Have your words ever taken you someplace that you didn’t want to go? Have your words ever presented a snapshot of you that you wish you could delete and take over? Have your words ever created undue stress or injury to others?
If you have said yes to any of those questions it may be time to do a Word Fast.
What is a Word Fast? Most of us know that a fast is simply a time set aside where one decides to give up something in the natural: food or entertainment, to draw something of a supernatural nature: protection or provision from God or merely a breakthrough of some kind.
Even Jesus fasted for spiritual empowerment and victory over temptation, the flesh and the evil one.
Paul fasted for the healing of his eyes as well as direction. (Acts 9:9)
Ester 4:16, 5:2 speaks of the supernatural favor received for saving an entire nation.
The widow’s fast in I Kings 17:13-16 demonstrates that when she gave up food to feed another, sufficient supply was provided for her and her son.
So a “Word” fast is where one decides to give up their voice. Why? Because of the reasons already pointed out in the first paragraph of this blog.
Proverbs 24:10 says “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” In other words you have not been strong enough to speak words that bring life but rather death. (Ephesians 4:29 says to let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.)
Many of us can relate to the fact that we don’t bother doing any physical exercise until we experience some kind of health issue that threatens our life, or at least the quality of it, even though we are told time and again how important it is. Likewise, many of us fail to follow God’s instruction, to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5), until we experience some of the serious issues our mouth gets us into.
We have to deal with our thoughts if we are going to control what comes out of our mouths. (Proverbs 23:7) And, often times we don’t think about or consider the effects of our words until after the damage is done. The exception to that may be, however, when we are writing a letter or texting.
Have you ever noticed that when you are doing either of those that you tend to pay more attention to what you are communicating before you send the message?
I know that when I write something down I typically walk away from it for a while and then go back to reread, make any adjustments, leave it alone a while longer, go back again and when no adjustments are necessary then I send the message.
Several things happen when I do that:
- First, I am exercising God’s instructions.
- I am intentionally speaking life and not death.
- I am edifying, not harming the other person.
- The Father’s image is reflected through me.
- I am being wise and developing the mind of Christ.
If you agree that some of your thoughts need to be taken captive before any words are turned lose it would be wise to learn to be quiet.
Proverbs 17:28 says that even a fool is considered wise if he keeps his mouth shut. Just saying!!!
Here I am not suggesting to just keep your mouth shut but rather learn to be quiet enough in order to captivate thoughts that get you into trouble and arrest them and then replace them. Lots of work!
Matthew 12:36 says, “… you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.” (NLT) That is scary!
Change is difficult. If we were thirty pounds over-weight it would be hard to change what we eat or difficult to do the exercise necessary to burn up the caloric intake. But, if we continue to eat what we eat and do what we do how could we expect to lose weight and have a healthy body? That would be insanity!
It takes discipline to take the time to make wise choices and to prepare for what is put into our bodies. Discipline is also needed to take the time to exercise regularly. But when and if we do, the results typically offer a much healthier life.
In the same way, is it not insanity to put confidence in our flesh (Philippians 3:3)? Meaning, to say whatever we feel like saying without considering the effects? We have to discipline ourselves to yield to the Spirit that will always lead us to His thoughts or His ways. Which in this case will lead us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
The temptations to say things that satisfy the flesh but grieves the Spirit isn’t any different than the temptations that Jesus needed supernatural power to overcome.
Many of us, like Paul, need healing in our bodies or maybe need some specific direction. It may just be our own words that is keeping us sick and confused. Fast your words and let Him give you His.
Most of us will never have the responsibility that Ester experienced when she needed favor to save her nation. However, it is possible that some of us need favor from the King to save those in our own house. And, it could be that the King’s favor on us could ultimately save a nation. Fast your words and receive what the King offers in return.
The widow is a good example to ponder. She willingly gave what little she had in an act of obedience to the man of God. That little bit of food had not only pleasured her flesh but also sustained her life. God’s favor on her food fast provided her groceries, supernaturally, all the rest of her days.
If we are Disciples of Christ we are to live a disciplined life, committed to do the will of the Father. When we do that He awards our natural lives with the supernatural. When we learn to speak ONLY what He would say and do ONLY what He would do we will experience all that He intended for us.
I know you can’t wait to get started so get a pencil and a tablet. You will write or text what you need to communicate rather than to vocalize it.
Before you begin, however, determine how long the fast will last and with whom you are fasting your words with. (This fast doesn’t necessarily have to include all people, maybe just those that you have difficulties communicating with.)
In the quietness of this Word Fast you may just hear the Father’s still small voice. This is important because a fast doesn’t stand alone. Prayer goes hand and hand with a fast. Always ask the Lord what to say and how to say it whether you are sending a message or replying to one. Take time to listen for His response.
When you break your fast keep in mind what you learned during the fast. And, you may want to make this a regular discipline until you are habitually taking every thought captive while using your physical voice. Mathew 12:37 says, “for you will be justified, declared righteous, because of your words, and you will be condemned because of your words.”