A Question on Fasting
Dee Dee Winter
I have been pondering your question about fasting. Norman did not address it in his writings and as far as I know did not fast . . . at least during the years I knew him. I am currently working on a book of his letters that span the years 1922-1992 and not one of them mentions fasting. He did address tongues and was very inclusive of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, always encouraging folks not to be divisionary.
For myself ALL of those types of things . . . fasting, quiet time, tithing etc (outer disciplines) fell away when God revealed to me in 1980 that I was free from the law. I have cut an excerpt of my story from the ChristAsUs website to illustrate my point.
I was raised in the Catholic faith. When I was 30 I came to know the Lord through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Immediately, I turned and began to pursue God as passionately as I had tennis, social activities and my interior design business. I began to attend church at a non-denominational Charismatic church whose focus was inner healing (healing of the memories) and deliverance. God taught me well for six years in that ministry, a prayer group, bible studies and any other place I could find Christians coming together to learn about God.
It was a wonderful time in many ways. I found in inner healing that I could look at myself and talk about the things that I was not proud of that my life had contained. I found new freedom in being delivered from the clutches of the devil in many areas of my life. I pushed myself in every direction to excel at this Christian life. And yet the day came when I felt like such a failure as a Christian that I cried out to God in despair.
A few weeks later God brought four scriptures to me that I had read a thousand times. But this time I “knew” them in a way I had never before experienced…revelation. The scriptures were Romans 6:6… “knowing this that our old self was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin”, 6:4…“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life”; Ephesians 2:6…”and raised us up with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” and Psalms 37:4…“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”.
In an instant I knew I was dead and a dead man did not need healing. ALL my inner healing went “out the window”. In the next instant I knew that I sat at the right hand of the Father in Christ and that Satan was not there! The need for deliverance or to ever fear or fight the devil was gone. And finally, I knew that if God gave me the desires of my heart I could trust myself and my desires…for the first time in my life. I had always been taught that our hearts were wicked and God’s way was the opposite of anything I wanted. All that had held me until now was like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. That day I knew complete healing!
I knew that His way of truth had to span from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21. The next morning I asked God how He “saw” submission and He immediately said to me, “It is being, not doing.” Somehow I knew that all of life was meant to be that…being, not doing.
I must admit that before 1980 that my attempts at fasting were usually to prove myself to God or to twist His arm, so to speak, to do what I wanted. After God revealed those scriptures I realized that God had a totally different perspective and I set out to discover what His much deeper truths were.
I suppose I would have to say that fasting to me today is more in tuned with that of Jesus’ being driven into the wilderness to be tempted. I think the fasting He did was much, much more than just not eating food. I think it was not hearing from the Father . . . no spiritual sustenance . . . which left Him in an extremely weakened condition, making the temptations even more difficult . . . and the answers all the more powerful. Paul learned this also . . . ”When I am weak, then am I strong.”
In Matt. 9:14-17; Mark 2:18-22 Jesus equated fasting with sorrow, old wineskins and said that as long as the bridegroom was with them there was no need to fast. Is He not with us today as our very life?
These are just my few thoughts. I would love to hear from you and hear why you asked the question.
Love in Christ,