Supernatural Biblical Guidance 13
Holy Spirit Inspired Fasting & Guidance

by Pastor John Hamel

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, IN FASTINGS OFTEN, in cold and nakedness.  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” (2Corinthians 11:23-28)

We are approaching the end of our fifteen lessons on the study of supernatural Biblical guidance.  No study on the subject of supernatural Biblical guidance would be complete without a lesson on Holy Spirit inspired fasting. 

The New Testament does not offer much teaching concerning the subject of fasting.  Nowhere in the New Testament is the Church instructed as to when to fast or even how to fast.  

However, this is not an excuse to set fasting aside and ignore it altogether.  There are tremendous benefits to fasting, particularly when it comes to guidance and increasing the power of God in your life. 

Notice in our above text the Apostle Paul made the statement that he fasted “often.”  So we see that although the Apostle Paul never actually offered any kind of teaching on fasting, he did indeed fast.  We can learn something from the Apostle Paul simply by looking at the times that he did fast.  One of the reasons the Apostle Paul fasted was to honor Jewish tradition and religion.  Many Born Again Jews fasted for this reason in the Early Church.  Because this reason does not apply to us in the New Testament Church today, unless we are doing so to honor and witness to our Jewish friends, we will not talk about this in detail.  However, what we will study are the additional reasons the Apostle Paul and other Believers fasted.  These are the reasons that are beneficial to us today.

Fasting Keeps the Human Spirit Sensitive to the Holy Spirit 

“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.  As they ministered to the Lord, and FASTED, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:1,2)

Here we find five Prophets and Teachers taking the time to worship the Lord with fasting.  The Apostle Paul and Barnabas were in this group.  They were not trying to change God’s mind on any matter, nor where they trying to force Him to move or to speak to them.  They were simply performing spiritual exercises to keep their human spirits sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  You can readily see how effective this was because when the Holy Spirit did speak, they heard Him clearly. 

The Scripture does say exactly how He spoke but, no doubt, it was through one of the many forms of guidance that we have studied in this series.  It is my opinion that the Holy Spirit spoke prophetically through Simeon, Lucius or Manaen directly to Barnabas and Saul.  I also believe that whoever spoke prophetically to Barnabas and Saul did not offer them guidance.  The Holy Spirit simply confirmed something Saul and Barnabas apparently already knew because the Holy Spirit made reference to “the work whereunto I have called them.” (Vs 2)  Saul and Barnabas already knew what God had called them to and were waiting for confirmation as to the Holy Spirit’s timing.  Sure enough, as a result of ministering to the Lord and limited Holy Spirit inspired fasting, the Spirit of God spoke forth, confirming His will.  This small prayer gathering resulted in supernatural direction coming forth for Paul’s first historic missionary journey.

Fasting can help anyone become more sensitive to the spirit realm.  This is why people who seek power with Satan and evil spirits fast.  Abstaining from certain types of foods or from food altogether is still a vitally important tenet of spiritist teaching.  Still today, evil people seek power with Satan through fasting, even as they did in Paul’s day. 

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and COMMANDING TO ABSTAIN FROM MEATS, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1Timothy 4:1-3)

All of the world’s cults and false religions encourage fasting because of the part it plays in detaching the human mind from the sense realm.  This results in sharpening spiritual sensibilities for both the righteous and the unrighteous.  When unsaved individuals sharpen their spiritual sensibilities through fasting, they are tuning into the realm of Satan and demon powers.  They cannot possibly sensitize their spirits to the realm where God lives because their human spirits are in union with Satan only.  They are his children, children of disobedience.  They are by nature children of wrath and their spirits are disconnected from God and connected directly to Satan. (Ephesians 2:2,3) 

There are only three realms of power in the Universe.  There is the power of God.  That is the benevolent power.  There is the power of Satan.  That is the malevolent power.  There is the power of man.  That is the neutral power.  An unsaved man or woman is automatically disconnected from the power of God and connected to the power of Satan.  A saved man or woman is automatically disconnected from the power of Satan and connected to the power of God. 

Cultists, religionists and spiritists wrongly believe that all supernatural power is of God and thereby open themselves up to further demonic deception through fasting.  Even Believers in Jesus Christ must be careful to not push fasting to an extreme.  It is possible to hear voices that are not of God, particularly if the Holy Spirit has not led you into a period of fasting.  Believers must be very careful to never decide, independent of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to launch out on an extended period of fasting just because it appears to be the spiritual thing to do.  That type of fasting is based on human works and religion. (Romans 4:5)  It is dangerous.  Some Believers do this in an attempt to change God’s mind about a situation or to force Him to do something for them.  This is unscriptural.  Fasting does not change God.  Sensitizing him or her to the voice of the Holy Spirit, fasting changes the Believer only.  We must be sure that the Holy Spirit is leading us to fast.  The Apostle Paul said there are many voices out there that could easily mislead us, particularly when we set out in the flesh to fast. (1Corinthians 14:10

Believers also need to be watchful that they not become lazy, refusing to fast, just because the New Testament does not give much instruction about how or when to fast.  The Apostle Paul and other Prophets / Teachers and disciples in the Bible did fast to keep their spirits sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you.  He will show you the best way for you to fast, keeping your body and soul from blocking the spout where the guidance comes out. 

I am very impressed by what giving up one meal a day, for a two or three day period, does for my spiritual sensitivity.  Other times I will go for two or three days not eating until the sun goes down.  This has helped me tremendously.  New Testament Believers do not have to fast like Old Testament Believers did.  Old Testament Believers did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit’s presence like we do.  The Holy Spirit lives within us now and it really does not take a whole lot of fasting to tune in to Him unless you are in a very, very bad way.  Let the Holy Spirit impress upon your heart what is best for you.

Paul Fasted When Faced with Danger & Crisis 

You will remember from our lesson, “Supernatural Biblical Guidance 2, The Holy Spirit, Your Inner Umpire, Part One,” how the Apostle Paul was being transported as a prisoner on board a ship that had encountered extremely dangerous sailing.  We saw in that lesson how Paul “perceived” beforehand that this was about to occur yet no one would listen to him.  This turned into a high crisis situation where all 276 people on board could have easily been swept under.  Fortunately Paul knew how to get a hold of Heaven through Holy Spirit inspired fasting.  When no one would listen to his advice to stay in Port, Paul began a period of fasting and prayer, seeking the Holy Spirit for wisdom and protection.  Heaven responded.

“But after long abstinence (fasting) Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.  And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship.  FOR THERE STOOD BY ME THIS NIGHT THE ANGEL OF GOD, WHOSE I AM, AND WHOM I SERVE, SAYING, FEAR NOT, PAUL; THOU MUST BE BROUGHT BEFORE CAESAR: AND, LO, GOD HATH GIVEN THEE ALL THEM THAT SAIL WITH THEE.” (Acts 27:21-24)

When the Believer is faced with danger or crisis and does not know what to do, abstaining from food in order to hear clearly is very effective.  The Holy Spirit knows how to deliver the kind of help you need.  He could send an Angel, He could speak directly and He could even intervene Himself, supernaturally, to meet the need at hand.  When the Believer enters into Holy Spirit inspired limited fasting, He will take care of the rest. 

Once you have been fasting for a period, if you feel impressed by the Holy Spirit to stop, then do so, even if you are in a comfortable flow.  Paul made it clear to everyone on board who was fasting with him that the time for fasting had ended and that it was time to eat for health’s sake. (Verses 33,34)  I have learned from experience, as well as from the Bible, that it does absolutely no good at all to continue fasting once the Holy Spirit has laid it on my heart to stop.  There have been times I did not want to stop but I know that His leading is best and effective.  Do not push fasting beyond the Holy Spirit’s inspired instruction.  Yes, there are times to fast and pray, and yes, there are times to eat and trust God.

Fasting will keep the Believer’s Born Again human spirit sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  We see this from Paul’s life.  We see from Paul’s experiences that fasting is also effective during times of extreme danger and crisis.  If there is ever a time where one needs to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, it is during times of extreme danger and crisis.

Fasting Increases the Anointing for Dealing with Satan 

Probably one of the most important things to keep in mind during a crisis is that fasting will also increase your anointing for dealing with Satan and demons.

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? TO LOOSE THE BANDS OF WICKEDNESS, to undo the heavy burdens, and TO LET THE OPPRESSED GO FREE, and THAT YE BREAK EVERY YOKE?” (Isaiah 58:6)

When the Believer takes the time to fast and to worship the Lord, it not only sensitizes the human spirit to the voice of the Holy Spirit, it also increases the anointing.  When facing Satan and demon powers in a crisis situation, one needs all the anointing that is available.  It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that breaks the yoke of Satan’s oppression.

“… and the yoke shall be destroyed BECAUSE OF THE ANOINTING.” (Isaiah 10:27)

The anointing of God is very simply another way of saying the power of God.  When one needs to get a hold of the power of God in a crisis situation, fasting is the answer.  The Apostle Paul fasted to increase his sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  He also fasted during times of extreme danger and crisis because he fully realized that fasting increased his anointing for withstanding Satan and demon powers.  He knew they were the source of his problems, not God.  He knew that by increasing his anointing over Satan and demon powers, he would be much more effective in driving them back and away from their intention to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10)  Any Believer can do this on behalf of themselves and their loved ones. 

Paul did not teach much about fasting but we can sure see from the Bible that he did fast.  He fasted to sensitize his human spirit to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  He fasted during times of extreme crisis or danger.  He fasted to increase his anointing over Satan and demon powers.  He always did so by the leading of the Holy Spirit.  

Paul especially encouraged husbands and wives to give themselves to Holy Spirit inspired fasting. (2Corinthians 7:5)  

A nation is only as strong as its families.  Satan knows that in order to tear at the fabric of a nation, he must tear at the fabric of the family.  Husbands and wives fasting together by inspiration of the Holy Spirit will keep him at bay every time.

Be Blessed ... John and Barbara Hamel



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