Giving Up To Gain
September 24, 2017 • Jason Smith
Title: GIVING UP TO GAIN: how fasting and praying helps us to maintain contact Praying and Fasting defined: Voluntarily going without food in order to focus on prayer and fellowship with God. When Praying and Fasting are combined and dedicated to God's glory then they reach their full effectiveness. Praying and Fasting simply forces you to focus and rely on God for the strength, provision, and wisdom you need. Matthew 6:16-18- "And WHEN you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But WHEN you fast, anoint your head and wash your face." In other words: It's not more spiritual to look like you're homeless!! How does combining praying and fasting affect us? -Gives us clarity of God's will -Gives us guidance -helps us mourn and weep over our sin -it intensifies our prayers -teaches us humility -declares our dependence -increases our worship -increases our spiritual strength -gives us deliverance from repetitive sins -gives us freedom from constant bondage *Praying and fasting does things when just praying won't and when fasting can't.* "If you are fasting without praying, you're just dieting." "If you're praying without fasting, it's time to go deeper." Mark 9:28-29 "And He told them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." Point #1: MAINTAIN OUR CHARGE "When we give up something through fasting, we begin praying to gain something" -Wisdom, direction, deliverance, healing, self awareness, strength Fasting and Praying realigns our position with the purpose in which God created us. Ephesians 1:3- "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." Point #2: REGAIN OUR PASSION Matthew 5:13- Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It's no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men." AMUSE-BOUCHE- "mouth amuser" Luke 5:35- Jesus said, "The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and they will fast in those days." In other words: Your passion is potent while I'm present, but when I'm gone, fasting will help refuel your passion and help you remain charged for the work of the Kingdom. Point #3: REDIRECTS OUR FOCUS Fasting and Praying is like a "sticky note" that can redirect our focus, help us to maintain our charge and regain our passion for Jesus. Esther 4:15-16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." Sticky Notes help redirect our focus...