There are many principles related to fasting, but the springboard is found in 1 Peter 4:1 and 3: 18-21. In 1 Pet 4: 1, the Apostle explains that “forasmuch as Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.” Based on this therefore, the chief principle is that fasting kills or subdues the flesh so that the spirit man will live or dominate. The picture is of Jesus who suffered for us in the flesh, not only in His death, but in His life, since He deprived Himself of the joys that He had previously known in heaven to live among us. He said at one time that foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath no where to lay His head. In this sense, therefore, He lived a fasted life. Fasting is one example of the foolishness and weakness of God (1 Cor 1:25). While fasting in the Bible is equated with a kind of suffering – affliction of the soul (Isa 58:3); humbling of the soul (Ps 35: 13); chastening of the soul (Ps 69: 10), it brings us face to face with God (Dan 9: 3; 10, 12). While it appears to be a foolish and weak past time, it produces results like the release of angels (Acts 10:30, Dan 9, 10). Daniel used a 21 day fast to repent for the Jews’ rebellion that had led them into captivity and for their release. David and Jesus went on 40 day fasts to defeat chief princes who were Goliath and satan respectively (1 Sam 18; Lk 4). Other scriptures support the principle of the subduing of the flesh for the benefit or strengthening of the spirit man. For example, Romans 8:5 says 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. Romans 8: 10, 13 also supports the principle in saying that if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of (to) sin, but the spirit is alive to righteousness … if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die (the spirit will die), but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live (your spirit shall live). What is the relationship of the Holy Spirit of God to fasting? Let’s go back to 1 Pet 4: 1 which is the conclusion of the spiritual truth that the Apostle Peter began to teach in 1 Peter 3: 18-22. In these passages, Peter explains that Christ suffered in the flesh, but was quickened by the Holy Spirit (1 Pet 3: 18) by whose power He went down into hell and preached to the spirits in prison (those disobedient ones who had died in the days of the flood – 1 Pet 3:19,20). Prophet Isaiah (chapter 58) says that Fasting brings great spiritual authority to loose captives/bands of wickedness, free the oppressed, break every yoke, feed the hungry (those who are poor in spirit), house the poor, clothe the naked, give joy, health, favor, bring one out of obscurity, provide divine guidance and provision and restoration of desolate places. Note the parallels between Isaiah 58 and chapter 61 which talks about the effects of the anointing and chapter 10 verse 27. Therefore fasting also releases a major anointing for operating in the deliverance power of the Almighty God that will catalyze change which God can use other people to do. This is the authority in which Jesus operated. Remember He held a 40 fast at the beginning of His ministry and from Mt 17: 21 one can safely infer that He fasted continually. I found this to be true as an intercessor for the land of my birth for many years. More recently, God asked me to intercede for the nation in its capital (thus Prayer and Praise Power Ministries). The intercessors (hello Sr Scott, Pat and Shereden) prayed fervently for revival and the Lord stirred up Ministries in Action to coordinate a national revival via personal and mass evangelism in the entire land in 2007. Note that there were other intercessors in the land praying for this, but we must answer to our assignment. Let the glory go to the name of the Lord. The When He went into hell, He exerted great spiritual authority over satan. This was a major shock tactic because the devil really thought that He had bound the Lord for ever and ever. Jesus was alive in the Spirit and by the Spirit of God who quickened His mortal body also for the resurrection (Rom 8: 11). To continue on the principle of the great spiritual authority that is exercised by fasting, we need to review what Jesus did when He went down into hell (Eph 4: 9,10; Ps 68: 18). Here, He dethroned satan from his authority over death and hell (Rev 1: 18) in an major showdown of power (Col 2: 15). Heb 2:14 clearly says that satan had the power of death. Christ died to deliver us (as well as those who died believing God before His appearance) from the power of death/the devil (Ps 16: 10, Heb 2: 15). 1 Jn 3:8 says that “the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil”. He then ascended into heaven as the VICTORIOUS LORD, KING AND SAVIOR) with the spoils of battle (Ps 24). Michael and the angels helped Him to beat up the devil and his angels in the war for supremacy. Satan and his imps really fought hard, but they they prevailed not and they were cast out into the earth (Rev 12: 7-11). The accuser of the brethren was now cast down and the Lord took up His rightful place at the right hand of the Father and was given a name above every name (1 Pet 3: 22, Eph 1: 20-23, Eph 2: 5-6, Phil 2: 5-11). We who are risen with Christ share this same position of dominion. Fasting therefore causes us to practically exert this dominion and authority over the enemy. Blessings
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