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Mark 9:17-29 1/5/03 am
Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever he seizes him, he throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to your disciples, that they should cast him out, but they could not."
He answered him and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me."
Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us."
Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"
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 him out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."
INTRO: Jesusí disciples were able to do many miraculous things by the authority they had in His Name but when they came to this demon-possessed man they couldnít set him free. Jesus told them the reason they couldnít set him free was because some spiritual breakthroughs only come through prayer and fasting.
Why is fasting so important?
God expects fasting to be a regular part of the Believerís life.
TRANSITIONAL SENTENCE: There are several reasons that fasting is important and in my estimation of Scripture, so critical in the life of the Believer.
I. FASTING IS A MEANS OF HUMBLING OURSELVES (why should we do it?)
A. TRUE HUMILITY GETS GODíS ATTENTION
1.) 1 Pet 5:5-6 "be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
a- I believe this is one of the most important verses in the Bible
b- God resists or opposes those who do not walk in humility.
c- The only way to get any where with God is through true humility
2.) He gives grace to the humble
a- Fasting is a supernatural means of truly humbling ourselves
b- Iím sure we all would agree that it takes a lot of grace to make it through life.
c- Sometimes when our back is against the wall and life is extremely hard, we need an even greater measure of Godís grace.
d- Thatís exactly what had happened in Ezra ch. 8 when Ezra called the people of God to a fast.
B. TRUE HUMILITY MOVES GOD TO ACTION.
1.) Ezra realized their desperate need and he knew where to find the answer
a- He also knew that the only way to get Godís full attention and assistance was through true humility.
b- "then I proclaimed a fast...that we might humble ourselves before God." Ezra 8:21
2.) We donít fast to get Godís attention
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