Day #6 The Final Word | Paula Hays
Are you ready for this, folks? What I’m about to say may surprise you. I love to fast. Does that sound crazy? I do. I love to fast. I love to have a set aside time where it’s just me and just God and I can put every ounce of energy into one thing. Spending quality time with Him with nothing pulling at me. I’m a Quality Time gal. Unadulterated, open communication, focused attention – love it. I love giving it and I love getting it. And for years, I would set aside a day to three days and sneak away at every chance I could between classes, assignments, pressures, work, family and church responsibilities and hide out with my Bible, journal, pen and a box of tissues. I fasted all food and drink except water. I spent hours pouring over Scripture, asking the Lord to show me more of Him. To give me wisdom and understanding and insight into what His Words are communicating. And also, to spend that time telling Him how much He means to me and how much I love Him and how grateful I am for all He is and has done.
Jai was telling us during one of our 5am meetings that during her college years, she weekly set aside a day to fast and it helped so much to have it in her schedule. To have consistency in it. I LOVE that idea. The conversation went on to discuss how in the Word, Jesus often referred to “and when you fast…” He didn’t say IF. Meaning fasting was a common practice in the lifestyle of the Jewish culture. And how it’s not even considered in today’s culture.
As time has progressed, fasting has changed for me. One of battle. Feeling led to fast and fight for breakthrough. Breakthrough against an enemy who is constantly trying to fill my mind with his lies about me, about my situations, and even so bold as to fabricate lies about the Lord and His thoughts towards me. It’s become this fighter’s response to – in a way – crush the snake, and come against some things the enemy snuck into my heart and mind over time. And it is also my response to situations and circumstances in my family’s and friends’ lives. Bold words and heavy battling in prayer are the standard. Learning how to stand in the authority we’ve all been given and tell the enemy, “Not today!”
Nothing impacted my life as much as the day my dearest friend called me. She knew I was going through a very dark season and reached out on a day that would turn out to be climactic in the situation I had been in. I was on lunch break at work but hadn’t been able to eat at all that day and she asked, “How are you?” and after my stumbling, crying, and inability to speak, she stopped me and said, “When did you last eat? Ok, I’m fasting with you. We are going to pray and fast until we see breakthrough – no matter how long it takes.”
This sweet friend offered to fast for me. That action alone broke something in me. That day, I had an advocate. Someone who was vested in the crisis with me. When I felt so alone, she reached down, grabbed my hand and made it known we were in it together.
You have no idea how the sacrificial act of fasting for another can impact their lives. That day changed the trajectory of my life. I will forever be grateful for a loving friend and a powerful God that heard our cry, broke the chains of the enemy and many a miracle happened. That was the moment fasting took on a whole new dynamic for me. That I can join another and together, do battle by fasting and prayer. Maybe there is someone in your circle going through something difficult. Have you ever considered that maybe you can do something? Maybe the Lord is laying on your heart to fast for them and their situation. Maybe the idea never crossed your mind before to allow the Lord to direct you to anything like this. Fasting can be such a personal act, so to offer that act on behalf of another is… something outside of ourselves. I am so glad someone did that for me. So, as we seek the Lord for this year of 2018, may I put out there a little thought?
The final and only word William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, entreated his people with in his final days. Others. Unable to attend a national gathering due to failing health, Booth sent a telegram and desiring to save expense, he limited his thoughts to that one word. Maybe some of those fasts we plan to have for this next year can be for others.
“Whom Christ cures, he cures effectually. But Satan is unwilling to be driven from those that have been long his slaves, and, when he cannot deceive or destroy the sinner, he will cause him all the terror that he can. The disciples must not think to do their work always with the same ease; some services call for more than ordinary pains.” – Matthew Henry Commentary of Mark 9:29
“This kind can only come out by nothing but prayer and fasting” – Holman Christian Standard Bible
**attached photo is not the actual document