Rabbi Schneider - What Fasting Does For You?
I'm gonna speak with you today about the principle of fasting. Fasting, F, A, S, T, I, N, G for the Kingdom of God. Now I know that many of you are not comfortable with the concept of fasting. Some of you perhaps have never fasted. Others have tried to fast, but have not been successful. I'm gonna try to break it down for you, make it very easy to understand why fast. And try to lead you into a time that's just between you and the Lord, for you and He to come to a conclusion to together about how you may be able to apply this principle of fasting beloved ones, to your life today for greater increase in the Kingdom of God.
Once again we're beginning a series right now called "Fasting and The Kingdom of God". Now I want to begin by telling you an example, a story from my own life. Approximately eight years ago I had been very focused on asking the Lord to give me peace. That was the focus of my prayer life for that year. I just said, "Father God increase my peace. Father God I asked you for peace, peace, peace". It was the primary focal point of what I was bringing to Father and King Jesus in prayer in terms of my own needs. Now listen, I'd been praying for peace for a year.
Now I go to sleep one night and in the middle of the night the Lord came to me by His Spirit in the most emotionally satisfying experience I ever had with God. I've had many supernaturals in the Lord, many supernatural experiences in the Lord. Many things that the Lord has shown me in the spirit realm, many dreams, many visions, supernatural synchronous and etc. I've had many miracles, but most of the miracles I've seen, most of the visions, most of the dreams, most of the encounters I have had, have been strictly in the realm of the objective.
In other words, I knew what the Lord was showing me and I understood, but I didn't feel anything emotionally. But in this encounter that I'm explaining to you right now that happened to me in the middle of the night after I had been praying for peace for a full year, this encounter beloved, was so emotionally satisfying. I've never had anything like it before or since. Here's what happened. In the middle of the night I'm in my bed sleeping and the Lord comes to me in a spirit and the way that it happens is, I begin to feel waves, ocean waves of God's peace, of His shalom rolling over me. Peace and love just rolling over me like wave, after wave, after wave, of His supernatural Spirit just washing over me and drenching me and immersing me in peace, supernatural peace. Not a peace of this world, it was supernatural.
Now while I'm having this experience there's also a visual element to it. And the visual element is, as the Spirit of the Lord is washing over me in peace, I'm in a forest. Again, there was a visual part to this encounter. And the forest that I was in was so lush. It was so green. It was like a tropical jungle. You know green speaks of life. That's what the symbolism was, life all around me. Even as heaven is both a completely spiritual place and yet there's a physical element to it, right? We read about the walls in heaven. We read about the gates in heaven. We read about the streets of gold and so this was something similar in the sense. There was a supernatural experience going on, but there was a physical element to it. I'm in the forest, again, lush, green.
Now get this, the forest that I was in as this encounter was taking place, was secluded. It was like a secret, secluded place, so that there could be no distraction and nothing coming in from the outside. I was in this secret, secluded forest with just the Lord and I. What made this forest secluded was that all around the forest there were these huge boulders, these huge rock formations that went up you know, thirty feet into the air. And up growing on the rock formations all the way up the side of the rock formations was the lush, green ivy.
So hopefully you're getting a bit of the picture on this secret, secluded forest. It's cut off from everything else by the lush, by the boulders covered with lush ivy. As it's happening, as the peace is rolling over me as I'm in this beautiful forest, I feel the Spirit of the Lord leading me deeper into the forest where I saw that there was a simple wooden picnic table set up, just a simple wood picnic table. And we know that a table in scripture often times represents the provision and the bounty of the Lord, the Table of Plenty. I felt the Spirit of the Lord leading me deeper into the forest to this simple picnic table and I understood the symbolism that He and I were gonna sit down together and this experience that I was having was even going to intensify.
Now remember I'm encountering the peace of God in gorgeous waves of love. The peace of the Lord just saturating my entire soul. And I'd been asking for peace for a year. Now as the Lord is leading me deeper into the forest so I could experience even more of this, suddenly in this dream, in this vision of the night a piece of pizza appeared. And this pizza was the best smelling pizza I ever smelled in my life. It was like right next to my nose. Think about it, the peace of God is rolling over me, drawing me deeper into the forest to the picnic table where I was gonna sit down in the presence of the Lord and be totally filled up with supernatural peace.
And as the Spirit is leading me deeper into the forest, suddenly a piece of pizza appears this close to my nose. If you could imagine the best smelling pizza that you ever smelled and multiply it times a thousand, that would give you and idea of what happened to me when I smelled this piece of pizza. It was the best smelling pizza I ever smelled, times a thousand. And as soon as I smelled it, as soon as I smelled it, suddenly beloved ones, my mind got divided, because suddenly another impulse in me had been aroused. I'd been following the Lord into deeper peace, but now all of a sudden my flesh nature was aroused when I smelled the pizza. And all of a sudden I got double minded, because I got hungry.
As soon as I smelled the pizza, my appetite was aroused and I got hungry. I wanted to eat it. And now you see I have two things going on. My spirit's being drawn into the peace and the love of the Lord, but my senses in the flesh were drawn to eat the pizza. And I get double minded, both parts of my nature were going different directions. My spirit man was going one direction, but my natural man was going the other direction. And in my mind I felt the divide and I began to think what should I do? What should I do? Because I knew I could yield to the Lord and go deeper into the forest or I could go get the pizza.
I thought this thought in the dream, in the vision of the night. I thought, "Maybe I could do both. Maybe I can have a piece of pizza and then go deeper into the forest. As soon as I yielded to that thought beloved one, immediately the encounter with the Lord ended. Just like that. As soon as I said to myself, "You know what? You'll have a bite of the pizza and then go into the forest". Bam! The Lord's presence withdrew. Immediately, I was conscious of the whole thing. Immediately I got out of my bed, got on my knees. I began to repent before the Lord. I said, "Lord". I said, "Lord, I've been praying for peace for a whole year and finally You come to me to give me Your piece and I trade it in for a lousy piece of pizza". I said, "Lord please forgive me. Lord please forgive me". I said, "I'm gonna go back to bed and Father God when I go back to bed let me fall asleep and I ask You to come to me again".
Well you know what happened beloved one? It didn't happen again. I got up the next morning. I sat down. I said, "Lord please forgive me". I said, "What happened? Why did that happen Lord? Was that Satan that came and tried to steal Your peace from me? Was that Satan that came trying to rob me of the experience"? But then I thought, "Lord even if it was the devil, I still believe that You permitted it, that You had a purpose in it". And as I pondered it all before the Lord, I said, "Lord I don't know if that pizza was from the devil or not, but I believe that You engineered that dream, that You designed that vision of the night. What was it? Help me understand, why did that pizza appear"?
And I felt the Spirit instruct me, saying to me, "When you deny yourself the natural," in this case the piece of pizza, "when you deny yourself the natural you'll receive more of the supernatural". And the Lord put that principle in my soul. "If you'll deny yourself the natural for Me," sayeth the Lord, "You're gonna receive more of My supernatural impartation into your soul by My Spirit". And as a result of that encounter, even though I had never been successful in fasting for any great length of time before, when the Lord gave me that experience and then showed me what happened and instructed me that if I'll deny the natural, I'll receive more of the supernatural, that so empowered me and focused me that I was able to go out on a forty three day fast. I had never been able to do anything like that before.
Now I didn't start out going without any food at all. I started out just going down and having one meal a day. And I just kept on strengthening the fast until the last three days I really made it stringent, until finally I was eating no food at all for the last day, no food, or water, or anything. The point is beloved ones, this principle of fasting that I'm describing to you, this principle that the Lord said, "If you'll practice this you're gonna receive more of the supernatural". This principle is something that Jesus assumed, listen now, that His followers would be doing.
Now I don't want you to get afraid, because I'm gonna break this down for you in bite size morsels. But I want to say this to you in the name of the Lord. If you will apply this principle to your life in whatever way God shows you, He is gonna strengthen you by His Spirit and you're gonna walk in the greater dimension of the supernatural. I want you to understand that Jesus began His ministry with fasting. Did you hear that? As soon as Jesus came out of the Jordan River after hearing the Father say to Him, "You are My beloved Son and in You I am well pleased".
The first thing that the Lord did in order to launch King Yeshua into His ministry was to lead Him into the wilderness where He fasted for forty days and forty nights. It's interesting that we read that the Spirit led Him into the wilderness. He was led in, listen to that phrase again. He was into the wilderness by the Spirit. Led in, but the Bible says, "After the forty days He came out of the wilderness," get it now, "in the power of the Spirit". So He was led in by the Spirit, but after fasting for forty days and resisting the devil He came out in the power of the Spirit.
See I believe that as Jesus was in the wilderness, totally depending on the Holy Spirit to sustain Him when He had no physical food, totally depending on the Spirit in the word to resist the devil, I believe that that so strengthened Him, that He came out in the power and began His ministry doing the miracles, doing the signs and wonders and launching beloved, the message of the Kingdom of God. You see, when we have to exercise our spiritual muscle through forms of spiritual discipline like fasting, what happens is the spirit man gets stronger.
Everything in the natural world, listen, is a shadow of what happens in the supernatural world. And if you think about the natural muscle, how do we strengthen a natural muscle, like a bicep for example? How do we strengthen our natural muscles? We strengthen them beloved, through resistance training. In other words, weight lifters will build their muscle by taking a weight and lifting that weight. In other words, by subjecting that muscle to something that resisted the muscle grows stronger. And the same thing is true in the spirit. When we resist the flesh, when we resist the natural and cling to the spirit we get strengthened by the spirit.
That's why when Jesus' disciples could not cast out the demon and the father of the boy who had the demon, whom the disciples couldn't cast it out of. The father of that boy brought the boy to Jesus and Jesus cast out the demon from the boy. The disciples asked, "Why could we not cast it out"? Jesus said, "This kind doesn't go out, except by fasting and prayer". You see, He was combining the principle of fasting with prayer, because both of them strengthen the spirit man.
Now I want you to understand if we feed the flesh and that is the disposition of our life, our spirit man will be weak and will be suppressed. If we feed the spirit and discipline our flesh our spirit man will become strong and will walk into dominion over the flesh. Let me say it again. If we walk through life yielding to the flesh without disciplining it, what will happen is that our spirit man will be suppressed under the power of the flesh. If on the other hand we discipline the flesh and feed the spirit man through depending on God, praying, walking in the word and resisting the lust of the flesh, our spirit man will get stronger and we're gonna walk in greater power and in a greater dimension of the supernatural.
You see the Bible says that, "The spirit lusteth against the flesh and the flesh lusteth against the spirit". And the two are in opposition to each other. And the scripture says, "If we feed the flesh we'll reap from the flesh corruption, but if we feed the spirit we're gonna reap from the spirit life and peace". Now on next week's broadcast I'm gonna break down this principle of fasting to your life. How can you do it? I know that many of you are afraid of it. You're thinking, "You know what? I can't do without food". I'm gonna give you some ways that you can begin to fast beloved, that any of us can apply to our life. And I promise you this, the word of God is true.
Jesus said, "When you fast," He said, "don't walk around with your face all droopy and sad, so that everybody notices that you're fasting". Jesus said, "If you do that so that others will come up to you and notice you, " He said, "you'll already have had your reward". But Jesus said, "When you fast do it in secret. Anoint yourself with oil, so that you look fine". And He says, listen now, "And your Father who sees will reward you". There's a blessing and a reward that comes to those that will apply this principle to your life. Paul said that, "All discipline is profitable, but spiritual discipline is the most profitable of all," because it blesses us not only in this life, but even brings a reward with it in the life to come. I love you. I look forward to being with you next week. And until then my friends, God bless you and shalom.