Wield the Sword! Battle Lines Are Drawn— The assault is on public confidence because panic creates chaos and shuts down love. The assault is on the business community because it funds the work of God. We are asking believers across the globe to join with us every Thursday in corporate prayer and fasting until this crisis is past and the plague is lifted from the nations.
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We would like to think that this is a nice Scripture passage to read instead of what it really is—a timeless call to follow Him into the world with the good news. Are you His disciple? Do you want to be His disciple? Then say with me right where you are, "As the Father sent Jesus, Jesus is sending me!
According to Him, you and I are called and anointed to follow in His footsteps as "sent ones" into the world. How could Jesus do these things and accomplish the astounding miracles we see throughout the four Gospels? The secret of His power is found in Luke "Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. That is a good thing, but look at verse At the end of the wilderness temptation and 40 days of fasting, Jesus had totally defeated satan and came out of that experience in the power of the Spirit!
He was led of the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested. As He obeyed, under the unction of the Holy Spirit, He became empowered to pull down satanic strongholds. So there is a clear difference between being filled with the Spirit and operating in the power of the Spirit! Something transformed Jesus from being a "Spirit-filled" man into a man who walked in the "power" of the Spirit. Remember that Christ was fully God and fully man. Many of us function at the level of being filled with the Spirit, and I firmly believe that the in-filling of the Holy Spirit is wonderful.
But it is only the first stage of progression beyond salvation. We need to go on. Being filled with the Spirit does not make you ready to move into the fullness of your calling in power. We need to submit to the discipline of the Holy Spirit, and during that time frame God will disciple us in the crucial works of prayer, fasting, and the skillful use of His Word as a weapon.
We have majored on the Word of God for centuries and have learned some things along the way. We are just beginning to step into obedience regarding the discipline of prayer today, but fasting remains a rarely practiced mystery to the modern Church. It is here that we find the principal key to going beyond the in-filling of the Spirit to tap the power of the Spirit.
Jesus fully completed the process in only 40 days, but it would probably take you and me much longer. The important point here is to begin. The disciples were with Jesus for three years, during which time they were discipled under the anointing of Jesus Christ. Yet it was only after the wilderness of the crucifixion and the time of fasting and prayer in the upper room that they pressed through and received both the in-filling of the Holy Spirit and the dunamis or "power" of the Spirit to boldly proclaim the Gospel in the face of opposition.
I want you to see that fasting helps release the power of the Spirit in our lives. This can only be accomplished through times of fasting and prayer. These things are the "first works" we are called to do if we want to do the works of Jesus Christ.
The initial or first work of Jesus before He went into His ministry in the power of the Spirit was to fast and wage spiritual warfare in prayer and the Word. It is no accident that you are reading these words. I believe that you were led to this point by the Holy Spirit because you are one of the people He has chosen to serve in His end-time army—you are called and anointed to do the works of Jesus Christ, and even greater works!
The critical element is not the length of the fast, but that you yield to His leading. That is what happened to me. God released me to teach authoritatively about prayer and fasting, but only after I had quietly conducted many lengthy fasts over a period of two decades at a certain cost to myself and my family.
God is not interested in teaching "theory," but in imparting spiritual truths backed up by solid personal experience and application of His Word. God gives us such people as examples to encourage us to press into Him in certain areas of importance to His plans and purposes for our lives.
He wants you to measure up to His purpose for your life. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him. How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.
However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. This key can only be perceived and received in the realm of the Spirit because our victory lies in the realm of the Spirit.
God has given us mighty weapons for the "pulling down of strongholds" according to the apostle Paul: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
The most effective way for you and me to put our flesh in its place and walk in the spirit is to fast and pray. If the Son of God fasted and prayed for power in His ministry, why should you and I think we are exempt from these things? Jesus expects you to fast and to pray.
No, He said, "When you fast…. He considered it to be such a natural part of the Christian life that He told the disciples and their critics that prayer and fasting would be a part of their lives after He left them.
Nothing has changed since He said those words. If you are a Christian, then you pray. If you are a Christian, then you fast. God wants to release a double anointing in us so that we can bring that authoritative word of healing, deliverance, and restoration that the disciples witnessed in the deliverance of the epileptic boy.
The disciples later exercised that same demon-busting power of the Spirit in the Book of Acts and throughout the narratives of the Epistles. It is about time for us to do the world-changing works of Jesus as we see the devastation in the world around us! If the Holy Spirit has stirred you as you read through this article, then God is probably preparing you for war!
He has chosen you to do the works of Jesus in your generation, and that can only be done in the power of the Spirit. If you are willing to take up the supernatural weapon of prayer and fasting as a regular part of your arsenal, then say to the Lord right now, "As You lead, Lord Jesus.
The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting
Books by Mahesh Chavda