To The Nations

Scripture: “The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, ‘Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.” (Mark 2:18-22)

Thought for Today: “Carrying New Wine to the Nations”

A wineskin is designed to carry a resource. In Bible times long journeys would require a person to bring along something to drink through dry and dusty desert travels. Animal skins were flexible and yielded to the movement of wine that was commonly put into it. Jesus tells us, that old skins will not work; because they resist the new wine and burst. We pray and fast to remain sensitive to God and contend for the New Wine of the Holy Spirit being poured out into our hearts and lives. When we develop a lifestyle of prayer and fasting, we become an available resource for the nations!

Notice: Jesus said “As long as they have the Bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the Bridegroom will be taken from them and then they will fast in those days.”

Three Truths Jesus Emphasizes:

1st) Fasting is a Disciple’s Key:
Fasting is a key that opens doors of trust, relationship and honor! It keeps the wineskin fresh and flexible, because spiritual revelation is being received and understood. Faith and trust are being used by the person fasting and there is always a reward in the process (Heb 11:6)(Mt 6:18)(1 Cor 2:9-13). On the other side of every Kingdom door is a blessing and the favor of a loving God. Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mt 4:4).

2nd) Fasting has a Context:
Fasting has a timing element and an appropriate season! There is a time for celebration and a time for fasting. Timing is hinged to our need. Jesus emphasizes this as a unique time of celebration… as in a wedding. Jesus calls Himself the Bridegroom, because He was expecting to be received as the Messiah and loved by His disciples. Yet a time would come when He would be taken from them and then they would fast. They would feel the need to fast to pull their “life” from the unseen, spiritual realm. Fasting is a key to maintain a spiritual relationship, because we cannot see Jesus in the flesh today. Our life is found in the Spirit… the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:12-15)(Rom 5:5)(Rom 8:14).

3rd) Fasting is a Passion Issue:
Fasting is our effective tool against the flesh! We must not miss the context here in Jesus calling Himself the Bridegroom. The greatest thing a fasting discipline will do for us is focus our spiritual passions. By sacrificing what the flesh desires, we awaken our sensitivity in the spirit. When we need God’s grace in our lives, our hunger and thirst is visible through prayer, but there are times when breakthrough can only be experienced by fasting (Joel 2:15-19)(Mk 9:25-29). Prayer can be an aggressive tool, but when accompanied by fasting, it carries greater impact in the spiritual realm. It is the Father’s desire to make Himself vulnerable to those who seek Him with all of their heart, mind and strength (Jer 33:3)(Joel 2:12-14)(Lk 12:31-34).

Now is the Time:

God is pouring out His Spirit in this day and revival fires are being set in the nations. Now is the time and we are a people of destiny, to advance more than just a message. We must become carriers of His Glory. Through prayer and fasting we are making ourselves ready to carry the New Wine of His Presence…

And whether it is across the sea or across the street… the nations are thirsty and waiting!

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