle of sin in your life and if you don’t fight, it is a pride issue. Only you are responsible for the sin that has control over your body. (Romans 6:13) Just saying you are sorry for your sin doesn’t mean you take responsibility for it, but you must seek forgiveness and turn from it!

Renounce sinful influences…..disown them! You must disown the sins of others that have had influence in your life. (Exodus 20:4-5, Gal. 5:24) You recognize that you have been crucified, buried, and raised with Jesus Christ and that you now sit in the heavenlies. ( 2Cor. 4:14) Publically state that you belong to the Lord Jesus. (Gal. 5:24)Verbally claim the blood of Jesus over the evil one. (I Cor. 6:20; I John 1:7)

Do you not understand that we have been crucified with Christ; nevertheless we still live? The life we live in the flesh we live by faith (taking God at His Word) . (Gal.2:20) We were buried with Him in baptism. And, if we were buried with Him, then the same dynamite power that raised Him from the dead also raised us to sit with Christ in the heavenlies! (2 Cor. 4:14) We were raised from the dead by the glory of the Father so that we may walk in a new way of life! This is the normal Christian life! One of victory! This victory is your choice! Enter into His rest in the promise land!

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