October 11, 2013

He is ALL They Have

by Joan Hutter

They live in destitute countries where muddy streams serve both as bathtub and drinking source. A clump of rice on a cardboard flap – maybe daily but for some, weekly – is their only food.

So, for these believers, Jesus is truly their All in All. Their only hope. Their portion.

In developing nations, there´s no choice but to fast.

Here in America, if the Lord leads us to fast, we wrestle to get through the first few days; our stomachs are stretched from over-indulgence. We think skipping a meal to pray is a huge thing, and if we ever decipher His still, small voice to do 40 days in the desert, as Jesus did, we´re told we can´t possibly do this; it´s not healthy; it´s radical; it´s not for us; it´s for evangelists to nations; and what´s the point, anyway.

But believers all over the world fast for spiritual awakening and breakthrough, and their very fasting is a prayer in itself. It is the powerful, effectual prayer of these righteous brothers and sisters ministering to their own impoverished people in closed nations.

A revival was sweeping through China and then the hammer of communism came down on the believers; many were locked away for 20 years, with barely enough food to make it out alive.

Some fasts are not chosen. The fast of poverty. The prison fast. The fast of suffering, grief and illness. These are forced fasts.

But I know a man who leads an indigenous ministry and preaches the gospel to thousands at crusades and to hundreds of thousands by satellite television. This man fasts as prayer. There is spiritual warfare and he positions his heart and life before the King of Glory through fasting, which brings humility, meekness, wisdom, and sensitivity to the leading of the Lord. God sustains him.

He gave an account of a recent fast. On the third day of having nothing to eat or drink, he began to sip water. On the fifth day, while he was praying, he encountered Jesus so deeply he felt he had eaten a feast in His presence. Like Elijah in the desert, for whom the angel prepared not one breakfast, but two–this indigenous mission leader arose and continued fasting and praying.

When the Lord expands the reach or intensity of a ministry, the leaders prepare their hearts.

This is what we hear from native ministry leaders all over the world. Their letters describe incredible warfare and the necessity for their devotion. They rely on Jesus for everything they need. And they find Him faithful.

Recently in Pakistan we mourned the dozens of believers whose lives ended suddenly by suicide bombers as they were worshiping the Lord. Why does this happen? There is something bigger going on.

We continue to press in to the heart of the Lord concerning believers in Syria. When will they be free?

We do not know the times or dates the Father has set for the breakthrough. But we can stand with them.

Stand with the evangelists reaching the masses as well as the local pastors shepherding their people in hidden congregations, feeding broken, starving widows and orphans, teaching and training young intellectuals, digging wells and planting churches in developing nations.

We are contending for His return–for every tribe, tongue and nation to have a witness for Christ living among them. One day, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Until then we fast, as Jesus said. No one fasts while the bridegroom is still with them. But until every tribe hears and He returns, we fast from all that hinders us, and we press on to take hold of that for which He first took hold of us.

Your fast may be from food or activity, but your fast is surely a call to deeper devotion and prayer. And you will find He is your portion.

Devote yourselves to prayer. (Colossians 4:2)

For the glory of His name.