Fasting for Enlargement – Part 2

27 January 08


1.      Introduction:

·   Matthew 6:18  -  “…and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly…”

·   Fasting softens our heart and increases our capacity to receive from Him.

·   Fasting – from something – to someone. Must focus on benefits and blessings.

·   Luke 1:15  -  John the Baptist – was great in the sight of the Lord.

-    John never worked any miracles but fasted to enlarge capacity for God.

-    The presence of God upon his life impacted his nation in his day.

-    We tend to focus on ‘giving up something rather than receiving and enlarging in God’.


2.      The Key of David:

Beauty = ‘The quality in a person that gives intense pleasure and satisfaction’.


3.  Change Your Focus – Change Your Life!:

a)  What we behold, changes us:

2 Corinthians 3:18  -  “Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image by the Spirit of the Lord”.

·   Changed = 3339 = metamorpheo = to be totally transformed e.g. caterpillar -> butterfly.

·   This is a process that is ongoing – we are being changed.

·   Who is the agent of change?  The one making it happen?

=  The Holy Spirit

·   So often people realise they need to change and try harder but feel defeated.

·   Must rely on the Holy Spirit to bring about change within us.

·   What is our part?  “Beholding” i.e. to gaze at with open eyes.

·   Beholding what?  Not our problems, lacks, weaknesses but the Glory of the Lord.


b)     What it means – “Glory of the Lord”:

·   Exodus 33:18  -  “Show me your Glory!  I will make all my goodness pass before…”  i.e.  Glory = heaviness, weight, majesty = the goodness and beauty of the Lord.

·   Exodus 34:6  -  “The Lord God merciful and gracious longsuffering, abounding in truth. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”.

·   What we focus on impacts what we become e.g. Matthew 25:24-26 – Unfaithful servant.

·   As we focus on God’s love, His desires, His passions, His goodness we become changed – same image! – from glory to glory => ongoing process.


c)     Note:  When the servant saw God impacted what he became:

·   Eve’s devotion to God was corrupted when she doubted his goodness.

·   E.g. 2 Corinthians 11:3  -  The same thing can happen to us – passion for God is lost when we focus on the negative, on ourselves and not on God’s goodness.


4.  Become Rooted in the Goodness of God:

·   Ephesians 3:17-19  -  “…rooted and grounded in love”

·   Being filled with the fullness of God requires to become rooted in His goodness.

·   Rooted = root – part of a plant that grows down into soil and absorbs water and nutrients.

·   Grounded = to lay a foundation for a building to be constructed.

·   Stability and fruitfulness are connected to drawing upon the goodness of God.

·   1 John 4:19  -  “We love Him because He first loved us”.

·   When we realise we are loved intensely – passion and devotion are stirred.

·    To become a lover of God we must realize and receive His love personally.

·   Biggest struggle of Christians = guilt, condemnation, performance orientated.

·   I must choose to believe God loves me and focus on His passionate love.

·   It is not about trying harder – this leads to frustration.

·   Change the focus – behold Him – He loves us passionately e.g.:

James 4:5  -  “the spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously.

Isaiah 49:15  -  “Can a woman forget her child…?”

Jeremiah 9:24  -  “I am the Lord who exercises loving kindness ... delight”.

Jeremiah 3:3  -  “I have loved you with an everlasting love”

·   ‘As we change our minds – God changes our hearts!’

It’s our responsibility to behold, to focus on, to dwell on the goodness of God.

·   Only you can choose that – saturate your mind and thoughts with God’s Word.

·   Your emotions are linked to your thoughts – change thoughts – emotions will follow.

·   Fill your mind with the truth – not just avoiding sin – change your focus.

·   It takes time, energy and perseverance.

·   People seek information but don’t renew the focus – Romans 12:2 - Seek methods, but not beholding the goodness of God.


5.      Practical Keys:

·   Must behold the reality of what God is like – not just books, seminars, meetings.

·   Action needed – personal involvement – “Beholding we are changed!”

1)      Read what the Bible says about God’s goodness – choose to believe.

2)      Focus, meditate – picture and see it in your mind and welcome as a friend.

3)      Speak out and personalise, declare the Word of God.

4)      Persevere daily – expectant of Holy Spirit changing heart and life.

5)      Practice responding – obeying what the Holy Spirit is saying – John 14:21.

6)      Practice serving people – Isaiah 58:10-11.