Sermon Notes-01.05.20- Pastor Jason: Fasting 2020 

Joshua 1:1-11 NIV 

1. Entering a new season you must: have conviction

  • Conviction means: a strong belief, fully persuaded
    • Joshua 3:1-4 NKJV
    • Joshua 3:5 NIV 

2. Entering a new season you must: have consecration

  • Consecration means: setting yourself apart 
    • Joshua 5: 2, 7, 8 NKJV 

3. Entering a new season you must: remember His Covenant

  • Covenant means: He will be faithful to Himself and to you 
  • Why Fast?
    • It is an act of worship, an act of sacrifice and a consistent offering to the Lord every year. 
    • We are in a new season, a new year, and a new decade both individually and as a Church.
    • Today we are using an Old Testament example: it shows a physical example of a spiritual expectation for us. 

1. Entering a new season you must have: conviction

  • Conviction means: a strong belief, fully persuaded 

Joshua 1:1-11 NIV 

V1-5

  • How many like change? “I only like change I can control…” 
  • God did not call Israel to safety. He called them to move into their promise.
  • Sometimes what we call wisdom is really fear.
  • We never move in presumption, but we must move if we know God has spoken. 

Unpack these statements and how you have seen them in your own life. 

V 6-9

  • Three times God tells Joshua he needs to have courage.
  • His need for courage is sandwiched between God telling him I will be with you. 
  • Many of us are afraid of what we will face in the new season.
  • All of us want the promise, BUT we don’t want the battle that comes with the promise.
    • They faced 18-19 battles
  • Fear is the number one reason people won’t try the unknown. 

Are you willing to fight the battle? 

V 10-11

  • Conviction compels people to move, especially when they have confidence in God.
    • examples: Joshua- Officers- people
  • Our obedience is so important to others.
  • Conviction finishes, and it doesn’t quit.
  • No great change happens without conviction, because we have to be fully persuaded.
  • I want our staff, our church, to have fierce conviction. To be in or out, hot or cold, and make a choice.
    • Conviction is a choice. Quit giving up so easily. Grow roots. 
  • This fast needs to be about the conviction of a new season, discovering a clarified purpose, clear direction and a commitment to follow through. 
  • No one else can do this for you.

Are you ready to give these three weeks; followed by the next year, and followed by your entire future, to God out of conviction to see Him move. As well as see Him do through you, and through this body all that He wants to do? 

If you have struggled and failed in fasting before, what can you do differently to succeed this time? 

2. Entering a new season you must have: consecration

– Consecration means setting yourself apart 

  • Phone users: Dscout research studied 94 users from a pool of 100,000 people
    • Average user: 2617 touches for 145 minutes 
    • Heavy user: 5427 touches for 225 minutes 
    • 76 to 132 sessions a day on their phone 

Joshua 3:1-5 NKJV 

There are seasons when for whatever reason, God hems you in. Doors don’t open, things fall through. It feels like you are stuck or forgotten, or you don’t feel a release.

  • God is usually doing something in you, or there is a timing factor involved.
  • Then, there are times when God wants you to make a choice to set yourself apart. 
  • God desires us to make a choice, and not just do what He wants us to do. 
    • V 4- that you may know the way to go (Holy Spirit leading). 
    • V 4- You have never been this way before. “Follow Me, don’t run ahead of me”.
  • Fasting (First Things First) making God priority. Relationship first, not destination or direction first. 
  • Consecration is surrendering your preference for His will
  • Fasting involves sacrifice, pursuit and surrender. You have a desire to hear from the Lord.
  • We focus on one area and, to us; it is the only thing that matters.
  • Consecration is surrendering our preferences for God’s perspective 
    • His will and our way vs. His will and His way. 
  • Consecration deals with motives and heart issues: past, present and future.
  • Being set apart, but also all in, Israel was a part of moving forward.
  • I hope it is the same for all of Good News.
  • Change is hard for many people.
  • Consecration means setting yourself apart to seek the Lord in preparation for what is to come. 
    • This fast in about this year and beyond. 

How will you intentionally set yourself apart for the next three weeks? Even in your busy? Even in all the world’s demands? 

How will you sacrifice, pursue, and surrender so that you can hear from the Lord, so you can intentionally pursue a deeper relationship with Him? 

3. Entering a new season you must: remember His Covenant

  • Covenant means He will be faithful to Himself and to you 

Joshua 5:2, 7-8

  • Memorial stones were set up as a reminder of Gods’ faithfulness.
    • A new generation is reminded of God’s covenant. He said He would do it. 
    • It was also calling them back to God- calling us back to connection with God
  • Covenant means vulnerability, and it means trust. 
  • We position ourselves in obedience, but we need God to come through. 
  • V 2, 7, 8– They cross over, and experience circumcision. 
  • They are vulnerable. God loves when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable because we trust Him.
  • There are times we are afraid and won’t enter the new season. 
  • There are times God calls us to sacrifice and trust. Israel knew what God was calling them to, but we may not.
  • Long term thinking: health and direction of the church.
    • “Lordship” is my word for 2020 

Will you enter this new season in vulnerability because you trust My covenant with you? 

It is why we want to fast 

Can you trust Him to be the Lord over your next three weeks? 

Can you trust that you will grow closer to Him thru this fast EVEN if you don’t receive the answer to the prayer you think needs to be answered? 

Can you trust He is working even if He does not show up the way you think He should? 

Can you make the tough choice to push thru and continue the fast, even when it is hard, even if you fail and have to start over again? 

Can you step into this fast with new faith and believe for a new season in your personal life, as well as in our corporate body as a church, united together? 

  • Conviction, consecration, covenant and communion.
  • Communion: we took communion today as a remembrance, to bring us back to a proper placement as we enter into this fast. 

Why Fast? 

  • For consecration of ourselves individually and corporately. Also, for clarity in a new season, direction and transition. 
  • Biblically people fast for answers, power, breakthrough, salvation for others, intimacy with God, devotional life with God, protection, empowering people for ministry, and realignment with God’s priorities.

How long: 21 days- Daniel 10 

  • Choose what you will fast- vegetables, some people go without a meal, some fast sun up to sun down, some go for longer periods of times without food at all. However, use wisdom.
  • Anything other than food? Some fast media or anything that takes away your focus. 

What to expect: 

  • Your flesh/appetites will show up, grumpy, and initial fatigue.
  • Don’t be legalistic BUT be intentional.
  • Find time to be with God, pray, dedicate a time/place and seek Him. 
    • Let a select group of people know you are fasting to join you in prayer. 
    • Prepare ahead on food. 

Further notes on fasting: 

  • Matt. 6:16-18: When you fast 
  • Luke 2:36-37: Anna, served in the temple, prayed and fasted night and day. It was a lifestyle with God.
  • Mark 2:18- John taught his disciples to fast 
  • 1 Cor. 7:5 
  • 2 Cor. 11:27- Paul fasted often
  • Ezra 8:21-23- For protection on the journey
  • Ezra 10:6- Ezra mourned for three days over the guilt of Israel.
  • Daniel 6:18- King Darius fasting for Daniel in the lion’s den
  • Luke 4:1-2;14: Jesus fasted for 40 days; came out in power.
  • Acts 13:2-3: Barnabas and Saul- Before sending men out 
  • Acts 14:21-23: Paul and Barnabas
  • Isaiah 58 – Fasting with obedience to how God wants to respond to needs around us, and the desire to be right with God internally.
  • Nehemiah 1:3-4: People in distress, walls broken down. He mourned and fasted many days
  • Esther 4:15-16 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in [a]Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
  • I do not recommend this fast without direct medical supervision.

Jonah 3:7-10 repentance- People of Nineveh 

Why fast? 

  • Fasting is a tool that has been widely used by God’s people throughout history, and it continues to be a powerful way for Christians to deepen their relationship with God. As we’ve seen, it is appropriate to fast when faced with temptations, trials, or potentially dangerous situations. Fasting can also accompany heartfelt repentance, enhance prayer, or be offered as an act of deep worship and praise. God will reveal Himself personally as we set our hearts on Him. 
    • It is also learning to master our flesh, cravings etc. 

How Long? 

  • Daniel 1:12-16- ten days- vegetable fast with water 
  • Daniel 10:2-3; 12-14 NIV- 21 days
  • Some may give up one meal a day; others may fast from sun up to sundown. Others may stay away from selected foods. In doing so, it is to remind yourself of the need for God and pursuit of God. 
    • To just going without food is dieting. 

Spiritually 

  • Up: 
    • Ask for God’s help, strength and anointing for the fast. 
    • Ask God to reveal your heart. We humble ourselves. 
    • Ask God to restore devotion and passion. Pray for the empowerment of Holy Spirit. 
    • Ask to see and hear God clearly, and to know God more intimately. 
  • In:
    •  Pray for freedom 
    • Pray that God would help you grow up. 
    •  Seek God for need- breakthrough, healing, job, lost loved ones, answers, etc… 
  • Out:
    •  Ask for direction and clarity. 
    • Ask for guidance 
  • Practical 
  • How to Begin:

Start with a clear goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need; direction, healing, restoration of marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Pray daily and read the Bible. 

Preparing Spiritually:  Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you, and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3-4). Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ, and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2). 

Deciding What to Fast: The type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids. Or, you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study. 

  • Also, set aside things that serve as a distraction. The goal is to put your focus on God.
  • Don’t get legalistic.

Deciding How Long:  You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow. 

What to Expect:

You may get agitated. You will get hungry. When you fast your body detoxifies, eliminating toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as: headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. Naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible, and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face. 

How to End:  Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks. 

Pray 

Find a time and place 

Seek the Lord out of pursuit and not obligation 

Give God access 

Pray in the direction you believe you are to pray