the why of fasting & praying | Kelsey Chancellor

the why of fasting & praying | Kelsey Chancellor

Friends, I have the privilege of sharing with you wise words from a dear friend. Kelsey challenges me with her passion, boldness, and abandonment of self-interest for the sake of the Kingdom.

When we talked recently, she shared with me about her current 21-day fast. I exclaimed, “This is no surprise to me because the Lord is stirring my heart over the season of Lent, so tell me everything!” His timing never ceases to amaze me, and I am honored that Kelsey said yes to my request to write and share with us the things the Lord put on her heart. Make sure you have your journal ready!!

Fasting is such a gift. It is absolutely a gift from God! But it is a discipline. It is a sacrifice. It requires steadfastness, perseverance, determination, and a clear vision. 

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Without vision the people perish.” Vision is everything. It is one sustaining WHY behind your actions. With vision, any unfavorable circumstance can come along, yet leave you unshaken. 

So WHY do we fast?

People fast for different reasons: health benefits, to receive answers, for breakthrough, greater communion with the Lord, and many other worthy purposes.

Fasting isn’t an uncommon discipline in my walk with the Lord, yet something is different about this particular time. I’ve never had a purer perspective of fasting than I do right now.

For me, it’s quite multifaceted. The overall vision is to start a movement – a movement within myself, those around me, this nation, and the world. 

 

SO what does that mean exactly?

 

I’m talking about the ultimate reason for fasting: to bring into order the carnal nature, to expose the voice of the flesh, and to get the Spirit speaking louder.

 

I’m learning that fasting and prayer go hand-in-hand. You cannot have fasting without prayer. If one decides to fast without prayer, that person is simply abstaining from food, and no lasting fruit will follow. When one fasts AND prays, transformation happens!

 

Again, they cannot be separate because fasting exposes the voice flesh. Prayer comes alongside and gives space for the Holy Spirit to quiet that voice. 

 

It’s crazy to think there wasn’t always conflict between the flesh and spirit. Before Adam and Eve ate from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, their flesh and spirit were perfectly unified. When sin entered the world, a division between the flesh and spirit occurred.

Yet, how encouraging is it to know that Christ came to redeem everything lost in the fall of man! So while there is conflict between the flesh and spirit, it doesn't have to look like a battle. The flesh can be trained to submit and yield to the Spirit of God inside of us. Christ came! He did not leave us helpless and bound to our flesh.

There is no doubt in my mind that the majority of those reading this blog have incredibly pure hearts who genuinely want to follow the Lord and be shaped into the likeness of His image. You don’t want hidden things in your heart producing death.

I believe fasting is an amazing tool that will help condition our flesh to submit to our spirit like a well-trained puppy. It will produce such an awareness and “God-consciousness” that your mind is renewed into the mindset of grace, selflessness, and surrender.

When Philippians 2 challenges us to “put on the mind of Christ,” I know this isn’t a challenge of self-will or self-determination, but one of becoming Christ-conscious. We are not self-made! As you commit yourself to prayer, He will begin silencing the lusts of the flesh and breaking off death-producing mindsets. He’s amazing!

Galatians 5:16 says “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

Not sure if your flesh has a voice?? Starve it. You’ll find out!

Walking in the Spirit is the sweet spot for every believer. This is where we live in light of new covenant realities, where the truth of Christ is magnified, where our eye (perspective) is clear. This is where we’re formed into the likeness of His image.

 

So, about starting a movement…

The Lord has shown me that few people today are willing to travail on behalf of His reached and unreached people. 

Hmmm.. Travail…not an everyday, commonly used word. Its definition?

Travail (n.)- exerting monumental effort and suffering as you do so

Yikes! Now that sounds intimidating. And it is! No wonder the sign-up sheet is non-existent. So why put yourself through bootcamp’s cousin?

Because it’s not about you.

Watch your toes, I’m about to get a bit touchy. Look at Jesus’ language “Take up your cross,” “Deny yourself,” “He who has lost his life for My sake shall find it”… This is some intense stuff. And I’ve heard it my whole life, but it’s finally sinking in and actually producing fruit in my life.

I’m beginning to understand what it means to live for others, to deny myself, to sacrifice my wants and desires for the benefit of others, to lay flat in the trench in order for the army to advance. 

My eyes are not focused on myself but on the generation that will benefit from this season of fasting and intercession. I’ve never had a sharper focus on eternity or more passion to see His plan unfold. The movement at hand is a big one. I believe it will be the biggest movement of God since Pentecost. So why would I not intercede for His Kingdom to come?

 

When my little life isn’t self-focused but Kingdom-focused, change is inevitable. As we are transformed, changed into His likeness, people are invited into that same process. So yes, I’m fasting to start a movement. Every movement starts within us. And if it is a true movement, it cannot stay there.

 

How is He asking you to deny yourself?

How badly do you want to see His Kingdom manifest on the earth?