The Bible declares that “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way”. Psalms 37:23
Hello! Ashley Sullivan again.
In our last email on fasting, I challenged you to fast during Oct 19-21. If for no other reason, then because Jesus fasted. We saw all the miracles that came in His ministry, in part because of that sacrifice and His special connection to God. If He did it as a divine-human, we should even more so since we’re only human. It strengthens our connection with the Holy Spirit within us and our communications with God. It humbles us which allows God to be even more powerful in our lives.
Franklin describes it this way in The Fasting Edge, “Most of us want our walk with God to be mild and comfortable. Be careful: the alternative to the extremes is lukewarm, and Jesus is not a fan of lukewarm. But there is a place of power and anointing that we can never experience without being led into the wilderness, coming away from everyone and everything else to seek God in fasting and prayer.” I’m not sure about you, but I’ve experienced that power and anointing and you never want to go back because you’ve “tasted and seen that the Lord is good.”
Every beginning of the year our church hosts a 3-day prayer and fasting event called “Prepare.” The last email I mentioned Prepare 2018 and today I want to talk about all God did in Prepare 2019 and the two months following. Honestly, I’m still feeling the amazing effects of that fast, ten months later, and I’ll never go back to not fasting during that event.
This year Luke was home from overseas and we fasted together. Side note: Fasting as a married couple is powerful. If your spouse won’t fast with you, do it anyway and fast for them. God will work on their hearts. It’s worth it. Those prayers and sacrifice will bring them around and soon you’ll be pursuing God together in prayer and fasting. God will still bless your home with one person fasting and praying.
Back to my story, before the fast began in early 2019, we began reading Fasting in preparation. Both of us had fasted before but this was convicting and eye-opening. Halfway through the book, we got to the part about pressing in deep and how in a fast your digestive system is altered [or altar-ed (ponder that)] after 3 days so it’s so much easier to focus on prayer and powerful things often happen after that.
I looked at Luke and said, “we need to fast for 7 days”. I knew 3 days wasn’t going to cut it. His response, “Okay.” Again before we started our fast, I looked at him after reading about the “first fruits of our lives”, in the book and said, “we need to fast for the first 3 days of every month. We want God to do big things, we need to step up in a big way.” His response, “Okay.” What I learned as he was sharing with friends what he was thinking was, “Holy cow, no food for 3 days every month?? This is too intense!” However, he said yes in his spirit and ignored his flesh and that in and of itself brought blessings on our family.
During Prepare 2019 we had very specific things we brought to the Lord. We were traveling to Guatemala 2 days later to experience PBM there, and then to Michigan 5 days later to finish our interviewing process and had BIG decisions to make.
Luke wanted God to speak to him about whether PBM was IT. He’d been waiting nearly 6 years for the mission field and he wanted to be sure he was hauling his young family to the right place. I already had peace about PBM being our destination so I prayed for other things. Luke’s biggest concern was the airplane had experienced random fuel issues, and being in Guatemala the slow warranty process on the new engine was difficult and slow. He wanted it up and running before we moved to Guatemala and he specifically wanted it flown to Kansas for the warranty work, instead of being taken apart and shipped in a container.
So that’s what I prayed for during Prepare 2019. That the plane would be in the works to move to Kansas by the time we left Guatemala mid-January. A tall order I know. But we needed to see God in a huge way. If this was what God had for us, He needed to move fast to keep Luke focused on PBM before looking elsewhere. It was Luke’s red flag and we needed it turned green ASAP to move forward. I knew God could do it, so I prayed for that.
I also prayed that we would know if we were accepted by PBM before we left Michigan (3 days after our formal interview). A bit specific? The Bible says “you have not, because you ask not.” So we took Him at His word and asked.
Two days after the fast, we’re in Guatemala and Luke spends two hours chatting with Dan about the plane. After pondering everything, he encouraged Dan to have it flown to the US and offers to fly there with Dan. They both liked the idea and started talking routes and logistics over the next 24 hours. Two days later we learned that Dan had been praying specifically about the aviation program and the airplane’s warranty work. God had brought him the idea to fly it to the US (rather than continue with the long and slow process of having it worked on in Guatemala), and God had brought Luke and his suggestion to fly it as a confirmation to prayer. The day Dan had been praying specifically about flying the plane back to Kansas? Unknown to him was the very last day of Prepare 2019, and of our prayer and fasting time! God moves!
By the time we left Guatemala, plans had been set to fly the plane up over a coastal, non-mountainous route, in case there were problems. By the time we left Michigan a few days later, the Board was ready to both fly the plane up to the US with Luke’s assistance and proceed in the process to offer us a position at PBM. Luke had peace about joining PBM and his major concern about the plane was moved out of the way.
As many of you know, Luke and Dan flew the plane up in February, it was miraculously fixed the first day after arriving (after two years and multiple attempts to have it fixed in Guatemala), and did not require an engine change out! Both major concerns rectified. God is good and Luke was flying the plane back to Guatemala soon thereafter. God doubled our requested miracles from that fast and drawing close to Him.
God honors the person who sacrifices in obedience through prayer and fasting. “The world needs a people of God who walk in the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit that pulls down strongholds and sets the captives free! But there are no “people of God” without there first being a willing “person of God.” If you are tired of dull church, if you are tired of a cold, dry, barren relationship with Jesus, it is time to regain the edge. It is time to declare a spiritual fast. The Bible declares that “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way” (Ps. 37: 23). I believe God is going to establish who He is in your life again, afresh and anew” (The Fasting Edge).
Are you ready to see miracles happen in your life? Those two that happened in January and February only scratch the surface of what God has done this year. Even, and especially in the difficulties, more on this soon. Let me challenge you with this from Franklin: “Remember, fasting gets you in a position to receive personal blessing and guidance for your life, and also for God to use you to reach others with His power. . . I am more convinced than ever that fasting is a gateway through which God releases His supernatural power into our lives. The choice is ours: we can either open that gateway or ignore it and keep on going in our routines.”
Join us in opening that gateway again through fasting on October 19-21. It’s the home stretch of our 30 Days of Prayer and Fasting. You still have time to read about or study fasting (see the links below). Nothing special happens when we stay in our comfort zones. So let’s get out of routine and flood the gates of heaven with prayers from His faithful people.
Today, and until our next post on day 26, we are praying for PBM’s Bible Institute. This is PBM’s most fruitful outreach, with more people coming to know Jesus as their personal Savior than any other program. But Satan has and is attacking all sides. Pray that Satan is bound and the Holy Spirit is loosed over PBM’s Bible Institute and all involved.
P.S. Remember to grab your books! They are FULL of stories of people who saw miracles happen before, during, and after their fasting. Be encouraged by them and inspired to pray and fast yourself! I promise you won’t be disappointed.