- When praying is a constant part of our lives, we can release the thirty fold return
- When praying and giving - together is a constant part of our life, we can release the sixty fold, and
- When praying, giving and fasting is a constant part of our lives, we an release the hundred fold return.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Though one may be overpowered by another,
two can withstand him. And a threefold
cord is not quickly broken.
It is fair to say that most of us would have heard the verse above referred to, in the context of a marriage ceremony or around the meaning of what it means to work and walk together, in unity and strength as brothers and Sisters of God's kingdom.
However, I realise that this same 'three fold cord' principle can be applied to the three key disciplines expected of a believer - FASTING, GIVING AND PRAYING.
Fasting, Giving and Praying are key disciplines every believer must practise and often. It is expected of us. When we fast, give and pray - (all together), I believe it connects us to one another (through such things as interceding and helping the less privileged) and to God (humbling ourselves before Him and seeking His guidance).
Mathew 6:16, reads "And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get".
The operative word here is 'when', and I believe it means that - there will always come a time when the need for a fast (to humble ourselves before God, to get direction, wisdom and much more) will arise.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Reads (note verse 17) "16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
The operative word here is 'NEVER', which means "at no point in time" , which we can relate to the verse above as thus; "at no point in time, should we stop praying". At no point in time should we stop having conversations with God.
Mathew 6: 2 - 3 reads "2So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing..."
We see that word 'when' again, in this passage, and in the understanding of the word 'when', reading the passage above, it teaches us that we are expected to live a life of Giving, it is something we must do, continuously. We must help the poor or those less privilege, those in need of our help and much more. It also tells us how we should go about doing it.
I believe that when we operate the three fold cord of 'Fasting, Giving and Praying (together), NOTHING shall be impossible!.
So, are you feeling stuck in a rut, needing direction and focus
or wanting to know your very purpose on earth or
the season you are in? Why not seek God's guidance
in Fasting, Giving and Praying.
When we want to decipher how a new product that we have just purchased works, we either speak to the manufacturer (creator) or refer to the manual that comes along with the product. God is our maker, He created / invention us. If we need to know His will for our lives, to obtain clarity of purpose and focus or find out how to get out of a rut that we might be in, we need to ask Him, and read the life manual he wrote for us - The Bible
When we read Matthew 17: 20 - 21 (story about Jesus disciples not being able to cast out evil suicidal spirits in a boy, and the father of the boy brought him to Jesus for deliverance - please read the whole chapter for completion)
The passage reads: "20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting
The key that unlocks the power of this passage is the word "Howbeit". Yes, the disciples of Jesus needed faith and the power (which had already been given to them by Jesus in Matthew 10) to cast out demons, but "howbeit - however or regardless" there are some type of demons (strongholds, blockages or curses) that cannot or will not be removed without fasting, giving and praying - done together.
Taking a step back, we must remember that not long before this incident took place, Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness (Mathew 4, please read for completion), whereby He prayed to the father also, and we know that His life was about giving and helping the people.
If Jesus Christ was able to accomplish all that
He came to earth to do without fasting,
praying and living a life of giving,
then why did He do them? Selah...
"Students are not greater than their teacher.
But the student who is fully trained
will become like the teacher"
Luke 6: 40
Could it be that we are missing the very reason or understanding of our purpose in life? Could it be that we are missing the very combination that will lead to that breakthrough that we desperately seek, because we fail to understand the importance and ramifications of the three fold cord of 'fasting, giving and praying'?
I envisage the ramifications of this three fold cord as the thirty fold, sixty fold and hundred fold return Jesus spoke about in Mark 4;8, 20 (please read for completion):
When we hunger for God He will fill us. When we make time for God, pray to Him, have conversations with us, He will hear us and reveal secret things to us. When we live a life of giving, we show the good and perfect nature of God displayed through us.
Sometimes, when we are disciplined enough to Fast, give and pray, continuously, and we don't see or sense that anything is happening, there is the tendency to get discouraged. However, we must not be. We must hold on to faith, hope and expectation that God is good, and He has answered our prayers and accepted our sacrifices and He will reward our diligence. It's all about timing, all about His time.
We can also learn and be encouraged from the faith of our forefathers, those that were here before us. They went through most, if not all that we are experiencing today.
In Psalm 35:13 -14 David the psalmist said "13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them. I denied myself by fasting for them, but my prayers returned unanswered. 14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family, as if I were grieving for my own mother".
It was obvious David had not received the answers to his prayers, but he still waited on God in faith. Do not be weighed down with discouragement.
So, do you want to know the Will of God for you life? Do you seek a breakthrough in any particular area of your life? Do you want to do great and mighty great exploits as Jesus declared? Do you want to see changes in your life for good?
If so, why not weave up a three fold cord of Fasting, Giving and Praying, seeking God's help, wisdom, and knowledge; calling forth that breakthrough, giving you tremendous testimonies to strengthen your brethren, glorifying God's name, and making Him famous along your way.
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