The Armor of God.
MORE ON PRAYER
The weapon of prayer and fasting
By Pieter Kirstein
Physical abstaining from food, under the guidance and unction of the Holy Spirit, is a very powerful spiritual discipline that can assist in crucifying fleshly passions because the principle of sacrifice releases the power of the cross, by the Spirit’s operation, into our lives.
Throughout the Bible we find examples of people who fasted. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to implement fasting in your pursuit of God and to reveal it to you as a powerful weapon.
There are actually 3 “when’s” in the gospel. When you give, when you pray and when you fast, NOT “IF” BUT WHEN MEANING AS OFTEN AS YOU DO IT. Matthew 6.
David says in Ps 35:13 my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting;
Yes fasting humbles the soul before God and as we know the Lord gives grace to the humble and resists the proud. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of grace and He willingly comes to the aid of those who choose to humble themselves.
Through His ministry in our lives we receive the finished work of the cross of Christ through His sanctifying work.
When we read that we are commanded in Phil 2:12 to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling then we discover that it means, by revelation of the Holy Spirit, that the work that was accomplished by Christ on the cross must now be wrought out in our lives by the operation of the Spirit to become an experiential reality of which victory and power we can testify.
In obedience to the call of the cross of Jesus we must therefore embrace His work in our lives through a fasted-lifestyle.
Remember what we read in Rom 8:12 Therefore, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13 For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
The discipline of fasting causes a putting-to-death-effect by the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the repentant follower and it will result in a holy consecrated life, in the new order of the Spirit, through the ministry of the cross.
From the beginning of my personal mentor-ship of the Holy Spirit in my life 20 years ago, God clearly and distinctly showed me how the power of the cross, operating through the discipline of fasting, destroys the carnal fleshly mind of man.
This mind of the flesh stands in enmity with God like a brick wall and must be destroyed because it’s ways and desires are contrary to the ways of the Spirit and it has a rebellious will of it’s own and as we read that they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.(Rom 8:5-8)
It was as if I could see through the eyes of the Spirit how He slowly but surely was in in the process of breaking down and breaking through the strong-hold of my sinful mind. One day as I was starting to break through, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “WELCOME TO MY WORLD” speaking of the life of the Spirit, the world in which God operates in the Holy of Holies.
Fasting through the power and the mighty working of the Holy Spirit in the believers life is sure to destroy all carnality. It is a spiritual circumcision done by the Spirit of God by which the Lord, through the power of the cross, cut away that which is earthly, sensual, fleshly and devilish. And about this circumcision we read in Col 2:11 In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead.
We do not fast to try and earn our salvation because as Ephesians 2 tells us as we read from verse 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast, but we are given powerful Spiritual weapons out of our heavenly arsenal by which we can demolish the works of the devil.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)
5 Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Living a fasted life means that we follow the Lord away from the corruption, the influence and the distractions of this fallen world, perfecting holiness in the fear of God and using any means possible to break free from the corruption of the flesh.
A scripture I love is Jas 1:27, Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and “to keep oneself from being poluted by the world.”
This is in accordance with Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
The Spirit of God instructs us in the word about the truths of the kingdom and when we obey He responds by His mighty power. God’s Spirit and His Word are one.
How will we ever become this glorious church when we wallow around in the pig-pen of worldliness and carnality?
We need to find our pleasure in the Lord our God and in the things that pertains to life and godliness and this can only happen as we embrace the life and the pattern of our great God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The church desperately need to understand what is meant in Heb 12:14 that says: Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
Please wake up to the fact that the only way to attain to the holiness of Christ is to embrace the disciplinary work of the Holy Spirit’s sanctification in our lives and yes you will suffer for a season because our carnal side is in enmity with God therefore it must receive the circumcision of the cross. The cross is our symbol of freedom and glorious victory, the victory of the overcomer.
The Lord said to me the other day that you are crucified with Christ when you are no longer influenced by the world around you.
The 3 ungodly fleshly passions of must be rooted out from the heart of the true and sincere follower of Jesus Christ because they are completely contrary to a heart that is in love with God.
The choice is simple when we consider that it is through these 3 deceptions that the god of this world destroyed our lives and kept us in bondage and we need to take up arms and demolish and expel them all from our hearts and lives by embracing the circumcision of the cross.
These worldly desires must be rooted out by the power of the Spirit through the operation of the principle of the cross. Fasting and prayer is a very powerful weapon that can be used against these strongholds.
When you apply the power of the cross through a fasted-lifestyle it will bring down principalities over your life and this I have personally witnessed with my own eyes.
So be encouraged soldier of the kingdom, there is power in the cross of Christ and through its application every enemy becomes your footstool as you are being raised to reign with Christ.
It is like a Holy Spirit battering-ram being unleashed to break down the wall of the flesh that stands between you and the victorious life of the Spirit. It is the practical application of the cross to our lives.
We unleash the ministry of the cross of Jesus Christ through the discipline of a fasted life and through the Spirit’s power we eventually leave our life of sin. When we read in Rom 8:13 but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live, it is talking about the practice of self-denial of one’s body and appetites.
There is powerful revelation in this because as we know, Satan reigns in the flesh through 3 major strongholds and these are taken down when we mortify these works through the discipline and power of the Holy Spirit.
There is a powerful commandment found in Colossians 3:5 that says: Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; 6 for which things sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.
Even our Lord in Matthew 4 was tempted by Satan in the same 3 areas, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life and we read; Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.5 Then the devil takes him up into the holy city, and sets him on a pinnacle of the temple,6 And said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.7 Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.8 Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;9 And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.10 Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.11 Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
If we compare this temptation of Jesus with Eve that was tempted in the garden we discover a pattern.
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
With Jesus: command that these stones be made bread – lust of the flesh
With Eve: she saw that the tree was good for food: the lust of the flesh
With Jesus: If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down which is the pride of life because Satan tempted Jesus to prove himself and to display His power. The pride of life is found in the principle of Satan which is self exaltation.
With Eve: a tree to be desired to make one wise because Satan told her and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
With Jesus: and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them which is the lust of the eyes as a lust for gain.
With Eve: and that it was pleasant to the eyes
This is why we find this scripture in Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus as the last Adam came to restore the 1st Adam’s mess. He had to defeat Satan on man’s natural level as a man born under the law and the law only has the power to keep one in bondage when there is sin in the person and Jesus was a lamb without spot or blemish.
Through His life that He lived on earth and through the sacrifices that He made our Bridegroom opened the way for us to become a bride without spot or blemish as we follow in His footsteps. In the account of His temptation in the wilderness we can clearly see that there was absolutely nothing in Jesus that Satan could tempt Him with because He was the divine prophesied Seed that would bruise the head of the serpent and the adversary found himself defeated in the presence of the Truth.
How can darkness prevail in the presence of light?
There are very deep and powerful revelations hidden in this wilderness encounter because this is where we receive our deep spiritual baptism of fire as revealed by the Holy Spirit.
As followers of Christ we must understand that the kingdom of God is ushered in through a thorough repentance. The kingdom of darkness prevails in an unrepentant heart and we are called to meet the standard in that we bring forth fruit worthy of repentance.
The Father wants us to grow up to bring forth the fruit of righteousness through Spiritual maturity. Most people are camping on the level of salvation. They do not press on to discover the deeper things of God.
John said, I indeed baptize you with water to repentancel but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. We receive this spiritual baptism in our wilderness encounter by way of the cross through which the fire of God consumes the works of the flesh. In turn our hearts are set ablaze and we are brought forth from the wilderness totally in love with God.
We are called to abstain from the fleshly desires which war against our soul and fasting and praying is a powerful weapon to assist us to do so. The Spirit of God has demolished many strongholds that was rooted deep inside my soul and today by God’s grace I experience amazing freedom.
God has taught me as a follower of His Son to press through this fleshly veil of human corruption and the mind of our natural thinking by living a fasted-lifestyle. The Holy Spirit works through this devotional discipline to break down satanic strongholds and thought-patterns within our minds so that we may receive a clearer insight into the ways of God. 2 Cor 10:3-5
The god of this world has piled up such a massive mountain of fleshly worldly and carnal junk between us and the Lord and only those that live a life of sacrifice will get to really know the Lord. When we live a fasted life by the leading of the Spirit then we press through the veil of our flesh to enjoy and experience a glimpse into the mysteries of God. This is why when the Lords children come out of a fast they always receive fresh revelation from the Lord.
The Lord revealed to me that fasting is a powerful key that unlocks revelation knowledge in Gods kingdom. I saw the Holy Spirit standing right in front of me through an open eye vision years ago, during a fast.
He revealed to me that when we live a life of sacrifice then we pay the price of following Jesus. Through this principle we release Him as our Mentor and the great revealer of the mysteries of God into Jesus because within Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Then He returns and imparts to our hearts spiritual wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
He said, The Father is the Temple in the kingdom (Rev 21:22) Jesus is the Treasure Room of the kingdom according to Col 2:2-3 and the Holy Spirit is The Gate-Keeper to the Treasure Room as the Lord Himself revealed in Joh 16:12-15 I have yet many things to say unto you (referring to the rhema, spoken, inspired and revealed word that comes out of relationship with God), but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.
In line with this I received a prophetic word from a friend of mine in Canada, that said the following;
* To the degree that one remains “fasted”, it is to that degree that they shall remain sensitive to those things which could be considered “poisonous” to their being. (2 Cor 7:1)
* The “fasted life” includes no “maintaining” of self-desire!
* The “fasted life” [obedient life] is the key to a “continuous” flow of “revelation”.
* Rising early and living the “fasted” [disciplined] life are “synonymous”.
“synonymous” – closely related or alike in significance or effect;
* I call all those of My children who truly desire to enter into the fullness of My Glory in this Third Day [Hosea 6:1-3] to live a “fasted” [obedient] life. This simply means to live a life that is separated from ANYTHING [those things that are not “profitable” for the true work of the Kingdom] that would keep them apart from the perfect fellowship [relationship] that I so desire with them [Isaiah 58:6-12].
* It is very important for all those who are diligently pursuing the “fullness” of the true Kingdom-position and service they are called to in this final hour to “humble” their soul [mind, will, emotions] and body with “obedience” [the denial of the self-life to obey My Spirit and do My Will] in this hour. This will SURELY lead them into the place of abiding in a “fasted” [obedient] lifestyle – a “lifestyle” that will cause ALL that I have already prepared for them to continually overtake them according to My highest purpose in any given moment [Ephesians 2:10].
….”He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much”…. Luke 16:10a NASB
….”But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh [of human nature without God]”…. Galatians 5:16 The Amplified Translation
The defining of a “fasted state” is unique to every child of God [at least as far as how it will manifest in each individual’s life] because we are all unique in our make up before the Father [as well as have different callings]. So the key to one keeping themselves [abiding] in “fasted state” is for them to be obedient to the Word [Will] of God and the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit – in even the smallest of details of life and ministry. So, summarizing, any time you think of a “fasted” lifestyle think of a lifestyle of obedience – as they are one and the same. (end of quote)
In the context of what we speak, abstinence from food can manifest a deeper more earnest desire to hear from God and it is also an excellent way of receiving deeper revelation from the Lord our God. Personally I have lived this way for many years.
Ask Him to empower you and to guide you. Remember this principle: Whosoever fails to press through the fleshly veil will always be deceived through a shallow natural understanding of the Logos written letter and not be enlightened by the Rhema spoken word of the Holy Spirit. When the Lord started this journey with me years ago God systematically showed me in a very awesome and super-natural way how His power breaks down the wall of the fleshly carnal mind as we practise the discipline of fasting.