Returning to the Ancient Paths
Are you at a crossroads and don’t know which way to go? Have you sought peace but could not find it?
Long ago God set forth markers to lead you to right paths. These are ancient paths, proven and tested over time, where we find rest for our weary souls.
Unfortunately many are unwilling to walk these paths.
In this age of technology where we have everything at our disposal and fingertips, an ancient path such as prayer and fasting sounds strange and out of touch, right? Afterall, we have all the answers as we search the information superhighway-don’t we?
“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” Proverbs 14:12 NLT
Haven’t we all sinned and lost our way at times? Walking down paths of destructive living? I know I have. The Bible says: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
I know there is a better way to walk out our days on this earth, with peace in our minds and rest for our souls and True communion with God.
I know this to be true- Fasting is an ancient path of true communion with God.
Sanctified and sacrificial living
Fasting has taught me sacrifice, sanctification and humility. True communion with God.
Sanctified simply put means-set apart. It means to be different from the status quo.
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, SET APART as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:20-21 ESV
What does this looks like?
denial of self (sacrifice) -And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:23-25 ESVless entanglement to earthly things (sanctification) –“I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” GALATIANS 2:20 AMPpreferring others over ourselves (humility)- “Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor;” ROMANS 12:10 AMP
Now my life becomes more about the purposes of God and less about mine. This dear friends- is a set apart life. Jesus modeled this as he came to do his Father’s will and lay down his life for us.
“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A CONSECRATED NATION, A [special] PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 PETER 2:9 AMP
Things to remember
“There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven–” ECCLESIASTES 3:1 AMP
there is a TIME to fast and there’s a TIME to feast; the Jewish calendar has a model of fasting and feast days if you want to learn more about that.it’s always TIME to pray, but especially when fasting- otherwise it’s just a dietfasting returns your compass to -TRUE NORTHprayer is your superhighway to God, not the internet.God is your real source of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.fasting is a PRIDE KILLER- pride seeks high places and elevation. It seeks for position OVER people, but humility seeks to GO LOW and serve people. Fasting enables humility and disables pride. Now you can go low joyfully.
Fasting is not without benefits
direction and impartation- “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” Acts 13:2-3 NIVrevelation from dreams and visions-“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.” Daniel 10:1-3
NIVsupernatural favor and intervention – “Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “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 attendants 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.” Esther 4:15-16 NIVsanctification for service-“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.” Exodus 34:27-28 NIV
The greater the assignment, the greater the requirements.times of repentance– ““Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”” Joel 2:12 NIV- when we fall away in our hearts and devotion to the Lord, we can return with penitent hearts as we fast, pray and seek his face, in repentance.positions us in humility and for promotion-““WHEN you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18 NIV
Yes God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.greater authority in casting out devils – “When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”” Mark 9:25-29 NKJVovercoming temptation by the word and identity– “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “IF you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”” Matthew 4:1-4 NIV -Anything the Spirit leads you to, HE will lead you THROUGH. We must know who we are- IN CHRIST.
This is not an exhausted list, but a good place to start.
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” 3 John 1:2 ESV
Fasting heals and revives our soul (heart, mind, will and emotions)
daily plea the blood of Jesus over your soul as you fast and pray; it is the great healing and cleansing agent.pray for reconciliation in relationships-we were made for connection with God and with others.focus on God’s presence- you are not alone- Psalm 23. (Passion translation)read God’s Word while you fast- it renews your mind
“The Lord is my Fierce Protector and my Pastor. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me In his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, The quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure, And leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness, So that I can bring honor to his name. Lord, even when your path takes me through The valley of deepest darkness Fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for you are near. You become my delicious feast. Even when my enemies dare to fight. You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit; You give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows. So why would I fear the future? For I’m being pursued only by Your goodness and unfailing love. Then afterwards—when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence To be forever with you!”
only God can change a heart-pray scriptures like Psalm 51.ask God to increase your capacity for compassion.
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” 1 John 3:17 KJV
Compassion was the trademark of Jesus’ ministry and it moved him to action. He felt for them as he looked upon them, sick, demonized, poor, rejected and suffering and healed them all.
“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34 NKJV ““My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:34 NIV
How you FEEL about others is important to God and it should be an indicator to you of your soul health.
“For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.” Hebrews 4:15 AM
I recently heard the Lord say-“it’s TIME to retrain your gut.” I knew he was challenging my capacity to hold greater compassion for others.
Jesus said-“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the [fermenting] wine will [expand and] burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the wineskins. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”” MARK 2:22 AMP
Jesus is very careful to put what is valuable into a worthy vessel. Trust in his power and grace as you walk his ancient pathways.
I know it may seem that fasting is all about limitations but it’s not. Fasting is really a supernatural principle of connection to God. It makes you more alive to the things of the Spirit then the things of your flesh and your natural surroundings. It really is an invitation to go deeper into the heart of God.
Don’t limit God in your life by living only in the natural. We were made for so much more and fasting is a bridge to the supernatural where we experience the presence and power and glory of God in a remarkable way.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV