Let's Cogitate On These Verses Matthew 17:15-21 - What Actually Did Jesus Say? (2)

What Did Jesus Actually Say?

Continued from the last episode

“And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” 

Matt 17:15-21

I would like to state that a Christian cannot be rightly described by using the lens of the Old Testament and not even that of the gospels which is an eye witness accounts. A Christian can properly be described in the New Testament which consists of the Epistles because a believer’s life is not initiated in the pre-resurrection but in the post-resurrection. A better understanding of this fact will definitely enhance you to understand my knowledge in the revelation of this topic. 

Recently, I have heard some claptrap like “if one wants to get power or gain power he or she must fast. And again, if one must run an international or world class ministry he or she must be a fasting “machine.” Well, I want to say emphatically that these statements are unscriptural and shouldn’t be accepted at all. Jesus never said that if a believer wants power he or she must fast in order to acquire it. As a matter of fact, is important to note that no believer is called to run a world class ministry but to reconcile men to God and this is not pivoted around fasting, rather a product of Grace of God. I said that to say this, our acceptance into the family of God is solely by His grace and not of works least any man should boast. See Ephesians 2:6-9 and Apostle Paul crowns it all by saying this “I am what I am by the grace of God”. 

Therefore, grace becomes the pivot of everything we have, receive and produce in the Kingdom of God. This implies that if one has received anything by his or her works, (how many days he fasted, how long he or she prays and some good works he has done to affect humanity) such is not from God, because God doesn’t give conditionally. He gives because it is His nature to give, not because of what one has done. See Jas 1:5, Matt 5:45. Therefore, if anyone claims that he received power after fasting, that power is questionable, because the power of God is not received because one fasted and such power is not from God. And this is why so many are operating under the influence of strange spirits in the name of God. 

Hold on a bit, I know you are not getting turnoff by what you are reading because it is very strange and unusual to your ears but be rest assured that I am not here to write on what you want to hear instead what you need to hear. And the question that may be going through your mind now is that, “So there is no place for fasting in the life of a believer”. Well the answer is, there is! On the other hand, you may notice that all the people that demonstrated the power of God in both the Old and New Testament did that not because they fasted but because they were anointed and you cannot receive anointing by fasting, see Jeremiah 1:5. 

It is interesting to know that whenever one reaches out to the throne of Grace within him or her (note that I used the words within him or her) the only two things obtainable are Mercy and Grace, and these two things cannot come as a result of someone’s works or efforts. The believer is a product of grace, which implies that grace gave birth to the believer, (Rom 5:8). No one fasted, prayed or did anything to impress God so that Jesus could come down and die for mankind; it was all God’s idea, willingness and altruism towards man that brought Jesus here and without man’s contribution. 

The adverse effect of this wrong doctrinal gesture in the life of a believer is that it instills in him or her that mindset that by fasting he or she can achieve every goal and spiritual growth in life. Thereby setting aside the grace of God and promoting works, of which no one can be justified in the face of God. If we can achieve anything by how long we fasted and prayed, there is no need for the grace of God in our life because we can as well get what we want when we pray and fast. But make no mistake any believer who lives outside grace is doomed because he or she has decided not to exist within his or her source. 

But brother are you saying that we shouldn’t fast? No I have not said so! What I am trying to divulge here is that we should rely on the grace of God than what our effort can achieve for us. The fact is that the grace of God has made everything available for us and what is required of us is the faith to amass them (Rom 5:2). Is by faith we can access everything grace has provided. There is no way fasting can help us access what grace has provided and it is important to state at this point that God is not moved by fasting and not even faith. God has moved in grace and accomplished His purpose for mankind. 

Before I go on, let us have a little understanding of who a believer is. A believer is someone who has been born into the Kingdom of God (Col 1:13) or someone who has received the adoption of God’s sonship (the adoption here means placement Rom 8:15). The Kingdom God is a Kingdom of Power, Grace, Righteousness, Light and so on, which implies that the believer is born into power, grace, righteousness and light and as a result he shouldn’t lack any of these. There are times when a believer can be confused about some certain things which needed to be handled with better understanding and because of some fleshly distractions in life, he or she needs to retreat in order to calm the flesh and that is where fasting comes in. 

The believer therefore, needs to up his spirit man by dealing with the fleshly distraction and calls deep into his spirit (Prov 18:14, 1 Cor 2:11) to gain understanding of the situation and thereafter knowledge is gain and such situation is handled perfectly. So fasting helps and affects the believer not God, and it is within the whims of the believer depending on what he or she desires to handle. Fasting helps the believer in order to up his or her spirit man to gain access into those things grace has made available for him. 

Fasting can be personal or co-operate, and make no mistake I fast and also join family or co-operate fasting if need be, but it is not the source of power or ministry expansion, the grace of God is the sole provider of such. 

Like Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy, I also encourage you today with the same words “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2Tim 2:1