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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Want God's Blessing? Learn To Subdue Your Ego

Derek Prince - Want God's Blessing? Learn To Subdue Your Ego

Derek Prince - Want God's Blessing? Learn To Subdue Your Ego
TOPICS: Blessing, Egoism

This is an excerpt from: Self-Humbling Through Fasting

First of all, Ruth and I are going to make a proclamation which is taken from 1 Peter 5:6–11. "It’s more lengthy than the ones we’ve been making and its theme is humbling ourselves. 'God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble'. Therefore we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt us in due time, having cast all our care upon Him, for He cares for us. We are sober, we are vigilant; because our adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. We resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by our brotherhood in the world. But the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after we have suffered a while will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle us. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen".

Now we’re going to turn to Leviticus 16, and we're going to read verses 29-31. This is about the Day of Atonement, what the Jewish people call Yom Kippur, which is still the most sacred day in the Jewish calendar 3,400 years from the time these words were spoken. Speaking about this Day of Atonement Moses says, the Lord is speaking through Moses "This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever". That’s a most emphatic statement. "It’s a statute forever".

This is never to change. And as I said for 3,400 years or so, the Jewish people have always observed Yom Kippur. Even if they were in a concentration camp, they would observe it as a day of fasting. In Acts 27:9, you don’t need to turn there, but it is called "the Fast". So that establishes the Scriptural fact which could be established in many ways, that when God said afflict your souls, He meant Fast. "Fast" if you want to say, whichever way you say it you get the right thing. I ministered once years ago with I think a Baptist brother who was called Clarence Fast, and I always said Fast, but I concluded he had the right to decide what way he wanted his name pronounced so I went along with him and said Fast. But it doesn’t come easily to me, even now.

Anyhow, we’re talking about... My definition of fasting is going without food for spiritual purposes. It’s not necessarily going without drink, although the Jewish people for Yom Kippur for about twenty-five hours, they normally go without food or water. It’s dangerous to go more than seventy-two hours without water and I would never recommend you to do it. I did know a preacher called Tommy Hicks who turned Argentina upside down some considerable time ago and he went seventeen days. Moses went forty days without food or water, but don’t ever attempt to go beyond seventy-two hours unless you’re in a supernatural realm with God as Moses was. But, fasting is not just going without food. It’s going without food for spiritual purposes.

Why did God require that the Israelites afflict their souls? That word afflict is a very powerful word. It’s also used to describe what a man does to a woman when he rapes her. It’s to subdue, to humble, to humiliate. And God requires that we humble, subdue and humiliate our souls. And He said to the Israelites, "If you don’t do it every year, you are no longer My people". So God attaches tremendous importance to this act. Why? I think you have to understand the function of the soul. Humanity is a triune being, made in the likeness of a triune God. Spirit, soul, and body. I don’t want to get into an analysis of this, but essentially the soul is the ego. It’s the "I". And there are three main functions of the soul according to most theologians: intellect, will, and emotions. Or put will first. Will, intellect, and emotions.

So translating it into simple language, your soul is the thing that says, "I want, I think, I feel". And it’s very arrogant and self-assertive in every one of us. And God says, "If you really want My blessing you’re going to have to learn to subdue that arrogant, self-assertive ego in every one of you". I think of a lawyer in Washington, D.C., many years ago when I spoke about fasting. And he decided it’s a good thing to do. "I’ll fast for twenty-four hours". Well he had a miserable day. Every time he went near a restaurant or whatever, a place where food was served, he just hardly could resist going in. But he made it to the end of the day. So then he gave his stomach a talking-to. He said, "Now stomach, you’ve made a lot of problems for me today. You’ve been very unruly, and so I’m going to punish you. I’m going to fast tomorrow as well". And that is subduing your soul. It’s bringing it under the discipline and control of God.

And God says, "If you don’t do that you are not My people". That’s what He said to Israel. I’m not saying He says it to you, although I don’t see why He should make any difference. In Psalms 35:13 David speaks this way. Psalms 35 verse 13. I’ll only read the latter part of that. "My clothing was sackcloth", sackcloth is the mark of mourning, and fasting and mourning go very closely together, "I humbled my soul with fasting". This version says, "I humbled myself".

It’s unfortunate that the modern English translations often put self where the Hebrew says soul. Which is legitimate, but it obscures the fact that what David was dealing with was his soul. "I humbled my soul with fasting". That’s one reason why David survived. He had a lot of problems and he didn’t always do the right thing, but he learned how to humble himself, humble his soul. That’s what made him a great man of God. And I believe every successful servant of the Lord has to learn to humble his or her soul. There are other ways to do it, but fasting is really the Biblical way to do it.
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