"While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."

It has now been three weeks since completing my first seven-day, 12-hour fast along with my dear friend, Debbie Cope.

You could image my face when the lord first instructed me to do so.

I became unsure how successful I would be since I only embarked upon a fast on a few occasions. I knew there were various forms of spiritual fasting such as the Daniel fast, 21-day fast and the partial fast. I prayed he would choose one that did not require a lengthy time of abstinence of food. You can stop laughing now; I know I am not the only one.

Thank the lord for Debbie who not only sent me a guide how to fast successfully, her unwavering friendship, prayers and interceding on my behalf encouraged me along the journey.

As previously mentioned, my personal life had taken on a change of events that can only be explained as God is positioning me for better and greater things in life. I can only arrive to the next level in his plans by staying in his will. My issues were trying to understand in the natural what that may be.

When people fast they are in essence communicating with God more so in the spirit and less in the natural. There is a breakthrough that occurs during fasting. When you communicate with God in the spirit (other tongues) you cannot miss him.

“But if your gift is that of being able to “speak in tongues,” that is, to speak in languages you haven’t learned, you will be talking to God but not to others, since they won’t be able to understand you.”

You will be speaking by that which happens in the spirit realm on our behalf that if you and I knew would blow our mind.

The lord is never absent or silent when you are earnestly seeking him. He loves you and is always working on our behalf. Jesus is near.

Fasting should be personal. It is where you and I set aside quality time to be in the presence of the lord. Repent of all sin so that our petition in prayer for whatever we are fasting for will not be hindered.

"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

In our fasting we are to praise and worship the lord, while drawing closer to him and his amazing love.

Fasting strengthens your faith because it exposes your weakness and reveals your need of God.

During this time diligently study the word of God and meditate on his word day and night for it will be our shield of protection against the lies of the enemy.

 "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

The more we press into the lord during fasting the more open and receptive we become to hear and receive clear and precise instruction from him. Most importantly our love and reverence of God is laid before him.

"Moses was there with the lord 40 days and 40 nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant — the Ten Commandments."

There is joy and freedom to be found when fasting. Began this wonderful experience by reminding yourself God is faithful to his word and you.

The enemy will come and lie that your faith is counterfeit if it waivers even slightly. Do not listen to him. The key to succeed in fasting is to never give up on the lord for he has never given up on you.

Be transparent and tell him you need help. God is the only one who can do it if you allow.

You may ask how one begins to receive the benefits of being fasting?

It begins with Jesus. You are precious to him, and he loves you very much.

By your own free will, you accept Christ as lord and savior. Do not allow this moment to pass; tomorrow is not promised.

When you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Please repeat this prayer: "Lord Jesus, forgive my sins I committed against you. I believe Jesus died for my sins and has risen again. Please come into my life and heart and lead the way. I confess you as my lord and savior from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, amen."

Welcome into the family of Christ.

Until next week, be blessed and continue to bless others along the way. Go in peace.

(Bible references: Acts 13:2; Matthew 6:16-18; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Corinthians 14:2 TLB; Exodus 34:28. To obtain the full benefits of each verse, please read the five verses before and after each verse.)

Contributing Writer Edith Nevis can be reached at 857-2200 or at edith.nevis@houmatoday.com.