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Fasting: You Got This! Even With Your 21st Century - "Wild Beasts"

Fasting! You Got This! One Fast in particular, that I was on, took place years ago, during a season when I was seeking God about my marriage and the return of my (former) husband. Oh sure, the table remained set with his place setting on it and a set of those exquisite bath towels were in place for use, when for sure he returned. And I was steadfastly trusting God for the full restoration of my marriage. That is the "back story". But here is what has my heart full this morning. - I was in my time of Bible reading (Mark 1, Matthew 3, 4) and came to Mark 1:13b where the Bible says that Jesus "...was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him." I have read this, like you, a gazillion times but it has never permeated my Soul and Spirit as it has today.

During this time of Fasting, here in 2024, I am experiencing "LIFE" - a variety of situations and circumstances - as are many of you. And here in MY Time of Fasting and Seeking God for a Deeper Walk of Intimacy and Obedience, and - - about various Family, Ministry and Business ideals, I began to consider what the significance was of the mentioning of "wild beasts" with Jesus in the wilderness. I wondered why the angels were mentioned in that same verse as having come to and been in place to minister to him. I struggled to make the correlation between "wild beasts" and "the angels ministered to him".

And then... Everyone - - repeat after me - - and say, "And then..." Well, and then, I remembered (and I'm becoming FULL again,) one day in particular, during a Fast in that earlier Season, where the pain was like the pain of 'death loss' - where you can hardly walk, talk or lift your head. Yes... marriage loss can feel that way. I remember being attacked in what seemed "beyond measure" as I lay in my bed one night. It was horrible. Now, keep in mind, that I still had to be in place to minister, and so I dealt with Brothers - Men of God - all the time. A phone call came in from a persistent man who had tried to convince me (during a brief season of phone calls) that I was going to be his wife and have his twins. "Wild Beasts!" If this was not enough, another call came in from a married Brother who spoke quite inappropriate things to me, and when I rebuked him, he laughed and shrugged off my exhortations shared with him, that clearly lined up with the Word of God. Whoooh, "Wild Beasts". Then later that night, we had a strange knock on the door. When I asked who was there, it was a man who was doing work on our home. I quickly called my Son to the door. And when my Son opened the door, he saved me from a Predator who tried entering our house to - - he said, "complete contractual work" in the basement at 10PM at night!! He tried forcing his way into our house that night. We had to force the door closed! Can you say - "Wild Beasts"?! And so, you can know that as I lay weeping in my bed that night, wishing my husband was there to protect us, I would not have been prepared for yet another attack against my Soul (my Mind, Will and Emotions). I am still talking about Fasting in the Midst of 21st Century - Wild Beasts.

Let me ask you, did you know that Jesus was "driven" into the wilderness to complete this 40-day fast spoken of in Mark chapter 1? LOL. We think we have the pleasure of sitting and counting the cost of a 1/2 day Fast - thinking on what's coming up in the next month... LOL, and can we bear up under smelling all that goooood food, let alone needing to be the Preparer of it. Ummmm, I wonder if he, at least had a good solid meal before he was baptized. Anyway... I imagine it was like - - well, imagine a Policeman who is wearing "Holy Spirit" written across the front of his shirt, stops you, just after you delivered the most anointed teaching, preaching, worship or (other) work ever. It was clear that the Spirit of God was on you as you ministered. Everyone experienced God's Glory and you were humbled to have been used as a Vessel in ministry to His people. Now, you're in your car - still basking in the presence of God - headed to the birthday luncheon for a friend, imagining each delicious dish along the way, when this same Holy Spirit drives alongside you and forces your car down streets and valleys, up hills and through trenches, out into the wilderness and leaves you there. You tried turning your car into a different direction before arriving, knowing that this is not where you would have taken yourself. And now you are here... in the wilderness... for 40 days and nights with - you guessed it - "Wild Beasts".

Now you journey - alone, in the dark, speaking the Word, hungry, sleepy, cold, hot, trying to recall lyrics to that song, saying - "this too shall pass" - thinking any day now, thirsty, quoting scriptures and warding off - "Wild Beasts"... for 40 days and 40 nights!

All those years ago, I knew how to trust God. I was filled with Faith. I loved the Word. But after being in the midst of that Fast and being pressed and threatened by those ungodly, perverted and untamed "Wild Beasts" there was one more test that hit me. I was so shaken by the experiences that night - and particularly the one where the man tried forcing himself into our home - that I curled up into my bed shaking like a leaf. Every sound - thump and bump frightened me. Now, these situations may not have hit you as they did me, but I have had experiences that warrant such a response. The phone rang. I picked up after many rings - only to hear the voice of a filthy spirit breathing heavily into the phone and speaking vile filth into the airwaves. I quickly hung up and began to weep, while shaking terribly. And here is where I want you to pay close attention. When I could not take anymore of the tactics of these 21st century "Wild Beasts" sent to take me down, God sent me help. "The angels" came and ministered to me. (Tears.) Here's what happened:

As I lay there in the bed, and the phone rang again, I thought that I would lose it. But while the phone yet rang, something happened that I have never been able to fully explain. The sound of the ringing phone was "squeezed" silent. The only way that I can explain it is that it was as if someone stopped the flow of water coming through a water hose by bending the hose and slowing the stream of water coming out of the hose, until it tapered off to a full stop. The phone did not stop ringing as it typically does. It decreased in sound like it was being squeezed as it was brought to a stop by an unseen force. If I have not done it justice to explain how the phone was forced to stop ringing, I apologize. I have done my best. All I know is that "The angels" came - - and ministered to me. As I lay shaking under the covers, on my bed, I felt a touch on my foot. I was frightened, at first, but then I knew that it was an Angel sent to minister to me... to calm my nerves... to comfort me. How Faithful is our God!

I want to encourage you during your Fasting Season, to Stay the Course. I want to encourage you during your season of loss, lack, inquisition of the Lord, and requests for restoration to continue to Trust in the Lord with your WHOLE heart. (Proverbs 3:5,6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.") The enemy will come to you to destroy you, accuse you and steal your peace and joy. But understand that the LORD remains true to himself in times like these and will guide you. Psalm 16:7 (NLT) says,"I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me." He will keep you in perfect peace as your mind is stayed on Him. Isaiah 26:3 says it this way, "You will keep him in perfect peace,Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You." Well, why will God do this? Because YOU trust in Him.

Jeremiah 17:7 reads this way (NKJV) “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. Whoa, don't miss it - who Trusts IN the LORD... AND whose Hope IS the LORD. In other words, placing our FULL confidence on Him allows us to relax (in) and around Him because - "He Got 'Chu!'" The LORD - Jehovah, the eternal, "self existent" One - has Hold of You. He compasses you about as with a shield. (Psalm 5:12) He sent His angels to minister to Jesus at his time of need. He sent his angels to minister to me, when I thought I could not go on. The LORD is with you, my Friend. In the midst of "Wild Beasts" He, the LORD is with you. Trust Him. Stay faithful to your Fast. If you falter in it, pick back up on it. Stay in prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:17.) God wants to do new things within you. (Philippians 1:6.)

I don't know what your 21st century "Wild Beasts" look like today but take it from one who has had what seems to be multiple times of Fasting and Prayer, where the "process" was intense - while Trusting God to bring me into the fullness of His Glory. We need to come into the fullness of His Glory in order to pass the real temptations and tests set to take place at the end of such Fasts. Psalm 11:4 tells us, (in the Christian Standard Bible Version) "The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD—his throne is in heaven. His eyes watch; his gaze examines everyone." Because remember, our Lord Jesus experienced 40 days and nights with "Wild Beasts" that he encountered, and the Angels attended to, served and supplied whatever help it was that Jesus needed while in the wilderness. Don't misunderstand. Jesus received protection, strength, spiritual, mental & emotional support during that 40-day Fast, and at the end of his time of fasting 40 days and nights, He was tempted of the devil... and He passed ALL of the tests. (Luke 2:2-13) It was only after he passed the temptations, that we see Luke 4:14 "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about."

Fasting and Prayer is a part of our Christian journey. What we must realize is that in the midst of these times there will be "Wild Beasts" that we will encounter. These will come in the form of - whatever they are: deception, drugs, sex, stealing, lying, character attacks, poverty, fear, spirit of abandonment, all of your old habits, etc. and you will be able to stay the course as you fortify yourself with the Word of God, Consistent Prayer, Worship, and Being "On Watch" as you would be for any natural "Wild Beasts" (animals in the form of lions, tigers, bears, venomous snakes or spiders). You, instead, are watching for those sins that might so easily beset you, or attacks new to you, that are unrecognized by you since you've not journeyed that way before. Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NIV) says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." You got this, Sis! You got this, Bro! God is with You, because Psalm 34:7 says "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. Your very present help is here. (Psalm 46:1, 2, 5, 10.)


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