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Sharpening the Axe Is Never a Waste of Time

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Sharpening the Axe Is Never A Waste of Time

December 30, 2007 – PPHC (Corporate Fasting called by Bishop Leggett)

Purpose #1: Repentance

“And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.” 1 Samuel 7:6

Jonah 3;

 A. Corporate Repentance Needed Today

  1. Indicators of needed repentance include:

·         Our present lack of effectiveness

·         The quagmire of denominational bureaucracy

·         The apathy of church membership

·         The ascendant attitudes of many leaders

·         The rising tide of darkness

  2. Requires both inward and outward breaking.

   a. This means fasting should be the order of the day

   b. Still the leading statement of God’s promise of restoration…2 Chronicles 7:14. 

·         “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

   c. Our humility can be demonstrated by answering the call of God to fast.

Purpose #2: Readiness

Luke 2; Mark 2

 A. Fasting and Prayer Positions the Heart

  1. Enables one to recognize the Lord’s visitation.

·         Simeon and Anna…recognized the day, the Babe before them…aware by the Spirit.

  2. Prepares one for Christ’s next arrival…His second coming. 

·         Are you lovesick enough for the Bridegroom that you would do without eating rather than miss His visitation?

Purpose #3: Revelation

“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.” Acts 9:10-12

 

 A. Directions Needed for Millions of Christians

  1. Yesterday’s light has faded, and the gleam of tomorrow’s promise is not yet in sight.

   a. We are disoriented by our darkness and desperate for direction. 

  2. The discipline of fasting and prayer prepares our hearts to receive God’s direction. 

   a. When we fast, our spiritual eyes see clearer than usual. 

   b. Spiritual sensitivity escalates, and we are more receptive to God’s directives

  3. Anticipation for answered prayer also rises during seasons of fasting

   a. Making us ready to receive revelation.

·         “Due to our lack of revelation and connection with heaven, people are out of position throughout the church. What would happen if we decided to stop simply marching on and waited on the Lord, giving ourselves to a season of intense intercession for illumination?”                                                                                                             Billy Wilson

Purpose #4: Release

 A. Brings Spiritual Release to Those That are Bound

·         Mk. 9 – Dumb and Deaf spirit…disciples unable to make it leave the child – (v 29) “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”

·         The Prophet Isaiah states emphatically that the fast God has chosen includes: (Is. 58)

            Loosening the bands of wickedness

            Undoing heavy burdens

            Letting the oppressed go free

            Breaking every yoke

“If John Wesley was even partially correct when he stated: “God does nothing but in answer to prayer,” the church has a huge responsibility to seek God’s face diligently until God’s end-time promises are actualized…”                                                                                              Billy Wilson

·         We need to pray and fast until people are released.

Purpose #5: Restoration

Joel 1, 2

 A. Today’s Church Desperately Needs Restoration 

  1. Divorce rates, depression and other struggles are just as prevalent in the churched as they are among the unchurched.

·         “As the homosexual agenda advances, pluralistic mindsets increase, filth fills the airwaves, and confusion controls both classroom and courtroom, the church’s voice is preoccupied with internal struggles.” From the pulpit to the pew, we’ve been “…devoured by armies of invisible locusts that have eaten away at our fruitfulness.”           Billy Wilson

·         Is it not time to blow the trumpet, sound an alarm and sanctify a fast to undo the damage of today’s invisible locusts?

Purpose #6: Reward

Hebrews 11; Genesis 15

 A. Fasting Helps Us Focus On Our Primary Goal

  1. God promises that he will reward those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6b). 

   a. Answered prayer, supernatural peace, divine love and earthly blessings in a variety of forms all qualify as rewards. 

  2. Scripture assures us that the greatest reward is the Lord

·         God’s promise to Abram can be claimed as our own.  He becomes our great reward.(Gen. 15:1) Himself. 

·         The singular desire of knowing God and beholding his beauty will help us crossed the finish line without stumbling.

Resources:

1Fasting Forward, Advancing Your Spiritual life Through Fasting, Billy Wilson, Pathway Press, 2005

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