Jentezen Franklin: Dethrone Your Stomach

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Jentezen Franklin

By now you are beginning to realize how crucial the practice of fasting is in the life of every believer. But as a part of that threefold cord of normal Christian duties, why is it so often overlooked?

I believe the primary reason is one that has plagued mankind since the dawn of creation.

You see, fasting means crucifying what I refer to as “King Stomach.” And in case you don’t know who King Stomach is, just look down, and introduce yourself. You’ve probably already heard him rumble in disagreement a time or two!

Every year our entire congregation at Free Chapel participates in a 21-day fast. Without fail, folks share with me that they feel like eating everything in sight that last week or so before beginning the fast. But that’s OK. Once you make that decision to fast, even if it’s just for a day, God sees the desire of your heart. He will provide you with the grace to endure and see the breakthroughs you need come to pass. However, you will have to choose to dethrone that “dictator within.”

It has been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Most women have come to know it, but we need to realize that the devil knows it, too! Some people—specifically Christians—could be the geographical location of the “bottomless pit”! Consider for just a moment what has happened to the human race while under the rule of King Stomach.

JF Fasting

We can start at the beginning, all the way back in the Garden of Eden. The Bible records: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate,” (Gen. 3:6). And with that one meal, Adam and Eve immediately went from peacefully enjoying God’s presence in the cool of the garden to fearfully hiding from His presence among the trees of the garden.

They literally ate themselves out of house and home. They ate themselves out of the will of God for their lives. They ate themselves out of God’s provision and plan for their lives and out of His magnificent presence. But their stomachs were temporarily satisfied, and we still suffer the consequences of their appetites today.

In our busy lives there is always a holiday, birthday, office lunch or something that creates a bump in the road, so we talk ourselves out of beginning a fast. My advice to you, based on personal experience, is to just jump in and do it, and everything else will take care of itself! If you have never fasted before, just do it for one day and you will see what I mean.

The reason we fast corporately at Free Chapel at the beginning of every year is based on principles that have been adapted from Dr. Bob Rodgers’ book 101 Reasons to Fast.

There are three reasons starting the year with a fast is a good practice. First, by doing so, you set the course for the rest of the year. Just as beginning your day with prayer sets the course for the rest of the day and covers anything that may happen, the same is true
of beginning the year with a fast. You set the course for the entire year by what you do with those first few days of each New Year. You can carry that even further to give God the first part of every day, the first day of every week, the first portion of every dollar, and the first consideration in every decision.

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Secondly, “Blessings will happen for you and your family throughout the year because you fasted in January.” Even in April, June or August, even into November when you have Thanksgiving goodies on your mind, blessings will still be finding their way to you because of your sacrifice to the Lord at the beginning of the year. In fact, it was around Thanksgiving when I got the call to go to the bank. When I arrived, a man and his wife met me and said, “Here is a million dollars for the building program.” I had forgotten about the fast we had done 10 months prior, but God hadn’t. He not only sent someone to us with a million-dollar gift, but also someone with a $500,000 gift, a $250,000 gift, a $50,000 gift and cumulative millions that came in regular gifts all in that same year.

This third point is so powerful. When you fast at the beginning of the year and pray, you release the principle found in Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” If you seek
Him first in the year, get ready for all these “things” to be added to your life throughout the rest of the year!

To learn more about the spiritual impact fasting has on your life, click here!

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