Fasting, resting, deliverance
Updated: Oct 5, 2020
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
Slightly more than a month ago, Abba showed me a picture of scale when I enquired about the meaning of the new Hebrew year 5781, Pey Aleph (read more here). He spoke about a coming judgement and that judgment will start in His House, with His people first. Towards end of that blog, I wrote this, yet I believe it was not I, but rather the Holy Spirit:
Abba said that there will be test before the judgement takes place (makes sense, for something to be judged, a test must be done). No one enters into the divine rest without passing the test of faith. Start preparing for the test that Abba will find you weighty.
There will be test for His people. A test is necessary to see what we've made of, what's inside of us, what we really believe, before He can build anything upon us. Anything that of good quality went through a test. Would you buy and ride a car that's never gone through any test? I don't think so. In fact a few years ago, I think it was Mercedes Benz, they actually repeatedly smash the car against hard objects to test the air bag and the car structure to ensure high safety score for each car they produce.
I know most of us, if not all, don't fancy going through tests and we might have negative correlations towards tests. But when God tests us, it's actually a compliment. He thinks highly of us and He thinks we are ready. Just ask Job, Daniel, and of course, Jesus. Note that before Jesus started His ministry, He was led by the Spirit to the wilderness to be tested. And He passed with perfect score! Because of that, His ministry and work was guaranteed that they were pure and divine.
What does this have to do with fasting and resting and deliverance? I'm glad you ask.
The power of fasting and resting
There's a great sermon by Ps. Bill Johnson about this, but fasting for spiritual reasons is powerful. It's no secret that in occults and black magic, fasting is required before they can obtain power (from the dark side) of course). From many testimonies I have heard, many of them actually could go on prolong fasting, with three days being the minimum. Of course we know Satan often copies true Biblical principles to distort it, but what this simply shows is real fasting, seeking God in prayer and worship by denying our fleshly desire, is powerful. Just look at the story of Daniel and Esther.
So days before leading to Rosh Hashanah, I was asking Abba if He wanted me to go on a fast. He didn't mandate it, but I wanted to do it for Him. For me, I wanted to do a fast not to ask for anything - power, favour, breakthrough, although I could and it's Biblical. I only had one reason and that is to enter into His rest, to sit at His feet.
Up until that time, I lived a very busy and productive schedule, juggling between family and work stuffs. And as a believer of a healthy and clean diet, I prepare all meals for my family from scratch (i.e. make my own bread and using quality, organic ingredients) and shying away from buying process food or eating outside. That takes time and energy as you can imagine. So naturally I knew fasting will make me cease from doing all those, with exception of preparing meal for my child of course.
I decided to do a 24-hours fast for 21 days, which means I eat only once a day. My husband gladly joined this fast when I shared it with him. It's day twelve at the time of writing this and by His grace, we can go on. Spiritually speaking, I truly believe because I have more rest, I actually have been hearing Him clearer.
Fasting should lead to rest (sabbath)
But here's the most important thing, the life of a believer is a life of rest.
It's Abba's intention since the beginning. When He created Adam and Eve, everything was ready for them to enjoy. They were living a life of perfect rest (shalom/ wholeness). That was robbed when they gave their authority to Satan. But Jesus had come and regain back that perfect rest as He hung on the cross to be our sin offering and declared, "It is finished!"
So as a believer, we start our new life having all things done for us! But sadly, many of us don't fully understand this and as a result, are not entering God's rest, but rather striving to work and putting our trust on other things but God.
Abba was trying to restore that rest by commanding the children of Israel to observe Sabbath in the Old Testament. But rather than understanding Abba's heart, they made it into religious law that they missed the point - and Jesus had to rebuke and correct the teachers of law during His time!
When we are in God's rest, what it simply means, we believe Him wholeheartedly. Paul writes in Hebrews, when we come to Him, we must believe that He is. He is what? That He is Almighty God, El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh (our provider), Jehovah Shalom (our peace), Jehovah Raffa (our healer). That He is in control and He has won - and by the way, there's never been a battle between Abba God and Satan, Satan is merely a created being (angel) created by Abba who decided to rebel against Abba.
Resting in God means we walk by the Spirit. It means truly putting our trust and hope in Him. Not in money, job/ career, or even ministry. That's why James said without work, faith is dead. When you believe/ trust (faith), you show it in how you really view money, your job, and ministry. You don't make them your god.
Here's an acid test to see who your God really is. What do you really feel if you lose all your money or job or ministry in one day? What will you do?
Rest will cause you pass the test
On Friday last week, I received a disturbing news from my boss. Basically I was told that the management planned to move me and my team again (second time this year after a very major move), and this time under someone who I worked with in the past before and oppressed me.
So naturally I didn't feel good about it and I shared my concerns. My boss agreed to talk to the management and HR again about this. But per what I understood it, it was more or less decided.
Right after the call, I remained seated, shocked. But instead of calling my husband, or any of my friends, I went to my room and did what King Jehoshaphat did: I went on my knee and start declaring my faith in Abba and declaring what I believe should happen, and I gave thanks. As much as I was very disturbed by the news, the fact that I was finally given a chance to do what King Jehoshaphat did (I have been wanting to do that!), it made me really happy.
I truly believe praising God, declaring His greatness and giving thanks when you are going through challenging time is the ultimate reflection of your faith. I had not done that in the past, because I didn't know who I really was and how much Abba loved me. And actually only days before that, I expressed desire in my heart to Abba, that given a chance, I will respond correctly this time towards hardship. I gave Him my word that I would not sadden Him with doubt or worry this time.
And knowing that that sundown, we would be entering a new year, a new season, where I believe something would shift in the spiritual and after, natural realm, I was hopeful. That evening the Holy Spirit led me to a passage in Isaiah 36-37 about when King Hezekiah was threatened by the king of Assyria. As I read it, I just knew it was for me. Abba basically promised me, just as the Assyrians would not enter Jerusalem and take them away, my role and territory would not be invaded. But here's the key, I was not to agree with the proposal, just like the children of Israel did.
Truly by His grace alone, I went through that weekend, which could have been the worst weekend (only if I chose not to believe Abba), gladly. I even made sure to really prepare our dinner like a feast - remember how Abba prepares a feast in the face of our enemy (Psalm 23:5)? I would be lying if I say I didn't think about it at all, the thoughts came and go but every time I made a conscious decision to trust Abba.
Coming Monday, I was actually at peace, but then I received a call request by the big boss. I knew it was a call to try to convince me, if not to mandate, to accept the change. But hours before, that morning I prayed in the Spirit like never before and I knew Heaven's force was doing something.
An hour before the call, as I went to pick up my daughter, I said in my heart, "I trust you Abba, I am just a chess piece (pawn) in your hand, move it as you see right."
The call took place and I was right. But basically I respectfully told her, "With all due respect, I am sorry but I cannot agree to that." - fully knowing one of the options was to leave my job. Other people might say I was paying too high a price considering it's a very senior role and good paying job. But you see, Abba gave me this job and if He thought it's time to leave, leave I would.
Right after the call, I told Abba, "Abba, I did my part, I did not agree. The rest is yours. I trust you." Up unto that point I didn't even tell my husband. And suddenly it dawned on me, "Is this a test, Abba?" Because I felt the entire time, Abba was... silent. And I remember someone said before: the teacher is quiet during exam. I pondered in my heart.
I didn't hear any other news that evening and until the next morning. But as I woke up and seek Abba, I saw a chessboard and I heard Jesus telling me, "You are not a pawn piece, you are a queen piece!" I was taken aback! I suddenly recalled the image I used a few months ago in a blog about my identity of a queen piece! I was encouraged. I responded, "Abba, if this move is really your will, I will submit, I am not afraid because when You are with me, favour is with me!"
That Monday evening, I was led to listen to prophetic sharing by Dutch Sheet and Chuck Pierce and they spoke about Jesus is still the master of chessboard!
I went ahead with my day and close to 11:00, as I was checking my emails, I saw a note sent by the big boss informing my sales stakeholder that I and my team will not be moved and will remain as is! Abba came through, just as He said He would! As soon as I saw that, I went to my room and down on my knees, giving Him thanks over and over again. Words can't express how loved I felt. And then I heard a gentle voice of the Holy Spirit, "You pass the test." That, my friends, is the most important thing, even beyond my job and my finance. I am so grateful that the whole time, I managed to keep the faith and didn't utter a single word or expressed a single behaviour of worry or unbelief.
I am sharing this to impart the grace for your own test. But the key is in resting. Remember Abba is rooting for you to pass the test!