Yesterday’s thoughts were on overcoming strongholds in one’s life by putting on the Armor of God as stated in Ephesians, Chapter 6. This is vital to our Spiritual growth.
This morning let’s look at another vital step in our preparation for spiritual battle and that is FASTING.
Today, Satan has his hold on many Christians through strongholds that can only be broken by the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting.
Fasting is to be a part of our spiritual growth development. Jesus expected fasting to become part of our consecrated devotion as we look to Him for our daily needs and to break strongholds that may have taken root in our lives. Jesus made this statement, “when you fast” not if you fast. It can be noted that fasting is good for both our spiritual and physical well being.
This exercise of FASTING and PRAYER; that of putting God, before the needs of the body… putting God before self…will always result in a closer walk with Him, provided the motive is right.
Let’s look at a few thoughts when fasting:
- Concentration is to be on God, not on the “sacrifice” of the fast.
- Fasting is to be a private matterbetween God and the one fasting.
- During the fast spend as much time as possible in praise and worship, prayer and Bible study. Focus is to be on God and His Word.
- Time should be spent several days in advance preparing for the fast in prayer…get God’s will in regards to the purpose of the fast.
Another factor in spiritual growth is that of Christian fellowship. Do not forsake gathering together with other Christians as stated in Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
This is a very important factor in your spiritual growth that of personal involvement in a Christ-centered, Bible-teaching church. Forgiving others is a vital step in spiritual growth and yet a very common stronghold that Satan uses against the Christian. Unforgiveness is a very serious sin in the eyes of God.
- Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
- Matthew 6:14 – 15 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
When you ask for forgiveness be sure it comes out of genuine compassion and concern for the other.
Our thoughts can be a barrier blocker to our spiritual growth. Apostle Paul tells us to think on things that are Godly.
- Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
- Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed. Another step in spiritual growth is to be an encourager, daily reach out to another person and show acts of care and encouragement.
Lastly, GIVE THANKS. God’s blessings are all around us…in our everyday life.
- Psalms 116:17 I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
There is no end to the list of things both material and spiritual that God has provided for each of us.
We are to be thankful for:
Life…God…family…food…home…clothes…job…etc. Be thankful.
Remember, spiritual training is always conducted one step or one phase at a time…expect the Holy Spirit to help you in your training and you will soon realize the power of God, the Holy Spirit, working in and through you.
Listed below you might say are the weapons we are to select for battle against Satan. Always keep in mind, the battle is the Lords.
This fight against Satan has already been won in Christ Jesus but it will take doing our part in keeping Satan out of our life.
- Praise and Worship: 2 Samuel 22:4; Psalm 107:8; Psalm 50:23; Psalm 150:6
- Prayer: Hebrews 4:16; Proverbs 15:8; James 5:16; Psalm 55:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:17…Indeed “nothing happens until we pray”.
- The Word of God: “the Sword of the Spirit” The Bible is filled with God’s promises to fight for us and with us…Ephesians 6:17; Isaiah 41:10, 13.
- The Name of Jesus: Jesus has given all believers in Him the very authority to use His name in defeating the works of Satan and his demons. The very key is Christ in us…John 14:13-14; Acts 3:6
- The Blood of the Lamb: There is power in the blood of the Lamb; the very power of Jesus Christ who shed His blood for the sins of the world. We are to be grateful and thankful for Christ Jesus and His blood that was shed for us. Yes, as a believer we are grateful for the shed blood in our lives and thankful for what the shed blood means in and over situations in our lives bringing about victory over Satan.
- Revelation 12:11 (KJV) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
As stated above in Revelation 12:11. These weapons of spiritual warfare has been given to all believers who has died out of self to Christ and has allowed the Holy Spirit to guide, lead and empower them, over Satan for the glory of God and our victory!
As always, love in Christ Jesus,