Equipped For Conquest
By Charles Usher
When the physical forces are active, the spiritual forces are held in abeyance, but when the physical forces are held in abeyance by fasting, the spiritual forces are active.
“In fastings often…” said the Apostle Paul (2 Cor. 11:27). “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:27).
Keeping the body under is absolutely necessary to the victorious Christian life. Careless eating creates fleshly energy. Eating and drinking has more to do with one’s spirituality than most people realize.
The fasted life is a fasted condition. The body is not impoverished, but invigorated because of right, normal conditions, which is in honor of the Spirit, satisfying body and soul. Fast until well fasted, and stay fasted, by using no more nourishment than is actually needful for the body.
“I Humbled My Soul with Fasting” (Psa. 35:13)
It is not hard to live the fasted life when the will is made up to do so. Determine to receive what God has for you! Set the will in line to have, be and do according to all the Atonement gives. Live the fasted life with prayer. God will be thy sufficiency. Fasting and prayer is a means of grace to the end of putting off self and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The heart and spirit are equipped for the conflict with satanic power by prayer and fasting. The spirit grows strong through use. If prayer is neglected, the spirit flags. Nothing can take the place of fasting and prayer.
If we are to keep a keen, alert, strong spirit, there are some things that must be denied – things that are right in themselves, but which have a dulling, deadening influence upon the spirit. It is here the heart must be disciplined.
There are longings in the heart for legitimate things, which if yielded to, will take the keen edge off the spirit life and unfit us for a more fruitful work for God.
The importance of fasting in order to overcome satanic power is clearly seen in Revelation 12:11 – “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” It is the love of our lives that weakens our spirits, and makes us unfit for the fight.
No great achievement is obtained without sacrifice. Our fight for mastery with the supernatural powers of darkness calls for the greatest possible demand upon our spiritual strength, and any unfitness lessens our chances of final victory. So few of us know what spiritual discipline means. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
The self-life must be denied if the Spirit is to be obeyed (Matt. 16:24) and union with Christ maintained. It is this self-denial which constitutes true fasting and gives the spiritual strength and endurance which can “withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” until Satan is forced to yield (Eph. 6:13).
The early church conceived of their life as a military service under a heavenly General who supplied them with His own armor. Prayer was their watch they had to keep; sin and Satan the enemy; the heavenly Fatherland the kingdom to be attained, and eternal bliss the wreath of victory (Eph. 6:10-18).