OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DATE: MONDAY NOVEMBER 20TH 2017
THEME: FASTING BOOSTS FAITH
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21
Read: Matthew 17:15-21
17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
17:21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8b
From the above scripture, we understand that since we are expected to do the works of our Master, we as true disciples of Jesus Christ are here not only to advance the Kingdom of God on earth, but also to destroy the works of Satan in lives, home and circumstances of people (John 14:12). To be effective in this assignment, you cannot approach the battle physically; rather, you need both divine revelation and spiritual backup from God. Let us take the disciples of Jesus Christ as a case in point. Matthew 10:1 says,
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”
At this point, the disciples were empowered by the Lord to heal all manner of sicknesses and diseases, and to cast out demons. Not too long after they were empowered, a demonized boy was brought to them for deliverance. They struggled for so long to cast out the demon, but they just could not deliver him. Finally, this case was referred to Jesus and He delivered the boy. The disciples thereafter went back to Jesus to find out what was amiss, and why they could not deliver the boy. In response to their enquiry, the Lord told them that they had manifested some unbelief, and that their prayer was not backed up with fasting (Matthew 17:20-21).
This experience of the disciples goes to show that when you are having doubts or even unbelief, and you decided to truly seek God’s face in prayer and fasting, such doubts, fears and unbelief would give way to faith. When you fast, it strengthens your faith and your prayer life is given a boost. We often attempt certain assignments without the backup of a commensurate level of faith, and hence we experience failures in such assignments. You can actually add fire to your faith and shut doors against unbelief and doubt by spending time with God through fasting and prayer. Do you still harbour doubts, fears and unbelief in your heart about any assignment God has given you? Discard them now! God wants you to operate in the realm of faith and not doubt. Feed your faith with God’s word, prayer and fasting, testimonies of what God has done, and shun all remarks contrary to the advancement of your assignment.
Always ask questions! If you can ask the Lord questions on things you do not understand, He will provide the answers.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE