And when he (Jesus Christ) came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. (15) And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. (16) And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? (17) And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; (18) And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. (19) He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. (20) And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. (21) And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. (22) And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. (23) Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (24) And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (25) When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. (26) And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. (27) But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. (28) And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? (29) And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. – Mark 9:14-29
Often times that scripture will come to mind and I will consider what it says, typically the last two verses where the disciples ask Jesus why it was they could not cast out that demon and his response is, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
There are many people out there that are teaching that the Word of God, the Scriptures, are not enough to fight against the devil. That they are not enough to charge the enemies minions, his demons, to leave us or others alone. I myself often use Luke 10:19 when I am praying over my house, my family, and my friends.
To say that the Word of God is meaningless in fighting against Satan and his armies is to say that the Bible, the actual words of God, are useless. That even Christ would be useless and powerless. Even Christ used the scriptures against Satan:
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (4) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. [Deuteronomy 8:3] (5) Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, (6) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (7) Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [Deuteronomy 6:16] (8) Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; (9) And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (10) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. [Deuteronomy 6:13-14] (11) Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. – Matthew 4:1-11
And did you notice that even Satan tried to use scripture against Jesus?
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, (6) And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. [Psalms 91:11-12]
So why do people believe that the scriptures do not work against Satan and his minions? I think that most believe that when they use the Words of God, the Bible, that they expect some dramatic exit to happen right before their eyes while using verses. I think that due to a lot of the stigmas that Hollywood has put out we often think that our spiritual life will end up being much more dramatic than it may seem, which often leads to disbelief and a lack of faith.
If you’re expecting something dramatic to happen you are more likely to have a loss in faith when what you expect doesn’t play out right in front of your face.
Many times in the Bible it says that demons were cast out and even people were healed “In that very same hour.” That does not exactly say “at that very moment” or “right when the words were said.” It says in that time frame, not always in an instance. Just because there are moments where you don’t instantly feel something has changed around you does not mean that nothing is happening. I’ve been victim to that far too many times. I pray over something and because I don’t feel that anything is happening then I don’t feel that God is answering my prayers, that my faith is too weak (which I prove to myself that it is by giving up), or that I’m not worthy of being helped. Do you see how having such expectations, based off of worldly views of what we think should happen, can affect our faith? I’m not saying that everyone out there will go through those experiences, but I think it’s important to note that there are some out there that will lose their faith because they expect something to happen and if they do not get instant results they give up.
And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. –Mark 9:29
If Christ tells us that some demons, or I could even say most situations that we have genuine concern over, are not resolved but by fasting and prayer, what do you think that means? Does that mean we need to expect instant results and give up when we don’t see anything happening? Of course not! It means we need to have faith, to come to God through fasting and prayer, humbling ourselves before Him (James 4:10) (1 Peter 5:6) (2 Chronicles 34:27), bringing our prayers and supplications to Him (Philippians 4:6-7). He will hear our prayers and He will help us when we come to Him humbly seeking His help.
We typically understand prayer and speaking with God but what about fasting? How many of us today actually fast? How many think that it’s still important? How many Bible studies, churches, Christian leaders encourage it? I for one rarely heard anything about it growing up.
Tony Evans writes about fasting:
that in His absence, fasting was to be a priority.
Matthew 9:15 for example, And Jesus said to them, “And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.”
That is, in Jesus’ absence fasting would be a way to make that connection with Him. Since you can’t go to Jesus right now and sit down with Him and have a verbal conversation face to face, God says there’s a special way you can make a spiritual link with Him when you need to, and He says “and they will fast.”
Fasting is a way to get through the gateway to God in the crises of life.
1.) In the bible, fasting occurred during the burdens of life that demanded a spiritual breakthrough; emotional burdens, relational burdens, circumstantial burdens, physical burdens, ministerial burdens, directional burdens or what have you.
Fasting is the deliberate abstinence of physical gratification to achieve a spiritual goal. It’s a denial of the flesh to gain a response from the Spirit.
It’s renouncing the natural to invoke the supernatural. It’s saying “no” to yourself in order to hear a “yes” from God.
When you eat, who do you eat for? I can guarantee it’s for nobody but you. You do not eat with me in mind, and I don’t for you either. When I eat, I’m concerned for three people only; me, myself and I.
I become an obedient servant to myself. I even eat when I don’t need to eat.
But when you fast, God says that’s for Him because that’s when we get His attention. Food satisfies us, but fasting satisfies God.
(please note: I have not read all of Tony Evans views of the Bible or walking with God. I cannot say that I agree with all doctrine or opinions that may be listed in any of his writings, but I did think those made good points.)
Though I have a difficult time with the idea of fasting it is still something that I will need to work on with my relationship with Christ. In the last month or two I have had a couple of days of fasting (not consecutively, mind you) and I will admit that it was difficult for me. I have grown so accustomed to having food for not only comfort but for nourishment. But where is all of my spiritual nourishment coming from? Yes, I read my Bible and pray everyday, but am I really being spiritually filled just from that? I’m starting to find and realize, even while I write this, that during my physical days and weeks of repetitive mediocrity that I most likely am going through a spiritual state of the same. That I need to actually take the time to force myself to fully depend on the Lord and get back to that state of mind not only for my own faith’s sake, but for the sake of helping others.
I know I have gotten off on a tangent here, as I do quite often.. But I have realized some things through it.
I would like to say that I already knew and understood that during times of trials, temptations, or even harassment by the minions of Satan we need to stay in our faith and keep in mind that our prayers will not always be answered in the blink of an eye. (On another note, we need to keep in mind that sometimes we might have to have multiple people pray for us or with us on such things instead of trying to do it all solo.)
Another thing is that in order for our authority to be placed we have to be where we need to be in our faith. We can’t be wishy-washy asking for help and then assuming it doesn’t come if it’s not immediate, causing us to lose faith.
For those of us who are struggling out there in our faith, that might have things that we fear God will never answer despite how much we beg and plead, we might need to really consider giving things up that WE need in order for Him to know we’re serious. That we are truly going to depend on Him and we need to leave these situations in His hand knowing that if we truly are following Him, He will help us. He will help those who seek Him with an earnest heart.
But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; – Deuteronomy 4:29-30
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. – Mark 12:30
Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. – 1 Chronicles 16:11
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. – Psalms 27:8