Rabbi Schneider - Discover the Benefits of Fasting
I want you to know my friends fasting is for you if you're a follower of Jesus. Jesus expected that you and I would have times in our life that we would fast. That's why He said in the book of Matthew chapter six, He said to His disciples, "When you fast". He anticipated beloved, that it would be part of the culture of the Kingdom, as I pointed out last week.
What I'm gonna do today, is I'm gonna break this down for you to give you some ways that you can get started in fasting and then I'm gonna conclude by talking about some of the scriptural promises we have that we can expect as we fast unto the Lord. I want to begin by saying this, in my own life when the Lord has given me grace at times to fast, it hasn't been an experience where I was having any type of bliss while I was fasting. It's not like I started fasting and suddenly I felt so spiritual. None of that happened for me. I just did what God called me to do. I believe that as a result of doing it I was supernaturally strengthened by the Spirit.
So I just want to set this in place for you right now. Don't think that you're gonna go into this thing and suddenly you know you're gonna be on some spiritual high. You know that might happen for you, but for others it doesn't happen. For me it didn't happen. The last time I went on a significant fast I had only one thing happen to me during that time. The last day of the fast I had a keener sense that I was going to heaven then ever before. And it wasn't because I felt like I earned it, it wasn't that I thought that I had earned going to heaven because of the fast. No, it was just that God was blessing me to know I was going to heaven. That was the only real mark spiritual encounter that I had, but I believe the benefits were much more than that one mark spiritual encounter of joy, knowing that I was going to heaven. I believe the benefits were long lasting and far reaching, because as a result of fasting my spiritual muscle was strengthened. My inner man became stronger, so that I was able to walk in greater authority, greater power for years to come as a result.
Now, I want to get back right now beloveds of breaking this down for you. How can you go about this? Now I'm gonna be speaking to all different types of people, those of you that are watching, some that have never fasted before, some that have health limitations, some that are older. So we need to start with kind of the ABC's. If you've never fasted before there are several ways that you can start. Number one, you can do something similar to what Daniel did. Daniel went on a fast where he eliminated sweets and meats. You could eliminate sweets and meats from your diet for a day, for three days. Daniel did it for twenty one days.
The point is fasting isn't a cookie cutter approach. What's right for one person is not necessarily what's right for another person. Just because one person fast a certain way, maybe they're giving up meals for three days, it doesn't mean that everybody has to give up meals for three days. So you let the Holy Spirit speak to you about what He's directing you to do at this point. Maybe for some of you the Lord's just asking you, "I want you to give up sweets for a week. No more cookies. No more candy. No more pie".
Listen, if that's what the Spirit of the Lord is telling you to do that's what you need to do. For other people, I'm taking the principle of tsum now, the principle of fasting and I'm saying: You know what? The Lord may want to apply the principle of fasting to you in another area of your life. Maybe He wants you to abstain from all uses of the internet for a week, maybe He wants you to fast from television for a week, maybe He wants you to fast from Facebook for a week. For some of you He may be calling you to go to a lonely place, just to be alone with Him for a day or three days in a cabin some where. Whatever it is, you just need to be open to the Holy Spirit to guide you and then obey Him, because Jesus promised a reward to those that would fast.
Now I'm gonna get into the book of Isaiah fifty eight now and I'm gonna show you some of the blessings that come to those that fast. Let's go, Isaiah chapter fifty eight, verse number six through twelve. Isaiah fifty eight, verses six through twelve. I want to encourage you and give you confidence. The book of Hebrews tells us those that are gonna please God must believe that He is and that He's a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. So we need to believe God that He is, that He sees and that a reward is for fasting. Just like when Jesus said, "When you fast and do it unto the Father, your Father that sees will reward you".
Let's look at what we can expect, some of these rewards to be. First of all the Lord says here, "Is this not the fast which I choose: to loosen the bonds of wickedness and to undo the bands of the yoke and to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke"? And so we see that one of the blessings, one of the rewards, one of the impartations that we receive through strengthening our spiritual muscle by fasting is that we break off oppression. The Lord says, "To break the yoke, to set those who are in bondage, to set those that are oppressed free". Because when you deny yourself the natural, you get strengthened in the supernatural.
And when you get strengthened in your inner man by the Ruach Hakodesh, by the Holy Spirit, what happens is you end up pushing up the darkness from your life. You end up breaking out of the bondage in your life. Fasting can help you break addictions and set you free. Beloved, fasting will bring you in to greater freedom. Let's continue here. Isaiah continues on. In verse number eight he says, "Then your light will break out like the dawn".
So we see that another benefit that comes to those that fast is they're brought in to greater light. I pointed out on last week's broadcast that it was on top of Mount Sinai when Moses was fasting for forty days, that he received the light, the revelation that we now know as the Pentateuch, the Torah, or the first five books of the Old Testament. When you fast from the natural, when you break off your connection from the natural for the sake of receiving more of God, what happens is beloved, you open up a channel in your life for light to come in. God rewards those that will obey Him in this.
Remember Jesus anticipated that fasting would be part of the culture of the Kingdom. I'm not trying to put a heavy bondage on you. I'm just asking you, be open to the Holy Spirit and don't be afraid to master the flesh. The Bible says, "He that puts to death the deeds of the flesh will from the spirit reap life and joy and peace". Let's continue on. In the eighth verse Isaiah says, another benefit that comes to those that fast is recovery. I'm gonna read again the last one where it says, "Then your light will break out like the dawn". And then he continues and he says, "And your recovery will spring forth". So healing, supernatural recovery comes upon the lives of those that are fasting for the right reasons.
You see there's some things that time doesn't heal. Sometimes we go through something in life, it's a broken relationship, the loss of a loved one, the break up of a relationship with a significant other, even a divorce and hearts get broken. And you know we hear in the world that time heals all things, but the reality is my friend, time doesn't always heal all things. There are some wounds, there are some forms of brokenness that only the Spirit of Elohim, that only the Spirit of the living God can heal. And when we separate ourselves from the natural to fast unto the Lord, what happens is healing, recovery comes into our life. If you need supernatural recovery in your life, particularly as it relates to a broken heart, I want to tell you that fasting for the Kingdom, for the purposes of God can bring supernatural recovery to you.
Let me read it again. Isaiah chapter fifty six , verse eight, "Then your light will break out like the dawn, revelation will come to you and your recovery and your healing will come forth speedily". Then notice the next promise that we have here in verse number eight. "And the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard". This is all in relationship to fasting for the right motives, fasting for the right reasons. "And the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard". Don't you love this. Sometimes we think about glory only in relationship to God. But you know what? Jesus said that He shared His glory with us. Jesus' glory beloved, has come upon you and I.
The Bible says that the spirit of glory rest upon us, His children. The Bible also says in the book of Ephesians that we would understand. Paul prays in Ephesians that you and I, "Would understand," listen now, "The riches of the glory of God's inheritance in the saints". That means in you. Paul prays in Ephesians that we would understand the glory that's in us. When you and I fast the natural world to be greater connected to God in the supernatural realm of His Spirit, what happens is, the glory of God makes deeper entrance into our soul and into our consciousness.
Father I speak glory, the weight of Your presence over Your people right now Father, in Yeshua's name. Father thank You that You promise that You reward those that fast and I just declare and decree Father that for each and every one that will fast as a result of this message, that they will come into a greater revelation and experience of Your own glory.
Notice as we continue on the Lord promises here fellowship and answered prayer. Verse nine, "Then you will call and the Lord will answer". Hear me, God responds to those whose heart is right before Him. When our heart is in alignment with Him our prayers are answered in a fuller way as when our heart is not aligned with Him. Now God is sovereign. He can do anything He wants to do at any time and He's a good God and sometimes He blesses people even when they're not being obedient. But when you're obedient, when your heart is right before Him, when you place Him first in your life, He does more for you.
This is why Paul said, "He that sows bountifully shall reap bountifully. He that sows sparingly shall reap sparingly". "Then you will call," the Lord said in speaking of those that will fast with the right spirit, "Then you will call and the Lord will answer you". I also love the next thing that we read about here in the eleventh verse, supernatural guidance and direction. If you are in a place in life right now that you're needing supernatural guidance and direction about something, maybe it's a relationship, maybe you're wondering whether you should marry this person, maybe you're wondering whether you should buy this house, maybe you're wondering if you should take this job, maybe you're wondering how to handle a certain friendship, or relationship, or family member; whatever it is, the Bible says God gives wisdom to those that ask. And fasting combined with prayer can kind of supercharge that if you will, supercharge the way into God's wisdom.
Listen to what the Lord says here, verse number eleven. "And the Lord again will continually guide you". Listen to that word continually guide you. The confidence of knowing that our steps are being ordered by the Lord brings real peace into our life. Jesus said, "I am with you always". But how many of us really don't experience that truth. In other words, we're not aware that God's really with us. We don't have confidence that our steps are really being guided and ordered by the Lord. The Lord says, "When you fast you're gonna come into a conscious awareness that I am supernaturally directing your life and guiding you". That's part of the promise of Jesus when He said, "You'll know the truth and the truth shall set you free".
When you and I know that the Lord is guiding us and directing us, great peace and freedom will come into our lives. Let's continue on. The Lord promises greater satisfaction. Listen to what He says here. "And the Lord will satisfy your desire in scorched places". In other words, there's gonna be a greater fulfillment. We're gonna enter into a greater, supernatural joy, a greater sense of God's sufficiency. But this comes not through eating tons of natural food. We're not gonna be anymore fulfilled inside long term by feasting on spaghetti. I mean praise God for spaghetti. It taste great, right? But I'm saying when we fast from food or whatever it is that the Lord is leading us to fast from in life in order to be drawn deeper into Him and in order to drink more of the well of Salvation of the supernatural Spirit, what happens is our soul becomes filled up more with His presence. And we become, get it now church, more satisfied in our lives.
I have known people that are in no ways prosperous financially and yet they're some of the most joyful, content people I know. Why? Because they have divine satisfaction within them due to their relationship with God. This goes to our next point here in verse eleven, strength. And the Lord says, "And give strength to your bones and you will be like a watered garden and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail".
What does this say to us? That through this practice of fasting we're strengthened. I've already covered this. I've said it many times already. Denying our self the natural for the sake of the Kingdom, for the sake of God, will strengthen us in the Spirit and this is exactly what Isaiah is telling us here that the Lord will do. We also are promised when we fast unto the Lord and incorporate it into our lifestyle, again in whatever manner and whatever level the Spirit directs you, we're promised as a result of this act of consecration that we're gonna become more fruitful in our lives, that we're gonna become bolder, we're gonna have greater love, we're gonna be better witnesses.
Listen what the Lord says once again, "And you will be like a watered garden and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail". This has to do with fruitfulness in your life, "A watered garden, whose springs don't fail". You're gonna constantly be yielding fruit and lives around you are gonna be touched as you yourself become more immersed in the Holy Spirit through fasting. And then finally beloved, God is gonna use us to build His Kingdom, which closely relates to the last point I make. Listen to verse number twelve. "Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age old foundations and you will be called the repairer of the breach and the restorer of the streets in which to dwell".
Fasting beloved equips us to serve the King. This is why Jesus began His ministry, once again, by going into the wilderness and fasting for forty days. You see beloved, fasting prepared Jesus to launch His ministry. As you and I participate in this you also will be used in the Kingdom in a greater way.
Some of you may want to start out with a meal a day, maybe start out skipping lunch, maybe do it for a day, do it for three days, do it for a week. Some may want to skip dinner. Some may again, want to take me up on some of the other suggestions I made, whether it be Facebook or the internet, whether it's talking on the phone all the time. Whatever the Holy Spirit is speaking to you about just do it and follow through. Do it unto the Spirit. Don't do it to be noticed by men. Don't tell everybody about it. Jesus said if you do that you'll already have your reward, because you've been noticed by men. Do it unto the Father and Yeshua promised your Father who sees you doing it in secret will reward you.