Summary: Fasting is a powerful weapon in spiritual warfare: a type of Christ’s sacrifice. Through fasting, we lay down our life (needs, wants, desires) for a friends...
“The Weapons of Spiritual Warfare II: Fasting & Prayer”
(Roll delicious food footage) When it comes to food, we humans can get pretty territorial, can’t we?
Food is an all-consuming passion for people today, especially here in America! We love our food, don’t we? Some of us eat to stay alive, and some stay alive so we can eat, but we all love food, and I suppose that’s good, since we’d all be dead without it, amen?
How many of you can remember a time in your life when you were starving to death, and you noticed someone close by eating something slowly, that just made your mouth water?
Sometimes, I think that’s what our spirit man goes through inside us on a daily basis… He’s just starving to death, crying out for a morsel of the good stuff, and all the time having to watch us fill our natural stomachs with all kinds of delicious foods… Meanwhile, what are we feeding our spirit man?
The unfortunate thing for the spirit man is that he’s quieter and more polite than the natural man.
When the natural man is hungry, he lets you know it. There’s no ignoring that stomach on empty.
It’s like that annoying sound you get in your car when you forget to buckle up or fill up on gas…
Ding, Ding, Ding. Your stomach lets you know when it’s hungry.
But when the spirit man is hungry, he’s so week, there’s just this sweet, small voice that says, “I’m hungry.” “Shouldn’t we get up for church this morning and have some breakfast?”
The natural man loves to shut the spirit man’s voice out. He doesn’t want anyone threatening, endangering or coming anywhere near his comfort zone. Especially his food!
“Step away from the deliciousness!” But what about the spirit man?
We all know that in order to feed the spirit, we have to deny the flesh, and the flesh doesn’t want to be denied anything, even for a split second! In fact, with all this food talk, probably half of us are wondering what time we’re gonna get outta here so we can get to Hometown Buffet and feed our natural stomachs. Unfortunately for your natural man, this morning is breakfast for your spirit man, so as your pastor, I’ve seen to it that we go a few hours long, so this starving little body can get some sustenance.
All too often, the spirit man inside us goes throughout life, empty and weak because, we’re so focused on what we can see, and taste and touch in the natural that we forget there’s a bigger, brighter and more powerful existence in the spiritual. Since “what is seen was not made out of what was visible,”(Heb 11:3) the spiritual realm precedes, and is prevalent over the natural realm. Whatever happens in the natural is in direct proportion and is directly consequential to whatever is going on in the spiritual realm.
If we want to change things in the natural, we have to start with the spiritual.
REPEAT THAT WITH ME.
If we want to see a difference in the things of our natural lives, we have to start by making a difference in the things of our spiritual lives.
Now, when it comes to the human body, we’re happy to serve up a generous buffet… But what about our spirit man? How often do we feed the spirit inside us and make the natural man go without?
Not very often, do we? Because the natural man screams out against that.
What a lot of us miss most of the time is the fact that our spirit man is hungry too, and he desperately needs to be fed. Why? Because it’s our spirit man who is engaged in the spiritual battle. The spirit man is engaged in daily battle against “the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph 6:12
You mean, during the day when I’m eating my Macho Combo Burrito, my spirit man is off fighting a spiritual battle? No. Your spirit man is right there with you… That’s who you are.
During the day, when you’re in your prayer closet on your knees, denying the flesh, and you’re praying fervently, your spirit man is engaged in an activity called spiritual warfare, in which he fights a battle, using the weapons of the spirit, which have DIVINE POWER to demolish strongholds in heavenly realms, by the power of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And in order for your spirit to be engaged in such a battle, the natural man has to be fully submitted: humbled before God: second place in priority. Just like any soldier, the spirit man must be well fed, well armed and skilled in the use of the weapons he uses for battle. Last week, we talked about weapon number 1: Fervent Prayer.