Unveiling Emotional Healing From Nehemiah and Esther

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books

Digital List Price: $2.99

ISBN: 9781524221591

here: https://draft2digital.com/book/158365 or amazon.com

Do not remain silent

megaphone-150254_640Esther 4:14: For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

You cannot keep quiet when you see injustice around you. You need to raise your voice and be part of the solution, allowing God to use you. You are the change-agent this world is waiting for. Your little positive action in your little corner of influence has eternal repercussion and will not go unrewarded.

If you cannot do anything, you can pray. When you move the hand of God in prayer, you get to change things on the earth, as it is written; whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, the same for whatever you loose on earth. Every prayer effort is real effort.

You may not be able to speak with the President on the need for change but you can speak to God. Paul told Timothy that he wants him to give priority to praying for all men (1Timothy 2:1-6), for kings and all decision-makers so that we might live in peace, godliness and honesty.

We are agents of God on the earth, and as we engage in prayer, saying: let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10). One of the things in heaven is peace. You can draw the peace in heaven to the earth through prayer. We cannot presume, in whatever nation you are, that because there is peace now there will always be peace (which also involved all things that make for prosperity), you need to stand in the gap in the place of prayer to bring the reality of heaven to the earth.

You cannot remain silent when the spiritual atmosphere of a place is being taken over by darkness. We cannot say it is the end of time and leave our role in the place of prayer, allowing things to go into decay. We need to execute kingdom authority in the here and now in this generation. In the last but one psalm, the psalmist revealed that the people of God have the privilege to bind the forces of darkness.

In the place of prayer we get to wrestle against principalities and power to weaken their influences in the realm of men (Ephesians 6:10-18). Our presence of earth should have impact on the operation of the devil. We should shine as light. We open our mouth to resist the devil on the earth (James 4:7) and also loose the presence of God (in light) to come into operation and bring divine liberation to men.

Esther in the focus verse was asked to speak to the king, to get him to act against the enemy’s intention for the children of Israel. Apparently she was safe in the palace of the king; she had hidden her identity while in the contest to be the queen of the land, and now she is queen. But when her people (Israelites) were in trouble (set up to be killed and assaulted on a particular day throughout the land), through the machination of Haman, she had to intercede for them with the king and not keep silent. In this wise, she cannot think of herself, of how dangerous it is for her to approach the king (to go to the king without being invited is to risk being killed). To speak up for others means you have some measure of selflessness, like Christ (Matthew 20:28).

When the apostles got into trouble with the Pharisee who threatened that they should not preach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:1-33), the church, the bride of Christ prayed and the power of God was released to make even more miracles to happen in the name of Jesus; so that the threat against the church only served to fuel more work of God in the midst of the land, when the church called on God. (No threat should make you shut up; continue to call on God in prayer.) Likewise, on the day Israelites were to be killed, through the intercession of Esther, they were the one plundering their enemies. They were greatly feared.

Mordecia wanted Esther to speak up for the children of Israel, so that relief and deliverance can come for them through her effort. It is the same thing the blood of Jesus does for us; the book of Hebrews says that the blood of Jesus speaks better things than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24). The blood of Abel spoke out in demand for vengeance (Genesis 4:10, Hebrews 11:4, Revelation 6:10), while the blood of Jesus speaks out in demand for justification and redemption for anyone who believes that he has a hand in the death of Jesus; that Jesus died for him. To say Jesus died for you means you acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a saviour, and that Jesus is that saviour, with that you are saved. Jesus did not seek for revenge, having accepted the call to be the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.

Cain had a hand in the death of Abel, he was responsible for the shedding of his blood and he was judged for it, we have a hand in the death of Jesus because he died for our sins, and because he rose from the dead, Jesus was able to be a source of eternal salvation for those who believe in him. His blood cried for mercy for us. Jesus’ last request from God concerning man was: forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).

Those who believe in him have passed from death to life, from darkness to light because of the better things that his blood speaks. They receive the gift of forgiveness.

Since he is the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world in the order of the Old Testament sacrificial system, the blood of Jesus speaks forgiveness of sins, it speaks mercy, it speaks justification, and it speaks sanctification.

Because it is through the blood that our conscience gets purged from dead works (Hebrews 9:14), making ready a place for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, therefore the blood speaks for the operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Since the Holy Spirit cannot act except when there it is holiness, the blood is important for our relationship with God because it is the Holy Spirit who makes intimate relationship with God possible.

The blood speaks up for our relief and deliverance. It is in the context of that that Jesus is said to ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). His blood is constantly speaking for us, making us objects of God’s favour in perpetuity.

The reality of the blood constantly speaking on our behalf is the guarantee that we will be with the Lord in perpetuity, that our sins have been taken away and we are free from bondage to it. That means the blood of Jesus speaks freedom from sin. John declared the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sins (1John 1:7). In the blood is our relief for eternal damnation and deliverance from satanic bondage. (Satanic bondage operates through death which also operates through sin [Hebrews 2:14-15, Romans 5:12, 14].)

What about the word of God in your mouth? We have the mandate to declare the word of God. The word of God represents the will of God, and it is by declaring the word that we declare the will of God. We are God’s spokesmen to declare his counsel, and cause his will to be done on earth. Put his word in your mouth. The bible says you shall decree a thing and it will be established to you (Job 22:28).

 

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Anger

anger-18658_640Esther 2:21:  In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.

Be careful. Anger can muddle up the reasoning. The foolish are known for their wrong actions and the bible says that anger lies in the bosom of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:9). A fool regularly allows anger drive him into wrong action, wrong words.

In another place, we read that being able to have control over your anger is a greater achievement than conquering a city (Proverbs 16:32, 25:28). If you cannot conquer your own emotion, then you are a disaster waiting to happen, you will also be a relational mess, regardless of how many cities you have conquered. It is important that you learn to constructively channel your feelings.

But anger is not all bad. Jesus, expressing the anger of his Father made whip and drove people out of the temple who were making use of the house of God for a different purpose than what He wanted (John 2:14-18). He told them: my father’s house should be the house of prayer for all nations but you have made it the den of robbers.

Those who deliver the words of God should have his passion also, because after Jesus whipped the merchants from the temple, the Pharisee asked him: by whose authority do you do these things? When you have the authority of God to speak his word, you should also move with his passion. Jesus came with the authority of God and we see him manifest his passion, representatively and actively.

Jeremiah said that when he wanted to stop talking about the word of God, but eventually he could not help himself because the word of God was like fire shut up in his bones (Jeremiah 20:9). The fiery words were accompanied by the fiery passion of God. The Lord is a consuming fire. You cannot associate with him and not be filled with his passion.

When God sent Jonah to Nineveh to deliver his word, because he did not share God’s passion, he nearly messed things up.

When God wanted to sent Moses to deliver the nation of Israel, he was not enthusiastic about the work. He was not passionate. Moses probably developed anger/resentment against the people of Israel because they did not recognise that he was meant to be their deliverer when he was forty years of age, and now at age 80, he wasn’t interested any more (Exodus 2-4, Acts 7:20-36).

He had to run for his life into exile from Egypt, after he got angry, could not manage the anger and murdered an Egyptian who was beating an Israelite.

So even with God coming with his agenda to do what he wanted to do in His time and with His divine resources, Moses was no longer eager; he was not in the emotional frame of mind to do the will of God. He could not gain God’s enthusiasm because he was still angry with Israel, for not appreciating him (forty years earlier), just as Jonah did not want to preach to the Ninevehans because he was angry with them.

But when God called Paul to preach to the gentile (being a Jew with the reputation of being an hardliner, with little tolerance for the gentiles based on his Judaism heritage) he was converted through the operation of the Holy Spirit into a gentile lover, and so was able to minister effectively to them, carrying the message of God’s love and salvation to them and was persecuted to no end for that.

For Moses, his latent anger against the children of Israel was his own undoing. The anger he did not deal with for many years, dealt with him. The unbearableness of the children of Israel in the wilderness stirred up the little there was of that anger, which he tried to bury over years of herding his father-in-law’s sheep in the wilderness.

He was angry at the children of Israel and that affected his judgment as he foolishly did not do the will of God, when He instructed him to merely speak to a rock to bring water out for the teeming thirsty children of Israel in the wilderness (Numbers 20:1-12). He shredded his reputation as the meekest man on the earth, when due to anger he struck the rock to which God said he should speak.

He fulfilled the words Solomon, that dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour (Ecclesiastes 10:1). A little expression of anger robbed Moses of going to the Promised Land, being God’s punishment for his disobedience.

Anger caused him to not be in tune with God when God wanted him to take his message of deliverance to his people in the land of Egypt and that same anger cost him the Promised Land.

At first he was angry at the oppression of the children of Israel, and not being able to channel that legitimate anger against oppression correctly, he directed it at murder. That has a parallel in our contemporary world in how anger can twist the sense of judgement and people think that the only response to oppression should be violence.

There is something positive about anger when properly channelled. Paul was angry and he cast out a demon inside a girl (Acts 16:10-18). There is something of anger involved in the casting out of devils. The operation of the devil should stir anger, as we side with God to dislodge the devil from his place of dominion in people lives when he causes havoc.

In the temptation of Jesus by the devil, when he asked him to bow down and worship him, Jesus was irritated by that suggestion, and Jesus said: Satan, get lost (Matthew 4:1-11). He does not tolerate the devil in any guise; he is not light on him. We see him say: “you deaf and dumb spirit come out of him (Mark 9:25),” firmly and authoritatively as if reprimanding a small child of misbehaviour, just the way he picked up cane and beat those who were in the temple conducting selling things.

In the letters of Paul to the Corinthian and Galatian church, he used angry tones, at the kind of bad moral and spiritual turn the churches were taking. In the letter that Jesus sent to the seven churches the tone was mostly not “fluffy and all goody-goody (Revelation 2-3),” he used the tone of a disciplinarian, not a letter for the weak-hearted. He spoke as the lion of the tribe of Judah. If you only expect a God that has only sweet words for you, then you are mistaken.

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Rise up

 

from http://gadgetgal7.blogspot.com
from http://gadgetgal7.blogspot.com

Joshua 7:10: The LORD said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?

You must not allow any situation to get you down. You must get up, be strong and get on with life. There is more your life than you see presently. Break away the chains which are to hold you bound and keep you in a state of inertia.

You cannot allow your past experience to hold you bound, or even the experience of others or how they see you to stop you.

The bible says: arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you (Isaiah 60:1-3). Your response to the coming of the glory of the Lord upon you is that you must arise. You must do something to express the glory of the Lord that is upon you. You must shine. You must be outstanding and be consistently so.

Jesus Christ says that no one lights a cable and put it under a bushel but puts it on a candlestick so that it can give light to those who are in the house and fulfill its full potential (Matthew 5:13-16).  You have to rise up and take your place, assume the role that God is calling into. It is because you are not occupying your place that is why things are not working well for you as it should. You have been resisting God; therefore you are experiencing resistance.

Remember Jonah? He was meant to proceed to Nineveh to give the word of the Lord to that city but he had another idea of what he could best put his time to. Rather than rise up based on the word of God, to fulfill his mandate from Him, he went down based on his own agenda.

He went down in a ship to Tarshish and ended up in the mouth of a big fish. Until be repented of following his own ways, he could not come out of the messy stomach of a fish. Jonah resisted God and landed in a pit. Jonah did not want to rise up and take on the mantle of speaking the word of God. But he soon realised that there is no hiding from God. The earlier you realise that the better so that you don’t suffer unnecessarily like Jonah, who refused to rise up into the purpose of God of his life.

Just like it was for Queen Esther, it is now time for you to stand up and be counted in these challenging times. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle challenged her to rise up and do something, rather than be subjected to the paralysis of analysis.

Though she was in her cozy palace as the queen of the land and it was risky for her to go to the king on behalf of her people, because one appears before the king without being summoned on the pain of death, but they can be spared, if the king stretches forth the scepter to the person. Esther however left her comfort zone to rescue a nation, maybe you should too. How about losing some sleep, denying yourself of food, rearranging your schedule to arise in the purpose of God for your life?

She went to the king on the pain of death. She said: if I perish, I perish. It was a time the whole nation of Israel was at risk of being annihilated and only the king could do something about it. Esther approached the king, and she also got a favourable response from him to save her whole nation. She stood up to be counted. She used her position as leverage for the people of God.

Esther had a choice to make: to stand up to save the nation or to be silent and save herself, but Mordecai advised her: maybe you are in the kingdom for such a time like this. He charged her to stand up and be counted when it matters most. What about you? Are you going to keep quiet in the face of the various ills of our time?

Rise up! The bible says: “awake to righteousness, for some do not have the knowledge of God (1Corinthians 15:34).” That means to awake to knowledge is to wake to righteousness; it is to awake to the purpose that you were created for. It is to leave ignoble things and go on to noble things.

As mentioned earlier, it was Isaiah who wrote: arise and shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you; thick darkness shall be upon the nations and gross darkness the people but the glory of the Lord shall be seen upon us, and kings and many shall come to our rising. If you do not rise up and shine your light, then many will be in darkness because they are “waiting” for your light to get them out of darkness.

Of Jesus it was said that a great light has appeared to those who are in darkness, and to those who in shadow of death, light has dawned (Matthew 4:16). The manifestation of the light changes everything. Turn on the light and you can make progress. Turn on the light you can make changes. To shine as light is to manifest God.

There is the satanic suggestion that to be happy, to be bold, and to be forthright about truth is pride; that to know what you about, to laugh is unspiritual. Paul classified these as false humility (Colossians 2:20-23). But the bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and we are to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).

We are supposed to burn with the confidence of God, with the power of God and the glory of God. And there is an in-your-face-attitude about it.  This is because you have something to offer this world because you are a bearer of the light of Christ and there is no apology about it. You have what the world needs and when you shine, you draw men to God the ultimate source of light.

We need to rise up in the power and word of God to combat the demonic powers and the falsehood we see around. God wants to set you loose on this world as a truth bearer, as the bearer of his power to bring others into the true knowledge of God (Matthew 28:18-20).

What you have in the light of God is what the world needs, that is the expression of God’s truth and power. You cannot keep silent any longer, you have to stand up and be counted in the army of God in your nation, your community, and church.

You have something to contribute, you have an impact to make, and you have the name of Jesus to proclaim. You have a change to effect. People who come in contact with you should not remain the same.

As Jesus is so you are in this world (1John 4:17), and He is about changing lives, making a difference. He does not leave you the way He meets you. And when you are born again, you are infused with his gene (1Peter 1:23), you are enabled to be like, be impactful like him.

The favour of God

ash-meadows-oasisGenesis 39:21: But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Favour caused Joseph to stand apart wherever he went. When he was in the house of Potiphar, God’s favour marked him out and he became the chief slave. When in prison, it was the same thing: God’s favour marked him out and he became the chief their also (Genesis 39-42).

Then he obtained the favour in the palace of Pharaoh, becoming the chief ruler in the land, where he was a foreigner. But the favour that he enjoyed was not for himself. God had a plan to preserve the whole clan of Israel in Egypt and to later get them out. The favour that Joseph enjoyed was for the overall plan of God in preserving and building the nation of Israel. Through the level of favour he had, he could get a place for the clan of Israel, comprising of about seventy people, which later became millions in number about 400 years later when God got them out.

Esther enjoyed favour from God. Like Joseph, she was a foreigner, who became queen. Against all odds, she defeated many people to attain to the highest position for a woman in the land. But there was a crisis for the nation of Israel some time later. A man stood up against the nation of Israel, seeking their total annihilation.

Mordecai Esther’s uncle told her that she should not think that she is immune from the general threat that all Israel face at that time because she is in the palace (Esther 4:14). He added that maybe she was favoured to be queen for such a time as this, so that she can use her influence with the king to save her nation.

Esther asked that the people of Israel, together with her, should fast for three days, without food or water, before she went to the king. She went to all that trouble because it was the law that anyone who appears before the king without being summoned does so on the pain of death.

Remember that the reason Vashti (Esther’s predecessor) was removed as the queen and replaced by Esther was because she refuses to appear before the king when she was summoned, now Esther was going to do the opposite, appear before the king on the pain of death, since she was not summoned. The only saving grace she can (sign of extraordinary favour) was if the king stretched his scepter to her.

Esther was favoured as the king stretched forth his scepter to her.
And she asked favour from her, towards spearing the nation of Israel from total annihilation, after hosting the king to sumptuous meals. The favour she enjoyed was like Joseph enjoyed. The purpose was the same- the preservation of the nation of Israel.

Jesus enjoyed favour with God for the preservation of a people from all nations of the world unto God. He was the Son of God with having access to all the resources of the Father for our sake.

The bible says as many as believed Him to them he gave the power to become children of God (John 1:12), bringing us into the privileges that he has with God. He is king and priest and the bible says that he has made us like himself, as kings and priests (Revelation 1:5-6). He was made a king (Psalm 2) and priest (Psalm 110:4) by God, and that level of favour that he enjoyed made him our prototype, so that we can become like him.

The focus verse says that Joseph received mercy from God. Also blind Bartimaeus who received mercy from God was a blind man (Mark 10:46-52). And as a blind man he cried out that Jesus should heal him, saying Son of David have mercy on me. And he received his sight. Bartholomew received favour, which is God facing you to do you good.

The favour of God is turned towards humanity in Christ Jesus. The bible says that for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten so that the favour of God in eternal life can be turned to man (John 3:16). Just like it happened with Bartimaeus, the bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:9-13). Bartimaeus called upon the Lord Jesus and he was not refused, he was saved. Jesus cannot refuse anyone who calls on him to be saved; he paid enough price on the cross to include everybody in the provision of salvation.

And like Bartimaeus, before, we were blind (spiritually), but now we see (as enlightened by Christ) (John 9:39). All humanity lives in spiritual darkness, but Christ shines his light on us, so that our eyes can see more spiritually. We were spiritually dead, now we are spiritually alive in Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-7).

When Jesus called for Bartimaeus to come, he had on him certain clothing that he dropped; he changed his identity (which the cloth stands for). In Christ also our identity is changed, we have a robe of his righteousness (throwing away the filthy garment of ours), we become new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17), we are now called children of God, but before we are called strangers, foreigners (Ephesians 2:12-13).

We are changed in who we are. We become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and before, we are burdened by the sin nature. We have a new beginning in Him, all things have passed away and all things become new. We have our name written in the book of life.

Jesus told the disciples that there is nothing greater than having ones name written in the book life (Luke 10:17-20, Revelation 20:15). After some of the disciples of Jesus went out to release healing to the people in some place, they came back rejoicing that even demons were subject to them by his name. Jesus said those favours is not comparable with the favour of having their names written in the book of life.

There is nothing like having your name written in the book of life. It is a permanent reality of being in favour with God. That we have eternal life is the greatest of the act of God in our life, it is the basis of all other things that God wants to do through us and in us. It is the basis of our relationship with God. Having your name written in the book of life is the same as being born again.

To be born again is the highest favour of God you can receive. That means you are baptized into his body. You are joined to Christ. Paul says that he that is joined to Christ is one spirit with him (1Corinthians 6:17). You also start on journey or spiritual growth, growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2Peter 3:18).

Proclaiming a fast

plateEzra 8:21: Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek of him a straight way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.

How do you proclaim a fast? Should you proclaim a fast? Is it right to ask that a whole congregation fast all at once?

As far as Ezra was concerned proclaiming a fast was as a means of seeking God, a sign of humility and an expression of neediness.

By eating the forbidden fruit the first family showed their pride and rejection of the rule of God. I am talking about Adam and Eve.

In fasting, there is the expression of humility and dependence on God; conversely, eating the fruit (by Adam and Eve) signified independence from God.

Ezra was going to seek God for a straight way, the right way, for a safe journey, and that journey represented a new responsibility for him (Ezra 7:1-8:32).

He was the leader of a delegation that was taking valuables from Babylon back to Israel. It was a new chapter in his life, where he was changing location, going to a new place. He believed he needed help in this time of his transition. And he sought it through fasting and prayer.

He refused to lean on the arm of flesh (Jeremiah 17:5) by asking the king to supply security personnel, determined to lean on the everlasting arm. This means fasting is not “nothing”; it is big deal for those who want to have a walk with God, those who depend on God. It is the rejection of human strength to take on the strength of God.

Ezra called for fast, and there was no dissenting voice in the camp, as much as we know, meaning that they all saw the necessity for such a fast, believed enough in the leadership of Ezra and saw things from his perspective, having gained his vision.

Queen Esther also called for a fast. We do not know the length of the fast embarked upon by Ezra and his people but for Esther, it was three days and night of no eating or drinking, what you can call an absolute fast.

It was a time of a “national” emergency. Someone had gone to the king and moved him toward the destruction of all the Jews in the land at a particular date. If that had taken place, it means that there would be no Jesus Christ to come and save the world, if the nation that was to produce him, have all been wiped out, the plan of God for the earth was in serious jeopardy.

To stop this satanic agenda, Mordecai made a call to Esther that she needed to get to the king as a queen, for him to change his mind. But the problem is: you only approach the king without invitation, on the pain of death; hence Esther’s call for a fast. She called for an intense fast. The whole Jews in the capital city were to go without food or water for three days (night and day); they needed a rescue from God as the date determined to have them wiped out by the enemy of Israel drew near. And there was a reversal of fortune on that day for them. The nation was saved.

In Nineveh, the king called for a fast (Jonah 3). It was also in the face of impending danger to the nation. There was no fasting-sacrifice too much because the danger they faced just like Israel in a foreign land was that of being wiped out.  So they fasted for their own good. They decided to express their need for salvation from their impending doom through a fast, and the prophesied evil was averted.

In the New Testament one example of corporate fasting that we see was done by the leadership team of the church in Antioch (Acts 13:1-3). Who decided to separate themselves not because they were in mortal danger but as an expression of corporate hunger for the presence of God?

Another place where corporate fasting was mentioned it was as part of the arrangement for ordaining elders, leaders in the churches that Paul and Barnabas founded (Acts 14:23). In fasting, they sought to invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit in a corporate setting, to help the people to carry on the work of leadership in that place. Remember that it was during a time of fasting that the Holy Spirit was invoked (in Antioch) and he said Paul and Barnabas should be set apart for a new role and they were thus energised for it.

However, Jesus seemed to condone the lack of fasting of his disciples as opposed to the practice of the Pharisees, and the disciples of John (Luke 5:33-35). Though he himself went without food for forty days and forty nights at the beginning of his ministry, it seemed he had a lax attitude towards fasting when it comes to his disciples. When people criticised his disciples for not fasting, He defended them saying: “they don’t need to.”

He criticised the prevailing manner of fasting at that time (Matthew 6:16-18). Then, fasting had become a part of public relations for the religious. Jesus described some people as hypocrites, who were fond of looking sad and making a scene of themselves when they fast to show how deeply religious they are, they seek to gain attention of the people when they fast so that they would be seen as really spiritual.

Jesus said that is what they are seeking (human attention) is what they will get and nothing more. They should not expect God to account to them any blessing because of the fast. That means that going without food without the right attitude delivers no spiritual value.

So throughout the time he (Jesus) was with the disciples, he taught the people on faith, and on following Him unflinchingly. He wanted them to focus on him.

When he spoke on why his disciples do not need to fast, he said it was because they don’t need to fast when he is with them. When with them, they have no need since he is all they need. But when he leaves, he said they will fast. It means fasting is a decision they will make when He is no longer with them in the flesh.

The occasions in the book of acts when the leadership of the church fasted happened based on what Jesus said that his disciples will fast when he is no longer with them.

Back to the original question of the validity or otherwise of congregational fasting; I don’t believe there is any hard and fast rule to it. Remember that the bible says that anyone who eats does so unto the Lord and anyone who does not eat, does not eat to the Lord (Romans 14:3-8). What that means is that the one who fasts (and in this case, the congregation who fast) should make sure it is focused on the Lord and the one who don’t, should still maintain an attitude of devotion to God.

Whatever the case, there is the biblical promise for reward of fasting; there is a release of new vision, new commission in fasting. There is renewal of spiritual strength in fasting, there is the denying, stifling the works of the flesh in fasting to release the spirit.

Don’t reject congregational fasting, cutting off yourself from the blessing in it. However you should ensure that your faith is not in fasting but in God.