The purpose of the disciple's fast is "to loose the bands of wickedness" ( Isaiah 28:6 ) - freeing ourselves and others from addictions to sin.
This could be an addiction to drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex, food.....whatever has control of your life. You know those times when you say, " I just couldn't help myself!" ? This is an example of an addiction that has control of your life.
Something to remember when you are considering a fast. FASTING DOES NOT MAKE GOD HEAR US BETTER OR ANSWER US FASTER! Then what's the point of fasting, you ask? For one thing it's symbolic, but while being symbolic, it can have a real effect on our life. When we fast, whether it's food or TV or whatever, we are making a sacrifice of ourself in order that we may grow closer to the Lord. In growing closer, you reap several benefits, one of which is learning His voice. Fasting also helps us to discipline ourselves and our bodies. In other religions, Fasting is used to search one's own soul and for inner reflection. In Christianity, Fasting is used to search out God and reflect upon Him.
These "addictions" are also known as besetting sins. They happen when we unknowingly believe the enemy ( satan ) and his lies. Many Christians are in bondage to such besetting sins, and they are any sins that can not be broken with ordinary "willpower".
Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that " He is a liar" speaking of satan. In besetting sins, Satan gets us to believe one of the following three lies ( otherwise called "compulsions" ):
1. I tried before, and can't break it.
2. I don't want to do this, but can't help it.
3. I need an answer, but can't find it.
This is contrary to what the Word tells us, which is, "All things are possible for those who are in Christ Jesus and are called according to His purpose". Believing God instead of Satan isn't always that easy, however. Satan has convinced us that we are powerless against that sin which we are under, but " He who the son set's free is free indeed"! We are NOT powerless, but with Christ, we are ALL POWERFUL!
The Disciple's Fast is then a good way to break this chain which binds and show yourself that through Christ, you are NOT powerless!
You make a life-freeing CHOICE to be delivered!
You recognize that an external power is responsible for your bondage.
You confess your previous lack of faith.
You specifically state your besetting sin.
Write it down! Write down the thing that you are fasting for. And now, it's important to also note that you should fast for one thing at a time so that your prayer time can be better focused. And when you write down the thing you are fasting about, things begin to happen...
* You strengthen your will by stating what you want.
* You focus your energies on the problem.
* You build up anticipation to break the problem.
* You build up your faith in God to expect an answer.
Fasting is not a one time, cure-all, problem solver. It may take many times or it may only take once, but you keep on doing it!!
6 Steps to Freedom:
1. I renounce...( besetting sin / counterfeit control )
2. I acknowledge... ( self deception )
3.I forgive...( whoever you need to forgive, so that you may have forgiveness and freedom )
4. I submit...( God's authority and those He has placed over you. )
5. I take responsibility...(for your own part in your sin. We must confront the problem with humility )
6. I disown...( sinful influences. That may mean the sin of others and thier influence in our lives - past, present and future. )
There is so much more that I would like to share, so much I am leaving out from my findings and studies! Let me give you one more thing which is an outline of what you can write down to prepare for this fast...
AIM: Achieving freedom from addiction, or from a besetting sin.
AFFIRMATION: I believe there is no earthly temptation that can ensalve me, but that God has a wat of escape for me ( see 1Cor 10:13 ). I believe in the power of the blood of Chirst and in the strength of the name of Christ ( see Acts 3:16; 16:18). Therefore, I am fasting because I want the Son of God to make me free indeed ( see John 8:36 )
VOW: God being my strength, and grace being my basis, I commit myself to the disciple's fast outlined here.
FAST: Foods from which I shall abstain:________________________
BEGINNING: Date and Time I will start fasting: __________________
END: Date and time I will stop: _______________________________
PURPOSE: I am fasting to: _________________________________
BIBLE BASIS: " To loose the bands of wickedness" ( Isa 58:6 )
RESOURCES NEEDED: __________________________________
Signed: ____________________________ Date: ______________
( Taken from "Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough: A guide to nine Biblical fasts " by Elmer L. Towns )