I am calling Nowra City Church to a five day fast starting Monday 14th October 2013.
It’s a fast for breakthroughs in people’s lives. This blog post has information on the background to the fast, some scriptural teaching on breakthroughs, some information on biblical fasts and then some practical things for the fast.
I have spent a few weeks meditating on the concept of the propitious position of God toward us – ie. God’s favour toward us. I was thinking of Christians that go through hard times and the tension that exists between the reality of tough times and the favour of God. King David was in the centre of God’s will when he came under attack. Here is the story:-
2 Sam 5:20
17 Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. 18 The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.” 20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.[e] 21 And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.
Notice David’s crisis in verses 17-18
“17 Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim
David was anointed king over Israel. He’s promoted and things are going well when all of a sudden a crisis comes into his life. David’s crisis had a name. It was called the Philistines.
The Philistines are mentioned 286 times in the Old Testament and their land is mentioned 8 times. What I’m saying is that God gives the Philistines a lot of air time in the Old Testament.They’re mentioned a lot. And when they are mentioned it is usually because they are opposing something God wants to do. Here we see them opposing God’s leader David. It was not because David was out of the will of God or had done anything to attract this attract – except being bang smack in the centre of God’s will.
David’s crisis was a military crisis. Just like a gigantic chess match, the Philistines in verse 18 came up to search for David to kill him. David countered with his own move in verse 19 by coming out against the Philistine army. The Philistines, in a strategic and defiant move, raided a valley in Jewish territory, a valley it turns out that was a direct route to the Capital city of Jerusalem, David’s stronghold. David was stunned. David was scared. David was smack dab in the middle of a crisis. Experiencing a CRISIS, that’s the first phase in experiencing a breakthrough in your life. God allows you to face a challenge or daunting obstacle that pushes up against your belief and faith in God. Everybody faces different kinds of crisis. THE CRISIS TAKES YOU OFF AUTO-PILOT. IT WAKES YOU UP…SLAPS OUR SPIRITUAL SENSES BACK TO REALITY. Sometimes we ask for these things by decisions we make and sometimes we don’t ask for them.
I like how one author describes this kind of experience.
“They are voluntary and involuntary. These proving moments come to us, ready or not. Sometimes we make decisions that invite them; and other times we are surprised by them. It is the difference between starving and fasting. One is voluntary, and the other is involuntary.”
David’s crisis was involuntary. He’d done nothing to bring this on himself. It came into his life and David didn’t ask for it. He didn’t want it, but one thing is for sure, he had to respond to it.
Notice verse 19
“19 So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
The way that you and I respond when we’re in a crisis is important to God. Our response often determines whether we go up or whether we give up. How we respond determines whether we’ll be able to break the status quo in our life. A crisis simply reveals what is on the inside of you. This crisis that David went through revealed a dependence on God.
This crisis motivated David to call on God for Divine assistance. Now, not everyone responds this way to a crisis. Some people just get angry at others or at God when a crisis comes into their lives. But not David, at least not on this occasion. This time, he simply prayed. Have you ever been there? Have you ever been at that point in your life? David was there.
After you go through a crisis and go to God… GO IN FAITH.
God answered David in verse 10 and said to him:
“Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.”
God answers David’s prayer. God speaks into David’s life loud and clear. There’s no question that it is God who has spoken and there’s no question about what God has promised. God has promised David victory. Now, at this point, David has a choice. Will I believe what God has said, or will I go with my gut? Will David go on faith or go on his feelings? What did David do? How did he respond to God? Look at the end of verse 19:
And the LORD said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”
And notice what David did in verse 20
“20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there;
God said “Go up.”
David said, “I will.”
David obeyed the Lord and did exactly what God told him to do.
David was going on faith.
Some things in life you can’t talk your way out of.
Some things in life you can’t work your way out of.
Some things in life you can’t buy your way out of.
Some things in life you can only trust your way out of.
A crisis is a turning point, a moment of truth in our lives when we make a concrete decision to follow God and trust Him or not to trust God and walk away from Him.
The Next Phase in this breakthrough process. Go Up
After David went through the first 3 phases of the process and had come to Phase 3 and decided he was going to go on faith, look what happened to David in verse 11:
“Then David said, ‘God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water.” David experienced his much needed breakthrough.
The Champion of the Breakthrough
20 So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.[e]
The Lord who Breaks through
The Master of the Breakthrough
The champion of the breakthrough.
David was called of God to move forward and step into his destiny and then something came to limit him. To entrap him. To keep him in prison. But God is the Lord of the Breakthrough. He is the champion of releasing you from prison. And setting you into your God given destiny. That is the objective of this fast: That the champion of the breakthrough would release breakthrough in your life.
The definition for breakthrough is a military movement or to advance all the way through and beyond the enemy’s front-line defense. It also means any significant or sudden advance, development, achievement or increase that removes restrictions and barriers to progress. As Christians, we all have this ability through Christ to breakthrough in every arena in life.
Another example of supernatural breakthrough is Jehoshaphat 2 Chronicle 20. There is great spiritual breakthrough after an initial crisis:-
2 Chronicles 20:1
After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites[a] came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
Notice the chapter starts with “After this”. After what? Well after the chapter before where we find they had just had a spiritual revival in the nation. The point is, when God is working in a people or a home or a family or a church, the enemy always increases his attacks.
Ultimately Jehoshaphat calls the nation to fast for breakthroughs from the enemy’s attack. Through the fast and prayer, God gives them a great breakthrough and victory.
For an in depth look at Fasting from a scriptural perspective: Here is a blog link to my sermon notes on fasting. Fasting Sermon Notes
Only fast if you are medically able and it is suitable job wise – ie if you are a builder lifting heavy gear all day – it may not suit.
If you can’t do a full five day fast, then fast a single day or fast partially – maybe one or two meals a day.
If you can’t fast food, fast TV, fast social Media or fast something that takes your time and gives you pleasure – and set that time aside to pray.
At Nowra City Church, we will have Breakthrough Prayer Cards available for you to fill in on Sunday the 13th October 2013. You can also use the prayer form on the church website – also use this if you are not part of the church but want to participate in the Breakthrough Fast.
We are going to have a special Morning Prayer Meeting on Friday 18th October for an hour from 7am up at the church.
I invite you to fast – if you have never fasted before then step up in faith into a new level of spirituality and meet God as the Champion of the Breakthrough.